As ever, this week found us looking to the future as rumors about Windows 9 and Office 2015 came to light. Details are a little thin on the ground, but the suggestion is that we could see not only Windows 9, but also Windows 365 — and a preview release could be made available as soon as the middle of next year. Of course, for the time being, most of us are of using Windows 8.1, but if you’re yet to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update, the deadline has now been extended into June.
Fans of Office have been treated to a teasing glimpse of what to expect from Office Gemini — the touch-optimized edition of Office — as a series of PDFs leaked showing off the interface. There’s plenty going on with the current version of Office, and Microsoft unveiled a batch of new features for Office 365 including Office Graph, and security is set to be boosted with enhanced encryption.
Business users can also take advantage of updates to OneDrive, and Updates to Outlook.com mean that it is now possible to use advanced rules. Office for iPad is proving to be a massive success, with an impressive 27 million downloads since launch.
There has been quite a lot of Xbox news this week, starting out with the May update which rolled out to beta testers before getting a full release and made improvements to audio settings. It’s not often you get something for free, but the removal of the Xbox Live Gold requirement means that all Xbox owners can take advantage of streaming services for free — but there’s no need to cancel an existing subscription if you took it out just for streaming, as refunds are available.
In other Xbox news, the Xbox One is to be made available without Kinect, and owners of the console can smile as they learn that they’re using less power during gaming than PS4 gamers. Games to look forward to in the coming months include Far Cry 4 in November and Halo 5 — although there’s a slightly longer wait for this second title. Sadly it’s not coming to Xbox 360, although there will be Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4 to cater for your Halo needs.
Of course this is the week in which we may find out more about the Surface Mini and Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 3 name leaked and rumors are rife that it could be a 12-incher. If the leaked specs for the Surface Pro 3 are anything to go by, we’re in for something of a treat — could the new devices have touch-sensitive bezels? Whatever is on the cards, the event will be live-streamed if you want to see it live.
Watch this space and we’ll bring you the news as it breaks!