All the important Microsoft news stories for May 21, 2016

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).



Microsoft said this week that Windows 7 and 8.1 will begin receiving non-security patches as monthly rollup updates. The new monthly schedule also goes for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Cyber Monday may be over but these Cyber Week deals are still alive

As for Windows 10, a member of Microsoft's Windows Insider team posted that the company is working on a tool to make clean installs of Windows 10 easier. The tool is in its final testing stages and should be rolled out fairly soon, barring any setbacks.

There are also new tweaks to web notifications in the works for Microsoft Edge. One change will be to group web notifications by web domain to better organize the Action Center.

Another option being explored is how to generate notifications if a site is inactive or not loaded, which could lead to support for web notifications on Windows 10 Mobile.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be bringing changes to Edge and IE11 via the Enterprise Mode Site List. Sites in the list will open in Internet Explorer 11, but will be overlaid onto Edge, making for a more seamless browsing experience.

The update will also introduce a new group policy to restrict IE11 usage only to sites on Enterprise Mode Site List.

The Anniversary Update will open up more Kinect data to Windows 10 UWP apps. Developers will soon be able to incorporate RGB, Infrared (IR), and depth data into their apps, along with the microphone input, which is already available.

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Almost 1 million Xbox Live Gamertags that have been considered abandoned have become available to new and current users.

Six countries will be seeing a price hike for Xbox Live Gold next month. Starting June 20, the annual cost of membership will be raised in Austria, Hungary, Israel, South Africa, Sweden, and Turkey.

Speaking of hikes, the Microsoft Band 2 received its new "Explore" tile, which adds features for hikers, like elevation tracking, GPS route mapping, and points of interest, and reminders to eat and stay hydrated.

Not only was the Microsoft Health app for Windows 10 Mobile updated to accommodate the change, but a new version of the app for Windows 10 PCs and tablets was released.

FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn, has purchased Microsoft's feature phone business, originally acquired by Nokia in 2014. The $350 million deal also gives Foxconn the right to use the Nokia brand name on phones and tablets for the next ten years.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is doing what it can to keep up with arch-rival Google. A recent job posting revealed that they are working on their own version of Google's Assistant. The "Bing Concierge Bot," as it's referred to, will be "a highly intelligent productivity agent that communicates with the user over a conversation platform, such as Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc." that runs errands on behalf of the user.

For now, Microsoft is letting test users try out a new Windows 10 feature that lets them manage notifications in Cortana for Android on their PC.

And finally, we explored the reasons why Microsoft should be worried about the future prospect of running Android apps on Chrome OS.

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With augmented and virtual reality being all the rage, Acer has teamed up with Starbreeze to manufacture and market the StarVR headset.

Chinese game publisher Tencent, best known for the hit game League of Legends, plans to release a Windows 10-based game console in its home country. The yet-to-be priced Tencent Games Platform (TGP) BOX will be able to download, play, and livestream games.

Bloomberg reported that Twitter may stop counting hyperlinks and photos against your character limit. Although Twitter has not commented on the veracity of the report, an anonymously quoted source says the change could come as soon as the next two weeks.

T-Mobile has added even more streaming services to their BingeOn offering. Now Google Play Music, Spotify, Qello Concerts, and several other music and video providers can be used on T-Mobile devices without counting toward customers' monthly data usage.

And finally, Nokia, the phone brand that wouldn't die, is coming back with Android under the hood.

HMD, a new company, headed by ex-Nokia execs, have partnered with FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn, which just acquired Microsoft's feature phone business, along with rights to the Nokia name.

The partnership will result in a new line of Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets which will be powered by Android.

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Share your thoughts on this past week of news! And we'll be back again next week to do it all over again.