Weekend Reading: May 4th Edition–Microsoft and Barnes & Noble Team Up on E-Reading, Microsoft Research Opens a Lab in New York City and Marketplace Launches in 22 New Countries

By | May 4, 2012

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announcing a new strategic partnership, Microsoft Research opening a lab in New York City and the new web Marketplace. Check ‘em out.

Barnes & Noble, Microsoft form strategic partnership. Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced on Monday the formation of a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies. The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to get the full story.

Microsoft Research opens lab in New York City. In the two decades since the formation of Microsoft Research, the organization has grown from its beginnings on Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash., into a global research force with 12 labs across four continents — all devoted to advancing the state of the art in computing research and contributing cutting-edge advancements to Microsoft products. Beginning May 3, that lab count increases to 13 with the creation of Microsoft Research New York City. Visit the Microsoft News Center for more detail.

The web Marketplace launches in 22 new countries. We’re happy to announce that nearly two dozen new online stores for Windows Phone apps and games went live around the world earlier this week. The new web Marketplaces are available in Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam. For more on this story, read this Wednesday post on the Windows Phone Blog. Also, don’t miss this April 27 post that talks about five great Windows Phone apps. Finally, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you HAVE to check out this Next at Microsoft post on the Kinect for Star Wars app. Imagine all your tweets scrolling upward into space just like the opening crawl in all six of George Lucas’ seminal space opera films. That’s a screenshot of the app below.

Kinect Star Wars Windows Phone App

Bing gets a new look. Bing is getting a new look. You will notice a fresh, de-cluttered experience designed to help you find the results you want faster. Over the past few months, we’ve run dozens of experiments to determine how you read our pages to deliver the link you’re looking for. Based on that feedback, we’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful. This refreshed design helps you do more with search—and gives us a canvas for bringing future innovation to you. The Bing Search Blog has the rest of the story, so head on over there.

Spike TV to present “Xbox: Entertainment Evolved” from E3 2012. On Thursday, Spike TV announced that they’ll be carrying our 90-minute E3 Briefing ‘Xbox: Entertainment Evolved’ LIVE from LA next month. Tune in to Spike TV on Monday, June 4 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT to catch all the news. Check out this post on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson for more detail and a cool promo video.

Microsoft and Aspen Avionics ink exFAT licensing agreement. Earlier this week, we announced a licensing agreement with Aspen Avionics, a manufacturer of general aviation cockpit display systems. What’s noteworthy about the announcement is that it is the first agreement forged by Microsoft in the avionics industry, and is also the first agreement we have announced in the commercial sector, thus demonstrating that exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) is great for commercial and consumer applications alike. Read this Thursday post on Microsoft on the Issues for more detail.

Connecting Asia’s Unconnected – an affordable and innovative approach. Providing universal Internet connectivity, at broadband speed, is increasingly important for fostering economic and social development in Asia. That is why, this week at the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Annual Meeting in the Philippines, the ADB NGO Center, in partnership with Microsoft and hardware partner Adaptrum, demonstrated innovative wireless technology that has the power to transform citizens’ lives and stimulate economic growth. Check out the Microsoft Citizenship Blog for the rest of the story.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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