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).
After last week's craziness with multiple preview builds of Windows 10 being released, this week was a bit more tame.
Microsoft is reportedly on the verge of finalizing Windows 10 RTM before its July 29 launch. This "release to manufacturers" version will be without some features that will be included in the final release, but fear not. Since Windows 10 promises to be more of a service than a product, any PCs with the RTM version will be updated with anything that is missing come the official rollout.
Microsoft retail employees are being trained to pitch Windows 10 as "familiar but better than ever" to prospective buyers. The idea is to show customers the features that they are used to working within Windows 7 and 8.1, in conjunction with the newfound personalization and ability to work across multiple devices.
As we eagerly wait for July 29 to arrive, Fast ring members were treated to Windows 10 PC preview build 10166. The build included a slightly updated version of Microsoft Edge
As you've come to expect, we painstakingly detailed the changes in the new build.
Microsoft released an updated version of the Windows 10 SDK preview with build 10166 as well.
Slow ring members got their own present, Windows 10 PC build 10162.
The newly-christened Groove Music has made its way to Windows 10, along with a new ad-free MSN Weather app.
Other notable items:
- Outlook Mail and Calendar apps for Windows pick up an update
- Replace those white title bars in Windows 10 with this colors theme
- How to optimize battery life in Windows 10 devices using built-in settings
- AMD releases preview Catalyst drivers for Windows 10 with CrossFire FreeSync
- How to create a Windows 10 USB installation media with UEFI support
- Windows 10 build 10176 gets leaked in Chinese
The names of four new Microsoft devices, Valora, Murano, Livana, and Munchkin, leaked on the internet this week. They include an updated Treasure Tag, Bluetooth speaker, screen-sharing device, and a necessary component for the Continuum, to allow your Windows phone to act like a PC.
But there was bigger news going on with Microsoft. The first bit was a wave of product rebranding.
The most significant branding changes started as a reference to Groove Music Pass in a build of Windows 10. It ended up with the announcement that Xbox Music was being renamed to "Groove" and Xbox Video would now be called simply "Movies & TV". Both will be launched with Windows 10 on July 29 and make their way to other devices as well.
The new musical moniker was chosen based on customer feedback to "to best describe what people feel and do with music". Our own Windows Central poll found that most people like the new name, with close to equal numbers of people either disliking or being indifferent about it.
Both Music and Movies & TV purchases were also opened up to a slew of new countries in Windows 10. Another Microsoft offering, formerly known as the Nokia (Microsoft) Connects program, got a name change as well. It will now be known as Lumia Voices.
Lync 2013 for Windows Phone was morphed into Skype for Business with its latest update.
And although there was no name change, Microsoft's Bing Maps was revamped with lots of new features.
The second category of changes to take place this week, unfortunately, came in the form layoffs and restucturing. Microsoft confirmed that they will lay off 7,800 more employees, most of which will be from the Windows Phone division. While some will surely see this as the sky falling, CEO Satya Nadella reiterated that the company is still 'committed' to their phone business.
Our own Daniel Rubino tried to shed some light on why the restructure was not only obvious and necessary, but actually a good thing for Windows Phone.
The news of layoffs hasn't stopped there. Microsoft's Finland operations are set to cut nearly 2,300 employees. Its marketing and sales divisions will lose an undisclosed number as well. Other sectors, like the hardware division, may also see some cuts and Nokia Care Points in Poland and other European countries may close, too.
Other notable items:
- Ultimate Xbox Sale has started early with price cuts for various Xbox One games
- Microsoft Band can now display emoticons in text messages
- Microsoft wants to help boost HoloLens development with $100,000 awards to 5 universities
- Microsoft partners with the BBC to help UK school kids learn about computing
- Universal touch-first Office apps for Windows 10 will be available on July 29
- Microsoft offers more details on how to convert web apps to Windows 10 apps
- New HoloLens video demos usage in medicine, is more honest about field of view
- Microsoft brings web tiles to the Band, introduces new cloud APIs for Health
- Microsoft's Power BI data visualization tool will be generally available on July 24
It may only be 2015, but that doesn't that we can't have the devices suited for a stardate yet to come. Case in point, in January, you'll be able to get your hands on a Star Trek Bluetooth Communicator for $149.95.
Firefox for Windows 10 was announced, but only in name. No details about were given about its arrival date, other than "coming soon."
Gaming download service GOG (Good Old Gaming), has begun preparing its catalog for Windows 10. So far, many of the games work, but will require a patch. If you use the GOG Galaxy download client, these patches will be delivered automatically. Logitech is going through a rebranding of its own, donning a new name and logo, Logi promises consumers "some twists and a few surprises in new categories."
T-Mobile had a pretty darn good second quarter, adding 2.1 million subscribers. With their "un-carrier" policies, like no longer charging customers for using their mobile devices in Mexico and Canada, it's no surprise people are making the change.
###Other notable items:
- Intel's tiny Compute Stick goes up for sale in India for ₹9,999
- Amazon's 20th anniversary sale will feature 'more deals than Black Friday'
- Dell is happy that Microsoft is launching Windows 10 in time for back-to-school PC sales
- LG will bring its thinner and lighter smartphone-style touch panels to notebook PCs
- Windows Central photo contest: Sunshine
- Google wants our children
Share your thoughts on this past week of news! And we'll be back again next week to do it all over again.