Last Minute Gift Ideas from Microsoft | New Years Resolutions and Trends

Last Minute Gift Ideas from Microsoft | New Years Resolutions and Trends

I am writing as part of the Microsoft Bloggers ambassador program. All opinions are my own.

It’s getting down to the wire here and I, among hoards of many other people, were out shopping late last night.


I would much rather be snuggled up on my couch with my kitty beside a roaring fire and twinkling lights.

Instead, I was greeted with empty spaces on shelves, crowded aisles and grumpy shoppers.

I am so over it.

So… I took to the internet and realized that it’s not too late!

Last Minute Gifts You Can Send FAST

Did you know 25% of gift cards are sold in the last four days before Christmas? If you’re like me… you could use some help with last minute gifts. That’s where Microsoft’s digital gift cards some in handy. A great stocking stuffer or holiday gift exchange present, Microsoft’s digital gift cards allow users to purchase digital credit for apps, games, music, movies and TV shows on Windows and Xbox using the digital gift cards website/app. Once a digital gift card design is selected, you simply provide the email of the person being sent the gift card and the amount is applied to the receiver’s Microsoft account when delivered. You can even schedule digital Microsoft gift cards in advance so that they go out on Christmas morning!

New Year, New You

Maybe you are finished shopping. Maybe you are like me sitting here wishing you hadn’t eaten those last two cookies yesterday and feeling blah and bloated.

It’s not too early to start on New Year’s Resolutions.

  • Resolution #1 – Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle (and lose those 5lbs)
    • Just in time for the new year, Microsoft has launched our first fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band on the Microsoft Health Platform. It’s is the perfect tool that can easily help you maintain your healthy resolutions.
    • The device tracks your heart rate, steps, calorie burn and sleep quality. Using the Microsoft Health platform, the Band helps you live healthier by providing actionable insights based on data gathered from the fitness devices and apps that you use every day.
    • The band goes beyond a traditional fitness tracker, helping you be more productive with email previews image004and calendar alerts – right on your wrist.
    • Available now for just $199, the device works across iPhone, Android, and Windows Phones.

I already have my weight loss plans set for my New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately I am sill floundering on what to do to help my organizational skills.

  • Resolution #2: Be productive and get organized
    • Cortana is the essential tool for bringing more productivity to life!  Whether you’re launching a new business or looking to spend less time on everyday tasks, Cortana acts as your personal assistant, so you can focus on what’s important.
    • Only Cortana provides “planners” for the morning, evening and when you’re travelling somewhere new, to help you prepare.
    • She also lets you set time based reminders (e.g. take my vitamins in the morning) and location based reminders (e.g. pick up milk at grocery store).
  • Resolution #3: Stay connected with friends and family (and don’t skip the gym!)

o   Want to do aerobics with your friends in different towns? Rather than drive somewhere to exercise together in person, prop up your laptops and try out Skype Group Video Calling, part of Skype Premium. Group Video Calling will allow you and up to nine other friends to exercise together through video call, making your daily aerobics routine fun and social! If you just want one work-out buddy, try out Skype-to-Skype video calling, which is a free and easy solution.

o   Are you always on the road and as a result, constantly missing your personal trainer sessions? With Skype video calling on your iPhone, iPad, Android, tablet or laptop, you can now work out with a trainer from the convenience of your hotel room, home, and more! No matter where you go in 2015, Skype can go with you and ensure you keep up your fitness routine. In fact, we’ve seen an increase in the number of trainers now offering their services via Skype video call, such as self-proclaimed Virtual Personal Trainer, Marc Thompson, who can easily help you with your workout routine, no matter your location!

  • Resolution #4: Use mobile apps on-the-go to achieve wellness goals
    • MSN Health & Fitness – You’ll find the one-stop spot for a healthier you, with an app that combines nearly 1,000 exercise videos, a nutritional and medical reference guide, and diet trackers to help you meet your wellness goals.
    • Bodeefit – With workout timers, daily workouts, workout logs and movement descriptions, this Windows app makes it easy for anyone to get in great shape, even if you don’t have access to equipment!
    • image005Juice Recipes – Learn how to incorporate high-nutrient ingredients into delicious and healthy juices is easy! Start with sweet, refreshing, nutritious ingredients such as berries and carrots, then slowly add nutritious leafy greens and earthy vegetables to gain the maximum health benefits.
    • MSN Food and Drink – provides instant access to over 21,000 recipes and first hand tips from world-renowned chefs.  And, when you are in the kitchen preparing your healthy snacks that could be a little messy, the app can switch into hands-free mode.  With these gesture controls, you can create your perfect, healthy meal without ever touching your screen.
    • Mint – Let this year be the year you get your finances in order with Mint on Windows and Windows Phone. This app lets you set budgets and track financial goals with ease.
  • Bing Predicts the Hottest Trends of 2015

    This year, the team at Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, gathered together to bring us a peek at what 2015 has in store for us. From the top travel destinations to the hottest tech and even who will take home Grammy’s and Super Bowl rings in 2015, you can check out all of the predictions at and learn more on the Bing blog.


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