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 big news of the week is the unveiling of Windows 10 and the release of Windows 10 Technical Preview. You can head over here to check out our dedicated Windows 10 page and read our entire collection of Windows 10 related news. You can also follow along to the latest Windows 10 news, editorials, and how-to’s by bookmarking this page.
Unveiled back at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Microsoft’s 5-inch ‘affordable flagship’ Lumia 830 is now available in the UK. The Lumia 830 will also be available on Bell and Rogers in Canada. The budget-friendly Lumia 530, on the other hand, has hit retail in the US and will be carried by T-Mobile and Cricket Wireless. India also saw the launch of the Lumia 830 and Lumia 730 this past week.
According to an interview with Bloomberg TV, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates apparently believes that Microsoft’s Office productivity suite is in need of dramatic improvements, and that it should be the software giant’s top priority to make that happen. He noted that “that’s the kind of thing that I’m trying to make sure they move fast on”, noting at his involvement in the effort.
Microsoft’s Project Spark is a ‘game’ in which you can makes games. It has been in a public beta for half a year and is finally ready for an official release — on October 7th for Windows 8 and the Xbox One. Speaking of Xbox One, Microsoft and BesTV managed to sell almost 100,000 consoles at over 4,000 retail stores over the first few days in China during the console’s launch.
After numerous delays, VLC for Windows 8.1 was finally made available to the Windows Store. Flipboard for Windows Phone also joined the app party, but left out support for 512MB devices. Flipboard for Windows Phone also created mixed feelings with Windows Phone users due to the fact that it did not support ‘flipping.’
Microsoft rolled out updates to the Bing app suite for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, dropping the Bing branding in favor of the new MSN brand. On top of that, the Bing Finance app is now known as MSN Money.
Earlier this week, Microsoft launched new Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses. The new plans separate offline tools from online tools into two plans and offer a third plan with both. Microsoft also unveiled Sway, a new multimedia presentation tool, which uses simple inputs and easy drag and drop functionality to create well designed presentations.
On the hardware front, Microsoft has launched Portable Power, a power bank which packs in a 6,000mAh battery, and looks a lot similar to the DC-16 Universal Charger that Nokia launched several months ago. To put the power capacity in perspective, the 6,000mAh battery when fully powered should be able to charge a Lumia 520, which comes with 1430mAh, four times, and still have some juice left.
Microsoft also unveiled this past week that since announcing free Windows licensing for devices smaller than nine inches, the Redmond giant has added 50 new manufacturers who’ve started making Windows and Windows phone devices. In Microsoft’s latest Windows Store trends report for developers, the company is strongly recommending the use of in-app purchases.
Microsoft would also like to remind you that ‘selfie violence’ is not necessary. Use a Lumia 730 or Lumia 735 to stop the violence.
Samsung is finally ready to ditch its productivity suite in favor of Microsoft Word. The company has announced that it will start using Word throughout its offices from January 1, 2015.
HP unveiled new Windows 8.1-powered tablets in the Stream family. These new devices start at an amazing and cheap price point of $99. The HP Stream line is intended to be an affordable, as well as a thin-and-light device in today’s Windows laptop/tablet market.
Microsoft has been opening up brand new retail stores across the United States all year long, but one thing has been missing. Microsoft does not have a flagship retail store. This all changes as Microsoft has confirmed that they are setting up shop at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City for the company’s flagship Microsoft Store.
That’s all for this edition of Weekend Recap. Stay tuned for another week of exciting news.