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Microsoft Champions Summit | Part One of Three

Microsoft Champions Summit | Part One of Three

Microsoft Champions Summit Group Shot

You may or may not know that this is my second year as a Windows Champion. This means that I work with Microsoft to bring you the latest and greatest regarding Windows 8 and other Microsoft products. Through the ambassador program, I was recently invited to Seattle to attend the Microsoft Champions Summit. It was my first time visiting Seattle, as well as my first time visiting the Microsoft campus. There was much fun to be had, and I learned many great things about Windows 8, Skype, Bing for Schools, and OneNote just to name a few. So much so that I decided to put it into a 3 part series.

Microsoft Champions Summit Group Shot

Part One:

The Champions Summit attendees had lovely accommodations at the beautiful Hotel Ballard, located in trendy Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. Below is a peek at my room which had an incredible view of the city. It was the perfect home base for the summit.

Microsoft Champions Summit - Hotel Ballard in Seattle

The summit included a trip to the Microsoft campus and the Microsoft research center. It was pretty amazing to be in the midst of so much creative and technological genius.

One of the things we talked about was how technology is being integrated into our everyday lives to work seamlessly among us, like elevators that know when you need a lift and open the door automatically. After stepping off the elevator we were greeted by adorable little guy.

Microsoft Champions Summit - Directions Robot at Microsoft Research Center

Not sure where you’re going? Just ask the Directions Robot, and he’ll give you directions. It’s pretty amazing! More very cool stuff from the research center is coming in posts 2 and 3 of this series.

Bing in the Classroom
On one of our summit days, we got to spend time hearing from various Microsoft team members and learning about what’s new with Microsoft products. The Bing team shared Bing in the Classroom with us which offers ad free searching for schools (Bing for Schools), a program to earn Surface tablets for your school, and digital literacy lessons.

We also learned about Bing Rewards that allows you to earn points as you search the web that can be redeemed for things like gift cards, magazine subscriptions and pizza delivery. They recently added $5 gift card to Toys “R” Us to the Rewards program, which could be used for freshening up your kid’s supply of sidewalk chalk and bubbles for summer.

Microsoft Champions Sumnmit - Xbox Fitness Demonstration

Xbox Fitness
The Xbox 360 team showed us a live demo of Xbox Fitness. After watching the demo, I was feeling pretty guilty about using “the weather” as an excuse for not exercising. Who know exercising in your living room could be so much fun? Using Kinect the Xbox tracks your movements, gives you feedback on your effort and encourages you during your journey. Also, with an Xbox Live Gold account you can search the content library for free to select your workout. There are so many options available!

There was so much to absorb on this trip, and I am eager to share it all with you. Stay tuned for posts 2 and 3 of this series!

Disclosure: Travel and accommodations provided by Microsoft.

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