If you missed it: Windows 9 loses the Charms bar, Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 preview released, and more


If you missed it: Windows 9 loses the Charms bar, Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 preview released, 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 recap the week in our weekly “In case you missed it” post.

Business users on Windows 8.1 are required to move to Windows 8.1 Update 1 by Tuesday, August 12.  Incidentally, Microsoft will release its monthly Patch Tuesday (“August” update) on the same day. If business users fail to get their systems upgraded to Windows 8.1 Update 1, they will not be able to snag any further security patches from the company.

Images of the upcoming Lumia 720 successor, codenamed Superman, popped up this past week, giving us a glimpse of the design the handset will come with. The upcoming Lumia 730 is rumored to feature a 4.7-inch display boasting a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, with the processing power coming from a quad-core processor of unknown clock speed. There’s a chance we may get to see the Snapdragon 400 chipset make its way to the handset, but it’s all speculation right now.

Recently, Microsoft updated their “Microsoft By The Numbers” page revealing some interesting information about the performance of various services. According to the data, the Windows Phone Store has surpassed 300,000 apps, with hundreds of apps being added on a daily basis.

Starting January 12th of 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer will be supported by Microsoft, based on what operating system you are running. For example, if for some reason you are running Windows Vista SP2, Microsoft will only be supporting Internet Explorer 9. Internet Explorer 8, on the other hand, has been killed off, with Microsoft no longer providing support for the old browser.

Microsoft also offered up a bit of nostalgia, by showcasing the company’s first website from twenty years ago. Microsoft also tipped local police of a child porn collector who was using OneDrive to store the images. Microsoft claims to have done this by using “automated technologies to detect child pornography or abusive behaviour that might harm the system, our customers, or others”, which is also stated in their terms and conditions.

Microsoft is rumored to open its first ever New York City retail store on Fifth Ave, going head to head against Apple’s glass cube store, which just so happens to be nearby. 

As part of an anti-monopoly investigation, Microsoft offices in China were raided by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) last week. The raid evidently didn’t stop there. According to a Chinese anti-trust regulator, new raids were conducted on Microsoft and its partners this past week. To make matters worse, Microsoft was tempting Chinese factor workers who help build devices like the Lumia 630 to quit by offering them a Lumia 630. It’s common for companies to offer value packs when quitting, but uncommon for that value pack to contain the very product you help build at work.

Microsoft rolled out Skype 2.20 for Windows Phone earlier this week, giving users the ability to send photos to one or more contacts as well as the ability to receive them from iPhone and Windows Phone 8/8.1 users. As for users on any other platforms, a link to an image will be shared when you send or receive an image from the recipient.

Microsoft is showcasing a video that highlight’s Yammer’s plush blue mascot ‘Yammy’ soaring above the earth. Microsoft attached Yammy onto a weather balloon with a camera to record Yammy’s adventures in space.. because, why not?

Microsoft also announced that it will launch the Surface Pro 3 tablet in 25 more regions. Launched in May earlier this year, the new Surface tablet is only available in US, Japan and Canada. But soon that will change, as starting August 28, the tablet will become available in Australia, China, United Kingdom and 22 other places.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 and Windows 8.1 Update 2

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 Preview for Developers was made available earlier this week, along with Cortana Alpha in India, Australia, and Canada. Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 brings along new features, including Internet sharing over Bluetooth, full Cortana support on lock screen, along with support for accessory apps — especially smartwatches. Unfortunately, the update was not made available to all Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft officially squashed all the rumors that suggested existence of ‘Windows 8.1 Update 2.’ Instead, the company will deliver security patches and small tweaks through its monthly Patch Tuesday update. Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 August Update during August’s Patch Tuesday.

More details on Windows 9 surfaced this past week. We learned that Windows 9 (Threshold) will include Ubuntu-like virtual desktop spaces, and the removal of the Charms Bar.

Congrats, you are now you are all caught up with this past week’s important news stories.