Joe Belfiore | Windows Central

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Joe Belfiore

Joe Belfiore, the Corporate Vice President for Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, and one of the leading forces behind Windows Phone and Windows 10, has announced he will be taking an extended leave of absence from the company starting in November to spend more time with his family. He plans to return to Microsoft sometime in the summer of 2016.

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Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, the company's Corporate Vice President of its Operating Systems Group, posted a new update on the company's plans for Windows Phone in an unusual place; his Chinese Weibo account. The message assured Chinese fans that Microsoft has "a single event" it has planned which will reveal news about Office for Windows Phone before the start of the Chinese New Year, which begins on Feb. 19.

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Earlier this afternoon we harangued Microsoft about the recent Calendar app update for Windows Phone 8.1 that occurred on Monday, June 30. The update virtually broke the app for thousands of users by crashing whenever one adds a new appointment. Soon after our article, the app was unpublished from the Store preventing users who rely on auto-app updates from suffering the same fate.

Tonight, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore took to Twitter to address the situation, noting that a fix would be available very soon.

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Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore just wrapped up his first AMA on Reddit. It’s an informal Q&A session with folks in that belong to the Windows Phone section of Reddit. He shared a lot of insight about the current state of Windows Phone. Joe also gave us glimpses into the future. We learned that an official file manager was coming to Windows Phone 8.1 sometime during this month (and even got a first look at it!), we learned that Microsoft is courting Snapchat, we learned about big updates coming to Skype and Facebook and so much more.

Below we’ve pulled out all the info that Joe shared from his AMA. Just sit back and read all his answers right here.

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Joe Belfiore is a man the community has come to know as the face of Windows Phone at Microsoft. He’s been on hand for all major previews and launches of the operating system and runs the team responsible for Windows Phone product definition and design.

Belfiore recently sat down with the BBC for an interview about the current growth in market share that Windows Phone is experiencing. He did this last week, but we missed it and figured a few of you might have missed it as well. There are some interesting points brought up by Belfiore that are worth pointing out. There’s also a video after the break and some highlights from the BBC interview.

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Even though we’re a day away from Nokia World, it doesn’t mean leaks can’t still happen. The latest this morning is for the Nokia ‘Guru’, which was revealed by evleaks to be akin to an “iPod Shuffle with NFC” built in.

While Nokia has been known for their phones and well-made accessories, it’s not too farfetched to imagine them making a music accessory.

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A few days ago, Microsoft announced their plans to purchase Nokia’s Devices and Services division (along with some patent deals) for 7.2 billion dollars. The deal was both expected and somewhat of a surprise since the last we heard a deal was off. Since the announcement we’ve heard stories trickle out to the public. Like the inside story of how the deal came to be.

Tearing down the symbolic walls between the Windows Phone software team and Nokia’s hardware team has been cited as the biggest boost for consumers. Recent statements by Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore echo that idea.

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The Windows Phone 8 Facebook Beta app was updated late last night and so far, it has been very well received by the user base. The update brings a lot of new features that consumers have been longing for and reinforces Microsoft’s commitment in making the Facebook app top notch on Windows Phone.

There are still at least two major issues though: there is no Windows Phone 7.x version, though it was promised back in May and Facebook users are having widespread problems with receiving notifications. The good news, as revealed by Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore, is that both problems should be resolved very soon.

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There’s a handful of you out there rocking with the latest GDR2 update on your handset. If you bought a Lumia 925 or 1020 it came with it onboard from the unboxing. While the rest of you folks with devices from the Windows Phone 8 launch are slowly getting it. What’s on the horizon for future updates? We have GDR3 and Blue (aka Windows Phone 8.1) coming within the next 6 months. We also now have our first look at one of those courtesy of Joe Belfiore.

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There’s been a common complaint from the Windows Phone community the past few months around a seemingly lack of urgency with Microsoft to release updates. Windows Phone 8 launched at the end of last October and since then we haven’t had much in terms of OS updates. Right now GDR2 is beginning to roll out for a few of you, but other than that not much. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore recently took to the Windows Phone UserVoice to address some of that criticism.

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