Windows Central News

This last week of Windows Central has certainly been an interesting one. If you missed much of the news, or need a solid recap, make sure to catch our ICYMI series that goes up on Saturdays. Those articles tend to highlight all the big stories of the week, letting you catch up on things if you missed a day.

Perhaps two of our biggest stories have been the renewal of our Hidden Gems campaign and Microsoft engineers and developers lending a hand in our forums to talk all things Windows 10. For the first part, I'd like to quickly chat about something that will be controversial: the US/Canada-only nature of the sweepstakes.

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Help make Windows 10 even better by working with these Microsoft engineers and developers!

Besides announcing our forthcoming 12 Days of Hidden Gems sweepstakes next week, Windows Central is also proud to announce our Microsoft verified-employees program for our help forums!

Now, when you use our forums, there will be a small crew of Microsoft engineers to help answer your questions, especially about Windows 10. So how will you know they are legitimate? You can see a Microsoft badge with a verified check mark as seen below, to let you know you are dealing with an authentic Microsoft employee.

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Every week we do a fun photography contest in the Windows Central forums. Each week we go with a different theme and get so many good entries into the contest. But without fail we also have a handful of readers who aren't sure on how to submit their photos from Windows Phone into the forums. Here's how you can use the excellent forum app Tapatalk to enter our weekly photo contests!

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Although many of you land on our front page and just read the latest stories, Windows Central is much more than just the news. For instance, our sprawling support forums have over 250,000 registered members, 10K of which are online this morning, resulting in 1.3 million posts. Another unique and related area you may not know about is our 'Q&A' section.

As the name implies, Q&A (Forums.windowscentral.com/ask/) is a simple tool whereby you can ask a question on Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Microsoft, the Surface and more. Then, someone from the community attempts to answer the question, with the top response labeled 'Best Answer' for quick reference. All of this is done in a simple, clean, and easy to read format.

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ICYMI: October 25, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).

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This week saw some exciting changes around here. WPCentral became Windows Central, a big change that is evidence of many fun things to come. With that change comes a lot of rebrandings, and as I was looking around my office, I realized that I have a bunch of WPCentral items that need to go to make room for new Windows Central goodies. So this weekend, we're working on clearing the old things out!

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Welcome to Windows Central!

We have a new name! We began as WMExperts back in 2007 covering Windows Mobile, changed our name in late 2010 to WPCentral to reflect Microsoft's next chapter with Windows Phone. Today, we are once again moving forward with Windows Central.

The Number One Community For EVERYTHING Microsoft

It should be clear now that coming into 2015 there is just one Windows, running on the Surface, Xbox One, PCs, laptops and even your phone. At the urging of many of our loyal and active readers, over the last year we have steadily ramped up coverage — beyond our historical Windows Phone focus — to also cover Xbox, Surface, and general Microsoft news. The response to the expanded coverage has been excellent and this past year has also seen the site and our community grow by leaps and bounds. Amazingly, WPCentral is now not only the top Windows Phone site in the world, but we are also one of the top Microsoft sites too. The fact of the matter is if you own a Windows Phone, you are likely to possess (or be interested in) the growing ecosystem of Microsoft products.

We want to continue the momentum that's already underway and changing from WPCentral.com to WindowsCentral.com reflects our expanded mission (not to mention Microsoft recently dropped the Phone from the branding on new Windows phones). Our goal and mission is simple - we'll be working our hardest every single day to make this community and resource the best destination around for all users of Microsoft-based products.

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Last week we asked you to nominate your choice for best podcast app on Windows Phone. That post received nearly three hundred comments with many suggestions. We went through the comments to pull out some of the popular suggestions into a poll that you're going to take today. Go ahead and cast your vote for best podcast app on Windows Phone!

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ICYMI: October 18, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).

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There's so much good stuff on Xbox Music and Xbox Video. How do you keep up with what's new and worth checking out? You don't have to; we'll do that for you. Every Friday we'll grab the hottest albums and singles on Xbox Music. We'll also let you know what movies and television shows are out to watch on Xbox Video. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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What's the best podcast app on Windows Phone? That's the question we're asking you today. Daniel Rubino recently sat down for episode six of The Tech Informist podcast and popular podcast app Podcast Critter recently received a nice update. That made us start thinking about podcasts on Windows Phone. Which app is your go-to for podcasts?

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ICYMI: October 11, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).

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The Tech Informist is a relatively new podcast that focuses on tech news with informative guests. Mary Jo Foley was their first guest on episode one, and now our very own Daniel Rubino sat down for the sixth episode. Listen (or watch) as Daniel talks Windows 10, WPCentral and more with co-hosts JJ Hammond and Kevin Harvell.

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A few days ago, Windows Phone Central came to you, our dedicated audience, with the proposal of some new names for the site as we seek to expand our coverage heading into the Windows 10 era. At the time, we had three proposals, including Windows One, Windows United or 'something else'.

Let us check out the results and move to the next stage with a new survey!

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ICYMI: October 4, 2014

A lot can happen in a week. New apps join the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. Your favorite apps can get a big update with a new look or new features. Device rumors come and go. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).

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As our longtime readers know, here at WPCentral we've been covering a lot more than Windows Phone for the last few years. We recognize that a majority of our readership are Microsoft fans in general, so we've stretched our focus to include Microsoft platforms like the Xbox One. In fact, we've been covering the Xbox One since well before its launch last year.

You might also know that we're headed towards a name change to the site that reflects our broader focus. That's good, because we've also been ramping up our Xbox One coverage as of late. On top of best-in-class Windows Phone and reporting, we want this site to become one of your major destinations for Xbox One stories. Towards that end, we have big plans revolving around the Xbox One. That includes giving out free games and prizes every week, starting tonight! Keep reading for the full story.

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There's so much good stuff on Xbox Music and Xbox Video. How do you keep up with what's new and worth checking out? You don't have to; we'll do that for you. Every Friday we'll grab the hottest albums and singles on Xbox Music. We'll also let you know what movies and television shows are out to watch on Xbox Video. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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Today, Microsoft announced the next chapter in their OS story with Windows 10 or better known as one OS to rule them all. The new operating system, which won't officially debut until mid-2015 is meant for everything from a phone to a tablet to PC to even the Xbox One. It is truly a unifying, singular user experience as even the app Store is a one-stop for all devices.

Over the last year or so WPCentral aka Windows Phone Central has been undergoing many behind the scene changes, including more staff writers and an expansion of our coverage from Windows Phone to everything Microsoft. In hindsight, we knew where Microsoft was going with their Phone and desktop OS, so the slow ramp up made sense to us, though perhaps not always to our readership.

There is just one issue we have been thinking about for a long time: Our name.

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