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Weekend Recap: Cortana in Europe, Xbox One vs PS4, new Windows Phone 8.1 Dev Preview build, and more

Weekend Recap: Cortana in Europe, Xbox One vs PS4, new Windows Phone 8.1 Dev Preview build, and more

This week has been quite interesting in the world of Microsoft. We’ve covered a lot over the past week and chances are you most likely missed an important piece of news. Let’s take a look back in a feature we call “Weekend Recap,” highlighting the popular stories from the past week.

Last week, word leaked out that Microsoft was set to buy mobile email startup Acompli. Microsoft eventually made the announcement official. The deal, said to be “north of $200 million”, will bring Acompli’s set of iOS and Android mobile email apps to the Redmond company. These apps work with Google and Microsoft’s email services.

As the years pass, more and more legacy features in Office are being discontinued. Following Clippy’s footsteps, Clip Art sees a similar fate as Microsoft has replaced those old-school goofy images with Bing-powered image results.

Weekend Recap: Cortana in Europe, Xbox One vs PS4, new Windows Phone 8.1 Dev Preview build, and more

Earlier this week, former Windows Phone manufacturer Huawei said ‘nobody made money’ with Windows Phone. Quite a bold statement indeed on their part. Speaking of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview update (build 8.10.14219) rolled out to developers this past week, enabling Cortana in Europe. VLC Beta was also finally made available to Beta testers on Windows Phone.

There is no denying that Microsoft’s Xbox console and Sony’s PlayStation console have been bitter rivals for years now. With the PS4 beating the Xbox One in sales thus far since launch, except for the fact that the Xbox One was popular during Black Friday, Microsoft’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer has taken it to Twitter to wish PlayStation a happy 20th birthday — a classy move on his part.

Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals for 2014 is about to start on December 8th and if this promotion is anything like it was last year, expect to see some fantastic deals on various products. Last year, Microsoft offered the Dell Venue 8 Pro for $99, which was an amazing price at the time.

Unfortunately, earlier this week, a technical glitch on Microsoft’s end caused many Xbox Live Indie Games developers to go unpaid. The glitch has only affected indie games on the Xbox 360, as Xbox One developers enrolled in the [email protected] program have all received their third-quarter payments on time. 

Weekend Recap: Cortana in Europe, Xbox One vs PS4, new Windows Phone 8.1 Dev Preview build, and more

Top story of the week

Unveiled as a US-only feature for Microsoft’s mobile operating system Windows Phone 8.1 earlier this year, the digital voice assistant Cortana has learned many more languages since. A few months ago, Microsoft made the service available in the United Kingdom, China, and India, and earlier this week the company added a few more languages to the mix. 

The company announced on Friday that Cortana will now work in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. The service, for now, is only available to the Windows Phone Developer Preview program users, but will soon make its way to the stable build as well. 

Stay tuned for another week of exciting Microsoft news!

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