Weekend Reading: April 22nd Edition – Microsoft & Nokia finalize a mobile partnership and Bing helps you sift through those daily deals

Lots of news coming out of Microsoft this week, including the signing of the Microsoft-Nokia deal first announced on Feb. 11th and a new feature in the fast-growing Bing search engine designed to help people sift through and find the best daily deals available.

Microsoft and Nokia cement new partnership. Microsoft and Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia announced on Thursday the signing of a definitive agreement on a partnership that will result in a new global mobile ecosystem, utilizing the very complementary assets of both companies. Completed ahead of schedule, the definitive agreement is consistent with the joint announcement made on February 11. For more detail, read this post on the Official Microsoft Blog and watch this video with Waldemar Sakalus from Nokia and Matt Bencke from Microsoft.

Find the right daily deals with Bing. Groupon. LivingSocial. Tippr. With all these daily deal sites, it’s hard for people to keep up. Never fear, Bing is here! Bing now provides a service that makes it easier to make local deal decisions, helping people to save time and money. Bing mobile deals — available at m.bing.com — aggregates many of the Web’s hottest local deals, including deals from Groupon, LivingSocial and Tippr, and gives people one-spot access to more than 200,000 local coupons in more than 14,000 cities in the U.S. Check out this press release and this post on the Bing Search Blog for more information.

Oh, and one more Bing thing. On Wednesday at the Where 2.0 conference in San Jose, Calif., Microsoft Distinguished Engineer (and Bing Maps and Mobile Architect) Blaise Aguera y Arcas demonstrated Microsoft’s future vision of mapping and visualization called Read / Write World. The Read/Write World is a project to index, unify, and connect of the world’s geo-linked media. Read this Bing Maps Blog post and this Next at Microsoft Blog post for more detail on the new project.

Switching to Hotmail made easy. The folks at Hotmail believe that your e-mail belongs to you, not to the company that runs your service, and it should be easy to try out a new service and switch if that service works better for you. That’s why they make it easy to upgrade to Hotmail from your old service, and easy to access all the data that belongs to you with powerful, easy-to-use features like mail forwarding and free POP access. Read this April 19th post on the Windows Live Blog to see how Hotmail puts you in control of your e-mail, and this April 19th post on the Windows Experience Blog for a personal account of someone who switched from Yahoo! Mail to Hotmail.

The boys of summer are back on MSN Mobile. FOX Sports on MSN Mobile is celebrating the start of the 2011 season with this mantra: Give baseball fans the best mobile experience possible. New upgrades to the MLB site of FOX Sports on MSN Mobile  will keep fans on top of the game. Besides slick, new swipe-able navigation, an expanding search box with auto-suggest for ease-of-use, and full-screen slide shows, video and photo galleries that are being introduced all across the MSN Mobile platform, the newly renovated MLB section has plenty to offer. Read this April 19th post on the MSN Blog for the rest of the upgrades.

Why the “Internet of Things” is changing enterprise IT. “The Internet of Things is a theory we developed at MIT to describe a state where the physical objects around us are interconnected by a network,” Dr. Abel Sanchez of MIT’s Geospacial Data Center said Wednesday. “Now billions of things can be tracked, or can gather and process data, or can provide a service — and then through the cloud, all these things seamlessly interact.” Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center to learn more about how “the Internet of Things” is changing enterprise IT.

Microsoft gets behind the Startup America Partnership. Microsoft announced Wednesday its support for the Startup America Partnership by making the benefits of the Microsoft BizSpark program easily accessible to Startup America Partnership’s qualified software startups. BizSpark is part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program, which focuses on solving societal challenges and creating opportunity through jobs, innovation and philanthropy. Through Unlimited Potential, Microsoft also supports the entrepreneurial student developer community with its Imagine Cup and Microsoft DreamSpark student programs.

Ten things to do today for a greener tomorrow. Recycle electronics properly. Buy a laptop instead of a desktop. Work from home. Migrate business applications to the cloud. These are just a few in a list of things you can do to help lessen human impact on the environment. Need more ideas? Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Also, Microsoft recently announced it has made the switch to 100 percent recycled paper, which you can read more about on the Software Enabled Earth Blog.

Microsoft's Facebook hits 500,000. Recently, Microsoft's Facebook site reached the 500,000 fan mark. As of this writing, the site now has 534,847 fans, and we want that number ot keep on growing. Go take a look and tell us what you think, and don't forget to check out the Big Box of Awesome sweepstakes.

And that, as they say, is a wrap. Head on back here next Friday for another edition of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog