A lot can happen in a week. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle.
Between Windows news, hardware and software developments and Microsoft's fast-paced movements throughout the technology landscape, it's never easy to keep your hand on the pulse of technology. Not to mention everything that's going on right here at Windows Central!
Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).
Let's start out with some encouraging numbers about Windows 10. In less than one year, the OS is running on 270 million "active devices" that have logged over 75 billion user hours. That number includes more than 14% of all PCs worldwide.
Yes, Windows 10 is off to a strong start and a bright future. But what's even more exciting is what Microsoft revealed about the future of Windows 10 at Build 2016 this week.
This summer, the company will release the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which promises to be packed with tons of new features.
One upcoming change to the operating system will be a card-based UI for the Action Center and Cortana that offers up much more information than the current iteration. Microsoft offered a glimpse of the new Notification Center during a presentation, but did not go into detail.
We can expect to see more continuity between all of our devices as well. Windows 10 will be getting a feature like Apple's Handoff that will enable users to do things like start writing a document on their computer and pick up where they left off on another.
Notifications will also be mirrored on Windows 10 PCs, phones, and Android devices, complete with a Universal Dismiss option.
Windows Ink will make using your stylus more like writing with a pen and paper.
Linux fans will be excited to know that they soon be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10 within the operating system itself and not in a virtual machine. The Bash shell will also be integrated into future versions of Windows 10.
There are new developer options en route, too. They will be able to create "chaseable" Live Tiles on Windows 10 and Mobile that, when tapped, will take the user directly to the link that is displaying on the tile.
Toast notifications will be richer and more interactive, sporting pictures, more information, and more options.
And Microsoft plans on revamping the Windows 10 "All Apps" Start UI. They are enlisting Windows Insiders to offer up ideas on how to improve the design and make it more user-friendly.
Other notable items:
- Microsoft made a version of Windows 10 just for the Chinese government
- Microsoft releases Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14295 for the PC and Mobile to Slow Ring users
- Windows 10 version 1607 referenced in new documentation for UWP apps on Xbox One
- How to use DISM command-line utility to repair a Windows 10 image
- Mail is set to bring pop-out email viewing to Windows 10
- Upcoming Groove Music update will reportedly improve Windows 10 PC experience
- How to install extensions on Microsoft Edge Preview
- USAA Bank among the first to take advantage of biometrics in Edge on Windows 10 Anniversary Update
- Paid app upgrades are coming to the Windows Store
- Interactive Skype Bots arrive on Windows desktop with latest update
- ISO files for Windows 10 PC Insider preview build 14295 are now available
It was strike two for Microsoft's Tay, the AI Twitter chatbot designed to interact with young people online. Tay returned to the social media site after some sensitivity training, only to reveal she's really into weed. Tay was shut off to the public once again, perhaps to spend some time in rehab.
Reefer madness aside, it was all about Build 2016. Windows Central was there to bring you live reporting on Microsoft's developer extravaganza.
Front and center were some of the company's new tools, including the newly-acquired Xamarin. Xamarin uses shared code which allows developers to port their apps between Windows, Android, and iOS easily.
Microsoft also demonstrated "Project Centennial", a Desktop-to-UWP app converter.
There was some exciting Xbox and cross-platform news as well. Like Windows 10 for PC, Xbox One will be getting an Anniversary update, which among other things, will finally bring Windows 10 universal apps to your game console. This also means that we will see a unified Windows and Xbox Store this summer.
Another melding of the platforms will come in the form of the Windows Insider and Xbox Preview programs merging.
In addition, Xbox One will get Cortana, background music, and much more.
Other notable items:
- More HoloLens real-time chat, or 'Holoportation', shown in new video
- Microsoft's Channel 9 shows the preparations in San Francisco for Build 2016
- Microsoft is working with Wacom to create a pen that will work across a huge number of devices
- Microsoft introduces new tools for building UWP games
- Xbox Dev Mode turns any Xbox One console into a development kit, preview due today
- Cortana Intelligence Suite will offer a rich bot framework with machine learning
- A blind Microsoft developer has created an app to help him 'see' the world
- Xamarin tools will be free for Visual Studio customers, runtime to be open sourced
- There are now 1.2 billion Office users and 60 million Office 365 commercial customers
- You will soon be able to send a Starbucks gift card inside an Office app
- Microsoft's Build Tour will visit nine cities later this year
- Windows 10 UWP apps from Hulu, NASCAR, Dailymotion and Nickelodeon coming to Xbox One
- Microsoft reportedly interested in establishing 'closer ties' to HERE
- Xbox head says he's not a fan of launching 'Xbox One and a half'
Sony is not ruling out the possibility of bringing their PlayStation VR experience to the PC. In an interview with PC Gamer, the company's senior VP, Masayasu Ito said:
"Since PlayStation 4 shares a lot of its components with PCs, the possibility is there. At the moment we are focused on games and we are not ready to make any announcements at this stage, but I'd say there will be an expansion into various fields."
The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is finally shipping, and reviews are finally starting to hit make their way out.
Meanwhile, Oculus is updating their SDK to let developers build games for their Rift hardware. However, Oculus is not limiting them to selling their creations in the Rift store.
As of May 23, AT&T will begin offering unlimited data for U-verse and DIRECTV home Internet customers.
Verizon has decided to take a different approach to its customers, instituting a new $20 charge for anyone deciding to upgrade their smartphone. In fairness, competitors AT&T and Sprint have had similar charges for quite a while.
Amazon has drastically increased the number of products that can be ordered using their Dash Buttons. Now, with just a quick push of a button, you can order more than 100 different products.
Fitbit has enjoyed a good deal of success with its new Blaze and Alta trackers. In their first month of availability, the company shipped more than 1 million each.
And last, but not least, we took a look back at the cool and innovative products featured in our Gems of #Windows10DoesMore series.
Other notable items:
- The founder of Oculus personally delivered the first Rift VR headset pre-order
- Corsair's M65 PRO RGB mouse offers a high-precision gaming experience
- Dell XPS 13 9350 gets a small BIOS update
- Hands-on with NexDock and Continuum with Windows 10 Mobile
Share your thoughts on this past week of news! And we'll be back again next week to do it all over again.