ICYMI: Welcome to another edition of This Week on Windows Central!
We are back after skipping last weekend due to the avalanche of Xbox One S, Windows 10 Anniversary and Xbox One Summer Update content hitting the wires this week. Moving forward, you can rely on this weekly column to stay up to date with all the latest happenings from across the Microsoft ecosystem!
Let's get started.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update dropped this week, bringing tons of new features and polish to the operating system. There's far too many to list here, but make sure you check out Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden's detailed and comprehensive review of the update.
The transition to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update appears to have been mostly a smooth one, with very few reported issues and problems. If you are having any issues, check out the links below for some of Mauro's excellent support articles.
As we look beyond the Anniversary Update, Zac Bowden reported that Microsoft is planning two sizable updates for the next year in the form of Redstone 2 and Redstone 3.
"Windows Central understands that the first major update for 2017 (codenamed Redstone 2) will release in the early part of 2017. The second major update scheduled for 2017 is codenamed "Redstone 3", which I've heard is being targeted for a Summer/Early Fall 2017 launch."
On the app front, Twitter picked up the ability to quote yourself, Groove Music for Windows Insiders gained the capacity to edit metadata directly from inside the app and MyTube! Beta picked up a massive update to include background audio.
Microsoft is also providing a tool to help developers bring Chrome extensions to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update version of Microsoft Edge.
Windows 10 continues to be an increasingly exciting platform for Microsoft, stay tuned to Windows Central for all the latest.
- Microsoft confirms two major updates planned for Windows 10 in 2017
- Twitter for Windows 10 PC and Mobile lets you quote and retweet your own posts
- New MyTube! Beta picks up background audio
- Microsoft is making it easy to convert Chrome extensions for Edge
- Groove Music for Fast Ring grabs ability to edit metadata locally and much more
- ASUS ROG GL552VX review: Proof that cheap gaming laptops are worth it
- This is how the Ninjacat came to life
- Windows 10 Anniversary Update common problems and how to fix them
Windows 10 Mobile
While Windows 10 PC owners were enjoying the Anniversary Update this week, until yesterday, we hadn't heard a great deal about when it would hit Windows 10 Mobile. Thanks to Daniel Rubino, we now know that Windows 10 Mobile will roll out to carrier-branded phones on August 16th, and on August 9th for unlocked handsets.
While the Windows 10 Anniversary Update doesn't bring any major changes for phones, it enables notification and SMS syncing between Windows 10 devices and brings piles of much-needed polish to the operating system. The most notable improvements I can describe as a Lumia 950 XL user are battery life and general stability, which seems vastly improved on the Windows 10 Mobile Fast Ring when compared to the builds available to the public.
Beyond the Lumia camp, the beastly HP Elite x3 is anticipated to begin taking orders on September 5th. The HP Elite x3 features some of the most impressive specs of a Windows mobile device to date. It will also launch with a Continuum dock and keyboard and screen combo.
On the app front, Telegram for Windows 10 Mobile got updated with new features, MyTube! Beta and Twitter received updates for the Universal versions, and Tweet It! got support for Vine and Instagram videos. Facebook Beta now supports calendar and contact syncing, and Readit began supporting the Windows 10 Anniversary Update's synchronization features. The biggest app news of the week came from Starbucks, who finally bought their promised wallet app to Windows 10 Mobile.
Stay tuned to Windows Central for more on the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update for mobile devices.
- HP Elite x3 orders in the U.S. are anticipated to begin September 5th
- Microsoft and the duo user Part V: The 13 companies building Windows 10 phones
- Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update rolling out August 16th for carriers, 9th for open market
- NuAns Neo Q&A
- Telegram for Windows 10 Mobile updated with group previews and more
- Tweet It! adds support for Instagram and Vine videos, now on sale for 50% off
- The official Starbucks app is now available on Windows 10 Mobile
- Readit now syncs your redditing between your Windows 10 Anniversary Update devices
The Xbox One S rocks slightly faster RAM and processing to power HDR gaming, 4K video playback and we learned this week that it even sees a slight performance increase on the dashboard and in games. It also sports a front-facing IR blaster, an internal PSU, and a 40% size reduction. Join Daniel Rubino for a full review of the console below.
