Video: Microsoft's 12 Milestone Moments of 2012

Video: Microsoft's 12 Milestone Moments of 2012; Behind Bing Homepage Images; Exploring Windows Phone 8 SDK; Bing Maps SDK for Windows Store; New in Windows Phone 8 Gaming Experience

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There's no question that it's been a momentous year at Microsoft. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, announced its family of Surface PCs, showcased a new version of Microsoft Office and released "Halo 4."

As 2012 winds down, the Redmond company posted a video and slideshow titled "12 milestone Microsoft moments from 2012," highlighting how Microsoft has built its devices and services foundation for the year ahead.

The list include: "Introducing of Kinect for Windows; Zeus Botnet Cybercrime Bust; SQL Server 2012 Launch; 'New' Bing; Unveiling the Surface, new Office 2013; Windows Server 2012; Windows 8; Windows Phone 8; Employee Giving Campaign; Xbox All-in-One Entertainment; 'Halo 4' Hits Stores."

In another video, Stepahnie Horstmanshof and Kristin Dean of the team behind the Bing home page images recently spoke at the PSFK conference in San Francisco about their work.

The pair talk about the introduction of video home pages, panoramic images and included a competition for the audience to select one of 3 images that would appear as the homepage on November 9th.

Another video avialable today, gives an overview of the Bing Maps SDK for Windows Store apps, and takes you through all the steps you need to display your location on a map in a C# Windows Store app using the Bing Maps for Windows Store apps SDK.

"Simple clear instructions take you from signing up for a Trial or Basic Windows Store app Bing Maps key [also see for more details about key types] to creating the project and adding the map - it's all there and you can rewind and review as much as you need as well as check out the detailed written tutorial steps," Microsoft wrote. And if you want to go straight to the code, you can get it here

Check the video here.

In this one hour "Exploring the Windows Phone 8 SDK" video, Join Nico Vermeir walks through the new features of the new Windows Phone platform. You will learn about the new emulator, working with different screen resolutions, connectivity between devices, in-app purchases, the speed improvements and many more new features.

NikeFuel Station now uses Kinect. AKQA and onformative used Kinect sensors to enable consumers to immerse themselves in an installation that creates a 3D particle mirror of their body. Watch it all in the video below:

Lastly, in a blog post Microsoft shows off the new gaming experience in Windows Phone 8. Microsoft has re-designed the Games Hub, allowed for integration with Xbox SmartGlass via an app, and made some developer-friendly enhancements to the operating system. Microsoft believes Windows Phone 8 is the ideal choice for gamers.

Microsoft has re-designed the Games Hub to feature the Xbox pane, which used to be called Xbox LIVE. This is where gamers can see their avatar, Gamerscore, subscription level, achievements, and avatar closet. The Xbox pane takes up two full screens and there are even tiles for Xbox SmartGlass, Friends, and Games Store, with more tiles appearing at any time. Microsoft has also changed the name of the Requests pane to Notifications and will only display when you have notifications and only showcase Xbox messages, friend/game requests, beacons, and game notices.

There is also integration with the Xbox SmartGlass app. "Try searching for a game on your phone, then simply tap in the SmartGlass app to play it on the Xbox. Same goes for music and video - you can play, pause, skip, and adjust the volume on stuff coming from your Xbox directly from your Windows Phone," Microsoft stated in the official blog post.

Best of all, Microosft has made it so developers can code apps and games for Windows Phone 8, while coding simultaneously for other platforms, requiring less cross-platform changes.

New Windows Phone 8 Games Hub

Windows Phone 8 Xbox SmartGlass app