Weekend recap: Windows Phone rebrand incoming, Siri vs Cortana, Surface Pro 3 sees huge demand, and more


Weekend recap: Windows Phone rebrand incoming, Siri vs Cortana, Surface Pro 3 sees huge demand, 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.”

Earlier this week, a confidential memo was uncovered, indicating that Microsoft is dropping the Windows Phone name, along with the Nokia name, in favor of something much more simplistic. The memo indicates that Microsoft plans to use Lumia and Windows as the new brand names. Leaked images of the supposed upcoming Lumia devices have surfaced onto the web, confirming the story, and also giving us a sneak peek at what these handsets could look like. 

The massively popular reading app, Flipboard, is all set for its arrival on Microsoft’s mobile operating system. It has been listed on the Windows Phone Store, although, you can’t install it just yet. We believe it is just a matter of time before this decent reading app becomes available for your handset.

Back at IFA 2014, Nokia unveiled a number of handsets, including the entry-level Lumia 730/735, as well as the mid-range flagship Lumia 830. AT&T may have scored the Lumia 830 recently, but it seems the budget-friendly Lumia 735 is heading to Verizon in the coming weeks.

According to Microsoft, 20% of Windows Phone developers have responded to at least one customer review, allowing the app rating to be increased by at least 1.2 stars. The company also revealed this past week that there have been 14 new OEMs with more than 22 Windows Phone devices announced in the last few months.

Microsoft is at it again and this time the company slams Siri in a creative and funny advertisement for Cotana. In the video, we are introduced to a group of people who are in a group therapy session talking about their relationship issues — with Siri. Yet another video advertisement was released from Microsoft showcasing Cortana as the better personal digital assistant when compared to Apple’s Siri. This video arrived just in time for the new Apple iPhone 6 unveiling.

The Surface Pro 3 has seen incredible demand in the few weeks that it has launched in the 25 markets outside of the US. However, there has led to some limitations on availability. According to Microsoft, the availability should be significantly improved in the “next week or two.” In related news, an NFL Announcer called the Surface Pro 2 an iPad on national TV.

Microsoft rolled out a firmware update for the Surface Pro 3, as part of September 2014 Patch Tuesday. No firmware updates were released for the company’s previous Surface models, such as the Surface, Surface 2, Surface Pro, and Surface Pro 2.

Rockstar revealed this past week that Grand Theft Auto 5, the game makers latest installment to the ‘GTA’ franchise will be arriving on Xbox One (and PS4) this November 18. Better yet, the port will include a few new features exclusive to next-generation consoles! Perhaps this game will help the Xbox One, considering that Sony’s PlayStation 4 has outpaced Microsoft’s Xbox One for the eighth straight month.

Earlier this month, we reported that Microsoft had increased OneDrive’s upload file size restrictions from 2 GB to an unknown size limit. Now, Microsoft has revealed new updates to OneDrive, along with the ability to upload files up to 10 GB in size.

Microsoft rolled out Office Delve, previously codenamed Oslo, for Office 365. Delve taps into Microsoft’s Office Graph machine learning database to display your most relevant documents, in an attempt to have information find you rather than you having to find information.

Microsoft rolled out a redesigned MSN.com earlier this week making the web experience much better than before. Microsoft will also rebrand its Bing mobile apps for Windows Phone, as well as iOS and Android.

On September 4th, it was revealed that Getty Images had filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in U.S. District Court targeting the newly released Bing Image Widget. Getty wanted the Bing Image Widget to be blocked, claiming that Microsoft had turned digital images into a free ‘clip art’ collection. In light of these allegations, Microsoft has taken down the Beta version of the Bing Image Widget.

Last but not least, we’ve had some major leadership changes here at WinBeta. Michael Archambault is now our new Managing Editor and is leading our team to become the best damn Microsoft news site period.