Weekend Reading: Sept. 14th Edition – Nitol Botnet Disrupted & The Xbox 360 Essentials Pack Unveiled

By | September 14, 2012

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s disruption of more than 500 strains of malware, a look at Xbox 360 Essentials Pack and the Halo 4 LE Controller and Skype’s new audio codec.

Microsoft disrupts the emerging Nitol botnet being spread through an unsecure supply chain. Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit permission to disrupt more than 500 different strains of malware with the potential for targeting millions of innocent people. Codenamed “Operation b70,” this legal action and technical disruption was our second botnet disruption in the last six months. Head over to this Official Microsoft Blog post to learn more, including how botnets work and how to protect your computer and personal information.

A look at the Xbox 360 Essentials Pack and the Halo 4 LE Controller. In this video, Major Nelson presents the Xbox 360 Essentials Pack, which goes on sale next month for US$79.99, and the gorgeous Halo 4 Limited Edition Controller, also available in October. Major Nelson will be giving these away on a future podcast, so be sure to head over to the blog post for more info.

Coming soon: A new website and online app store. Next time you visit the official Windows Phone website, you might find it has a new look and a few new improvements, including ones to our online store for apps and games. We’re rolling out these changes beginning with Australia and New Zealand, and in the weeks ahead gradually working our way around the world. If the new site hasn’t arrived where you live yet, head on over to the Windows Phone Blog for an early peek at the improvements (some which you’ll need to be signed in to the new site with your phone to see.)

More on Atari Arcade – and a chance to win a piece of Atari history. Two weeks ago, we launched the Atari Arcade – a modern take on the Atari classics like Asteroids, Missile Command and Centipede. Since then, we’ve had a lot of fun celebrating with developers and meeting new gaming enthusiasts. And we’re not done – check out the Exploring IE blog to find out how you can still get in on the Atari fun and win some really cool hardware in the process.


Skype and the new audio codec. Skype has quietly revolutionized the sound quality of our daily communications. We introduced SILK, our own audio codec, to make our calls sound more like being there in person in January 2009. Since then, we’ve used it to serve more than 750 billion Skype-to-Skype minutes. Skype initiated the idea of developing and standardizing a codec ‘built for the internet’ and usable by everybody else within the IETF back in March 2009. Senior Skype Architect and Distinguished Engineer Koen Vos and our audio team began work on it in June 2009. After objections were overcome, Opus was submitted to the IETF in September 2010. You can get the rest of the story over on The Big Blog.

Next stop London, Milan, Paris fashion week. Next at Microsoft blog Editor Steve Clayton is finally back in Seattle – back from the action of New York Fashion Week. “This week and last is happened to be the many ways that Microsoft is involved in the fashion industry and during my conversations throughout NYFW, I was surprised that people weren’t more surprised at Microsoft’s involvement,” said Clayton in his Fashion Week wrap-up blog post. “Maybe there is a growing sense of Microsoft being savvy about design and the creative industries.”


How to present a Word document online. Whether you’re a student who needs to finish a class project with your peers, a small business owner who wants to share a contract with clients, or a family member writing a holiday letter with someone in another location, we know it’s important for any Word user to be able to easily share and work together on their documents. Check out this how-to on the Word Blog to learn how Office 2013 users can present online to share and collaborate with Word documents.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading! Thanks for stopping by The Official Microsoft Blog!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog