Microsoft News Roundup: Game Pass family plan, Outlook Lite, Microsoft Rewards in Vatican City, and more
This week saw a wide range of news stories, including initial testing for the Game Pass family plan and Microsoft Rewards rolling out to Vatican City.
Each week we cover the biggest stories related to Microsoft, Windows, and more. This week we saw the first wave of testing for Xbox Game Pass for families, a new version of Outlook on Android, and even some Windows 10 news. We also covered the latest build of Windows 11, the expansion of the Microsoft Rewards program, and reviewed the latest gadgets, including the XPS 13 Plus. Here are all the news highlights from the past week.
Game Pass for the whole family
Microsoft began testing its Xbox Game Pass family plan this week, which allows several members of a household to enjoy the streaming services without spending so much money. The plan, which can be shared between up to five players, gives each person Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Pricing for the Xbox Game Pass family plan hasn't been confirmed at this time. Our sources say that Microsoft is looking at $25 per month for the service, but that price isn't set in stone.
Before you race out to try to get Xbox Game Pass for your family, note that it's only in testing at the moment, and those tests are limited to Xbox Insiders in Columbia and Ireland.
New Windows 11 widget for Game Pass
Continuing on the Game Pass track, Microsoft rolled out a new Game Pass widget for Windows 11 as part of Insider Build 25174. The widget shows games that have been recently added to Game Pass as well as titles that will soon leave the service.
Windows 10 22H2 may have new features
There isn't a lot of information when it comes to Windows 10 version 22H2, but Microsoft updated a blog post to note that the OS update will include "a scoped set of features." The post didn't include any details of what features we'd see, though they're likely to be relatively minor. Microsoft has shifted its focus to Windows 11, and Windows 10 isn't expected to see any major changes going forward.
As a quick reminder, Windows 10 version 22H2 is completely unrelated to Windows 11 version 22H2, despite the two having similar names.
Microsoft Rewards rolls out to more countries
Microsoft Rewards points can now be earned in an additional 40+ countries. Newly supported markets include several countries in Europe, including Vatican City. The inclusion of Vatican City drew some giggles around the web this week since there are only about 800 residents there.
Rewards points can be exchanged for gift cards, raffle entries, and other items. Maybe the Pope will get a few months of Xbox Game Pass with his points.
Outlook Lite ships to Android
Microsoft launched Outlook Lite for Android this week. The app was built from the ground up to deliver quick performance while having a small footprint. The entire app is only 5MB.
While Outlook Lite supports many of the features seen in the full-fledged Outlook app (which continues to be available), it only supports Microsoft email accounts, such as those from Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, MSN, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Exchange Online.
The app is also limited to specific regions:
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
Each week our team looks at the latest laptops, accessories, games, and more. Here's everything we reviewed this week:
- Razer Enki Pro review: Supreme gaming chair comfort at a hefty price
- Insta360 Link review: The best webcam you can buy today
- ASUSTOR Lockerstor 2 Gen2 (AS6702T) review: Everything you need in a powerful two-bay NAS
- Two Point Campus Xbox review: Does it pass or fail?
- Corsair TC200 gaming chair review: Ticking all the right boxes
- Rode Rodecaster Pro II production studio review: Professional audio for content creators
- Dell XPS 13 Plus review: Strong performance, so-so battery life, but an incredible experience
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.