88 Acres How Microsoft Built the City of the Future; Files to Trademark 'Blink' Term

How a team of Microsoft engineers built the 88 acres of "Redmond Campus". IE's new "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" web experience. Applies for 'Blink' patent.

Microsoft expands its storytelling with a new site, a home for for longer form storytelling. Today, the company published "88 Acres: How Microsoft Quietly Built the City of the Future" - a story of how a scrappy team of Microsoft engineers quietly built its Redmond, Wash. campus.

"The campus which was in 1986, a grass- and forest-covered 88-acre plot of land in a sleepy, one-stoplight suburb of Seattle. Today, it spans 500 acres and 125 buildings. There's a soccer field and cricket pitch, miles of wooded walking paths - and 14.9 million square feet of office space and labs that function as an interconnected "smart city" thanks to an "Internet of Things meets Big Data" software solution developed by a small team of Microsoft facilities engineers," Microsoft wrote.

Head over to www.microsoft.com/stories and read on…

Story of 88 Acre: Microsoft Redmond Campus

In other Microsoft news, Internet Explorer & Lionsgate team up on "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" web experience.

"Through the Hunger Games Explorer, fans are immersed in the bleak world of Hunger Games. They can track every development of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, including tweets, exclusive images and videos, and then share their thoughts and excitement with others around the world creating a global conversation," the IE team wrote.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit theaters on Nov. 22.

Microsoft has reportedly filed a trademark application with the USPTO on April 9th, for the term Blink--following Google's April 3rd announcement of a new rendering engine for Chromium dubbed "Blink."

Microsoft back in February had released a Windows Phone 8 app called BLINK, which has nothing to do with the internet or WebKits.

It could be just a coincidence, because it only has been less than a week since the announcement, and Microsoft could have been planning this patent for a while, but the only reason that it's odd is because this "doesn't typically file for trademarks for Microsoft Research projects unless they 'graduate' and become full-fledged offerings," which typically does not really happen.

Microsoft's recentyly shot a TV commercial for its "Bing It On Challenge" in the U.S. city Topeka, Kansas, where Google's ultrafast Internet connection "Google Fiber" is rolling out.

According to a report, the company plans to interview ordinary people about their search engine preferences and show that Bing is actually the better choice.

The first commercials will be aired in May.

Update 04/17: A new Windows Phone 8 television commercial highlights a feature called "Rooms" that helps you stay connected with groups of friends or family within your contact list.

"When a room is set up with a list of contacts, it allows users to easily share content quickly with the pre-defined list of individuals. The rooms saves users the hassle of having to manually add family members to share items, something that makes content sharing much faster with Windows Phone 8."