Weekend Recap: Microsoft Band unveiled, Windows 8.1 share goes up, cheaper Xbox One, and more

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Weekend Recap: Microsoft Band unveiled, Windows 8.1 share goes up, cheaper Xbox One, 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 at the past seven days in a feature we call "Weekend Recap."

The biggest news from this past week was the sudden unveiling of Microsoft BandThe fitness band, which is called Microsoft Band, is available for $199 and runs on Microsoft's newest platform called Microsoft Health.

Microsoft Band is not just a fitness band that gives you data on calories you have burned or your heart rate. In fact, the device also lets you keep your phone in your pocket by offering you quick access to your emails and text messages. Taking things a step further, the Microsoft Band offers Cortana and productivity notifications.

For those that did not know, Samsung has been paying Microsoft as part of an Android licensing agreement. In fact, Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion dollars last year as part of the agreement. Now, Samsung believes the collaboration with Microsoft on the company's Windows Phone platform has ended, since Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services division makes them a 'direct hardware competitor.'

Weekend Recap: Microsoft Band unveiled, Windows 8.1 share goes up, cheaper Xbox One, and more

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore firmly believes that Microsoft is nearly closing the 'app gap' that has plagued the image of Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system for quite some time now. Belfiore was at the TechEd Europe conference earlier this week, touting the Windows Phone platform as an enterprise mobility solution.

According to new data from Net Marketshare, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is seeing record improvement in their market share as Windows XP hits new low. In fact, the combined market share of Windows 8 and 8.1 rose above 16 percent, the best figure since the inception of the Windows 8.x operating systems. On the Windows Phone side of things, Windows Phone 8.1 is running on 46.7 percent of Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft could soon launch a smaller-sized, cheaper Xbox One gaming console. The speculation comes after chip maker AMD developed a smaller, cooler, and cheaper version of the CPU found inside the Xbox One console, as mentioned in a LinkedIn account of AMD’s senior manager of SOC.

Speaking of a price reduction, Microsoft announced this past week that it is slashing $50 off the Xbox One and Kinect-less Xbox One starting November 2nd. This is a limited-time promotional offer, and valid in the United States only.

Weekend Recap: Microsoft Band unveiled, Windows 8.1 share goes up, cheaper Xbox One, and more

Earlier this week we learned that Microsoft had shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios. As part of the 18,000 total Microsoft employee reduction (with 3,000 people losing their jobs this past week), Xbox Studios' head Nancy Tellem and executive vice president Jordan Levin were also let go. Interestingly enough, Microsoft's recent restructuring has been stressing out its employees, according to a report.

Surface Pro 3 owners were treated to a new system update on October 28th, offering a number of improvements, including fixes for various WiFi adapter issues, especially in case when the system resumes from sleep. Furthermore, the update improves system stability, adds a status for future system firmware updates, and more.

We also learned this past week that Office 16, Microsoft's next productivity suite, is slated for release in 2015.

That's all for this edition of Weekend Recap. Stay tuned for another week of exciting news. Don't forget that you can stay up to date with the latest Windows 10 news, features, and tutorials, by checking out our dedicated Windows 10 page.

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