charity

Nonprofit organizations require support in numerous forms, including both monetary and hardware. Los Angeles city council has refurbished and donated a total of 8,000 Windows XP machines after an upgrade program taking public sector workers up to Windows 7 was completed back in April. Having the PCs in storage and not in use was a burden for the council, easily remedied by refurbishing the units and handing them to charities.

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Has your mother ever said that play those darn video games will never save the planet? No, she hasn’t? Oh, well – Zoo Tycoon is teaming up with Microsoft and fellow gamers to do just that. The virtual zoo community game that launched on Xbox One will be helping to save endangered animals through a selection of upcoming community challenges.

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Back in August, we learned about a special edition white model of the Xbox One console that was going to be given to employees working in Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division as part of a gift package. Now Microsoft is offering one lucky (and financially well-off) eBay bidder a chance to own the only white Xbox One unit to be offered to the general public. The auction will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity geared toward helping wounded service members and their families.

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It's known that Microsoft has constructed white Xbox One units for employees who worked on the next generation console, but UK charity GamesAid has listed an Xbox One on eBay - and it's in white. The auction includes the console itself (adorned with "I Made This" to the right of the disc tray), along with a special edition controller, Kinect sensor and headset.

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Children In Need is the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) charity for the UK. Kicking off in 1980, the charity has raised more than £600 million for disabled children and young people. The highlight of each year is a "telethon" aired on BBC One with celebrities and well-known faces.

Along with the telethon and other activities, an official Children In Need single is also selected. This year it's Ellie Goulding's turn with How Long Will I Love You (originally performed by The Waterboys). Why is this news? The official music video is shot entirely with a Nokia Lumia 1020.

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Outlook.com recently celebrated its one year anniversary. They did so by giving away free SkyDrive storage and Skype credit to early adopters of the platform. The team at Outlook.com hasn’t slowed down since launching over a year ago. Continual updates to the platform have made it a favorite among many users. The latest feature is also news worthy and worth highlighting – Skype is now inside Outlook.com for a select number of markets.

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HTC and T-Mobile US have both today announced a partnership to provide children with life threatening illnesses and their families the opportunity to visit the Give Kids The World Village (givekidstheworld.org) and spend some time at the nonprofit "storybook" resort. Starting this Friday (November 23rd) through December 31st, those who purchase a HTC 8X from a T-Mobile authorised retailer will have the option to donate $1 of their purchase to Give The Kids World.

This is to help the donation pool to grow up to $75,000 and unlock the potential to provide an invaluable opportunity for a multitude of families. It's fitting that a Windows Phone 8 handset is used in this promotion for the charity as it sports Kid's Corner - a unique feature that enables parents to control exactly what their children have access to on the mobile device.

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America's leading domestic hunger-relief charity Feeding America has ditched Blackberry support and is on its way to Windows Phone. The organization already makes use of Microsoft products including Office 2010 and Lync Server 2010, so the move makes sense with further integration possible while mobile. The Lync Windows Phone app and Office Hub are good examples of this. 

The move not only connects already utilised services, but the charity also calculated that savings could be found with the avoidance of costly annual server maintenance expenses. The cost reductions also hit devices with a 24% price drop per Windows Phone, with each smartphone improving access to information and services that employees rely on for productivity.

Kevin Lutz, vice president of Technology at Feeding America, had the following to comment on the Windows Phone adoption:

"Windows Phone provides a level of integration with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 and Lync Server 2010 that are not available with the iPhone, iPad or Android."

A feel good Tuesday story. Check out the press release after the break.

Source: Microsoft; thanks Morris for the tip!

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Team Lifelens, United States. Team members (not in order): Tristan Gibeau, Cy Khormaee, Wilson To, Jason Wakizaka and Helena Xu.

We've mentioned Team LifeLens before way back in April 2011. The student group won the Microsoft Imagine Cup back in July for Windows Phone with their app for detecting Malaria. The app itself is part of a package that includes the software, hardware lens and computer vision analysis tools and can literally be used for live-Malaria testing on individuals. The data can then be sent "to the cloud" for data banking and further statistical analysis--great for tracking epidemics and the like.

Now, Microsoft is going further with the Imagine Cup project by committing $3 million dollars to the newly created "...three-year...competitive grant program for student technology and social entrepreneurs". Each of the winning teams were given $75 thousand dollars to help get their project to market in addition to

" ...software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, nongovernmental organization partners and business partners.

You can watch the video to get an idea of how the app works. It does truly seem useful and it's great to see students (and Microsoft) working towards such a worthy cause using Windows Phones. Check out the other team winners announced yesterday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland with Bill Gates at the Imagine Cup site.

A big congratulations to Team LifeLens and all the Imagine Cup Grant winners!

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Cnet's Molly Wood takes WP7 for a spin

Last week or so, Cnet's Molly Wood was lamenting her experience with Android on her Twitter account. Brandon Watson noticed and like Scott Adams, offered her a Mango device (HTC Trophy) to try out. If she doesn't like it, then he'll donate $1,000 to her choice of charity.

Since then, she has received the phone and in her first video on the issue, she shares her thoughts. Now at first take, we wanted to roll our eyes at some of the complaints, but then we remembered to step down from our tech-riddled high horse and treat her criticisms as valid--because if anything, her initial experience is what you would expect your non-techy friends to be like, warts and all. So while it's true that 'Words with Friends' is not available on Windows Phone but we do have 'Words by Post', not everyone will see them as the same. C'est la vie.

We're not sure if we're going to cover all of Molly's thoughts on Windows Phone, but it is interesting to see her perspective. And before you laugh her off, remember, she's more like your average consumer than not.

ps If the right video doesn't play, just go to the Cnet. Their player is a bit...lacking.

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Daisy Fuentes (model and TV personality should you not know -- anybody remember her on MTV?) has recently tweeted about Windows Phone pledging to donate $500 to the Nancy Davis Foundation, should she publish a tweet and attach a photo. Which she (thankfully) has done. And we're perfectly OK with her doing so without actually showing a Windows Phone.

It's Nice to see Windows Phone (and Microsoft) back organizations such as this, especially after Bill Gates set up his incredible charity.

Oh, and after the break, a picture of an actual Windows Phone, just to cover all the bases.

Source: Twitter

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