The Xbox One dashboard had to be updated to support HDR gaming and 4K video playback, and that took the form of the Xbox One Summer Update. The Xbox One Summer Update brings Cortana, Universal Windows Platform apps, the beginnings of a unified Xbox and Windows 10 Store, an all-new Games & Apps section, and background music.
We reviewed the Xbox One Summer Update below. While the update isn't perfect, it's a huge step towards the full ecosystem convergence Microsoft has been chasing for some time. See our walkthrough of the new features below.
On the gaming front, QuakeCon is in full swing, giving us a fresh look at Bethesda's Prey re-imagining, and we got some new information on content heading to DOOM. Rocket League revealed all-new power ups in its upcoming Rumble mode, and Sea of Thieves received a new trailer.
Phil Spencer informed Twitter that the Halo TV series is still in development, and we learned that Cortana reminders are coming to Xbox One. Also, did you know that there's a tiny Master Chief inside every Xbox One S?
The Summer months are often quiet on the gaming front, but it's simply the calm before the storm. Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Gears of War 4, ReCore, Deus Ex Mankind Divided and tons of other games are just on the horizon.
- Xbox One release roundup for the week of August 1, 2016
- Cortana reminders are in development for Xbox One
- Estimates suggest the Xbox One S manufacturing costs are around $324 per unit
- How to use Cortana on Xbox One: command list, tips and more
- How to sell your Xbox One so you can buy an Xbox One S
- 5 Reasons why you should buy the Xbox One S (and a few why you shouldn't)
- New Battlefield 1 trailer showcases its wide variety of weapons
- How to play music from a USB drive on Xbox One using Simple Background Music Player
- Windows Maps is now live on Xbox One Preview, here's how it works!
- Groove UWP is now live in the Xbox One Preview, here's some first impressions
- MyTube is on its way to Xbox One with background audio, here's an early look
There hasn't been lots of news on the corporate front this week. Sadly, Juha Alakarhu of Nokia imaging fame has returned home, leaving Microsoft's shrinking phone division to work on virtual reality at Nokia. As head of Windows phone imaging, Alakarhu held the following responsibilities:
"Program managing the Phones imaging end-to-end solution, including software and hardware. Responsibilities include driving the complete imaging solution as well as detailed hardware technology, image quality, and algorithm decisions."
It remains to be seen if Alakarhu's departure impacts camera quality on the long-rumored Surface Phone, we'll just have to wait and see.
For other former Nokia employees who joined Microsoft and were then later laid off, it was revealed that the company is working to help get some of them back on track. Microsoft is funding tech startups created by their former employees. The grants on offer amount to around €60,000 ($67,000) per person or €240,000 ($26,900) per company, and so far, Microsoft has provided employment for around 250 workers, with that number expected to double in the coming months.
"Quiske CEO Kristina Björnäs spent 12 years at Microsoft and Nokia and started the company with four likeminded partners from among her former colleagues. "I'd have become an entrepreneur in any case. But without Microsoft's program I would have probably become a one-person company and focused on beekeeping or something. It's great to be able to do technology product development, which would not have been possible without Polku," Björknäs says."
Even though the amount of individuals employed through these grants is minuscule compared to the 20,000+ laid off in the Nokia transition, hopefully with some extra publicity more companies might seek the grants, advice and equipment Microsoft is offering through this program.
Satya Nadella also spoke to Bloomberg this week, to discuss HoloLens, LinkedIn and more:
"There are key things that I'm looking at as we look at acquisitions. The first is, is the core business that we are buying something that we feel is healthy, we're excited about, that's got momentum? When I look at both Minecraft and LinkedIn, they're great businesses that are growing. And so, in fact, if anything, our core job is to take that franchise and give it more momentum. In the case of Minecraft, it's the biggest PC game, and we are the PC company. Their growth was moving to console. We have a console. Therefore, we were a perfect owner. Same thing with LinkedIn. They're a professional network for the world. We have the professional cloud. Time will tell, but I'm very, very bullish."
Stay tuned to Windows Central for all the latest and greatest from around the Microsoft ecosystem!