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Xbox Games on Windows 8: More Gaming Goodness from Microsoft & Friends

So I work on the Xbox team at Microsoft. And I focus on the strategy and portfolio of games coming to Windows 8. Today is a good day because I’m finally able to share some of the details with you on this!

Here’s a quick rundown of the news:

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Microsoft: A Great Place to Work

Full Disclosure: I work for Microsoft and enjoy my job. And this blog post is my opinion, not Microsoft’s.

This past week ended up being one of the most intense, yet rewarding, weeks of my career. For the past three weeks, I put my day job mostly on hold and took on the challenge of leading a team to put together a free virtual training event for Windows Phone 7 developers. We had developers in the thousands participating in four 3-hour sessions that covered the ins and outs of developing applications and games for Windows Phone 7.

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Defining Success of [Tech] Companies

Let’s face it: we all love making comparisons. It’s an easy way to simplify a point. The problem, though, lies in the implicit assumptions and interpretations that go along with a comparison. Meaning, as soon as you make your comparison, it’s as if you’re holding all else equal while at the same time elevating your comparison to a higher level of credibility as compared to any of the unspoken alternative comparisons involving the two things you’re comparing.

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Calling All Phone Developers: Free Training on Windows Phone 7

Today the Windows Phone team announced the availability of the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta. I wanted to highlight a portion of the announcement that I’ve been working on personally. Microsoft really wants to show you (Mr. Phone App Developer) why Windows Phone 7 is the hotness. So that’s why we’ve put together the following free training (see below).

I’m very excited about this; it’s one of the coolest things I’ve been involved in at Microsoft! If you have any questions or want more details, leave me a comment.

Get Trained for FREE – Windows Phone 7 Jump Start

Windows Phone 7 JumpStart is a FREE virtual live class for developers interested in developing applications and games for Windows Phone 7. The course is organized into four virtual instructor-led sessions that are of 3-hour duration. They will be presented by forthcoming MS Press authors and MVP’s, Andy Wigley and Rob Miles. It will provide developers a jump start for developing Windows Phone 7 applications. The labs will be completed offline with office hours access to the instructors.

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Silicon Alley Insider Embellishes WSJ Headline In Attempt to Steal Page Views

How do you like my title? It came from a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Microsoft Plans Shake Up” which Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider linked to, added an intro that added nothing new, and then added quite the Google-bait headline of “Microsoft Shaking Up Entertainment Group In Desperate Attempt To Catch Apple And Google”.

Now, full disclosure, I work for Microsoft but not in this division. And I have nothing to do with whatever this story is about. It seems like an interesting scoop for the WSJ, but Blodget’s title is tricking Techmeme into thinking it should be the leader story. So as a fellow blogger, I thought I’d one up Mr. Blodget with an equally exciting title of my own and a piece of advice:

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Reintroducing OneNote Trainer Packs: New & Improved

So every once in a while, I like to blog about what I’m doing at work (especially if I’m excited about it!). Today, we’re announcing the release of “OneNote Trainer Packs.” Read on below if you’re interested in a glimpse in my day-to-day at Microsoft Learning.

Eighteen months ago, Microsoft Learning released beta OneNote Trainer Packs for 7 courses as part of an effort to test if consolidating Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) prep materials was a worthy endeavor. The answer came back from MCTs: yes, if done thoroughly. So that’s what we did.

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Nice Job, Bing: Android Now Less Interesting to Me

The Bing team today unveiled turn-by-turn directions for Windows Phones. Now for those that know me, you may know that I currently am using an Android phone (yeah, yeah, I work for Microsoft and use an Android phone; it happens). And one of the reasons specifically was for the free GPS app available via Google.

Having a phone with this kind of app makes my life less complicated, as it removes one more gadget from my life that I’d just as soon not have separately. But lately my Android phone has felt sluggish (it’s a G1), and with this announcement, I think it’s safe to say that I’m looking at getting myself a nice new Windows Phone 7 this holiday season. Anyone else making a major phone change soon?

Is 2010 the Year of Digital Books?

About three months ago, Microsoft Learning (where I work) released Microsoft Official Courses digitally for the first time (DRM-free, I might add). I can say that adoption of the digital versions of these courses has exceeded our expectations (even if it’s still too early to see where this is going exactly).

Coincidentally, the tech world has seemed especially excited about digital content these past three months (just check out my delicious feed specific to e-books). With dozens of new e-reader devices, new e-reader software, new content deals, Amazon Kindle sales records, etc. etc., are we gearing up for a year where digital books really take off?

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