What a week it has been when it comes to news in the world of Windows, PCs, and gaming. Windows Phone got its revenge against YouTube, Microsoft's CEO admitted it was a mistake to end Windows Phone, and Qualcomm unveiled a processor that could revolutionize Windows computing. On top of that, Microsoft leadership discussed features that we'll see in Windows 12.
Windows Phone gets revenge on YouTube
Windows Phone is dead, but it's the Halloween season so some haunting from a dead mobile ecosystem feels appropriate. Windows Phone always had a mixed history with YouTube. Google sabotaged Windows Phone in many ways including an arbitrary block of the YouTube app for Windows Phone made by Microsoft.
Well, the joke is on Google, as setting your browser's user-agent to Windows Phone will bypass Google's anti-ad-block features. See Google, Windows Phone really is king.
Will Google block this workaround? The company certainly could. But considering uBlock Origin still works and is much more popular than switching a user agent string to Windows Phone, there's a good chance Google won't do anything to block Windows Phone's revenge. There's also a chance that Google has forgotten about Windows Phone. Everyone else has.
Nadella admits Windows Phone mistake
Two Windows Phone stories in one week?! What is this, 2013? Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sat down with Mathias Dpfner at Axel Springer's Berlin headquarters. There, the Microsoft executive talked about a variety of topics, including OpenAI, Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard, and more. But one topic stuck out, at least to us. Nadella admitted that killing of Windows Phone was a mistake. Microsoft leaders have said as much before, but it's always nice to hear.
"The decision I think a lot of people talk about — and one of the most difficult decisions I made when I became CEO — was our exit of what I'll call the mobile phone as defined then," said Nadella.
"In retrospect, I think there could have been ways we could have made it work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones."
I'd like to remind Nadella that Microsoft tried to reinvent the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones with the Surface Duo. The company then failed to update the device and abandoned it. Time is a flat circle.
Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite
After months of teasing and reports, Qualcomm finally announced its Snapdragon X Elite processor. If the chip lives up to Qualcomm's promises and the immense hype that it's garnered, Windows 11 on ARM PCs will have an excellent 2024.
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon X Elite has better single-threaded scores than Apple's M2 Max and Intel's Core i9-13980HX, all while using 30% to 70% less power, respectively.
The Snapdragon X Elite is the result of Qualcomm's Nuvia acquisition. Former Apple engineers founded Nuvia and have been hard at work on the new processor for Qualcomm. The chip is built on a 4nm process, has 12 cores, and hits up to 3.8GHz on single and dual-core and has a boost speed of up to 4.3GHz. The Adreno GPU that accompanies the Snapdragon X Elite can handle up to 4.6 TFLOPs.
Our Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino was at Snapdragon Summit to see the new chip unveiled. Rubino also sat down with Qualcomm's Keder Kondap to chat about the Snapdragon X Elite.
The Snapdragon X Elite wasn't the only Windows on ARM news this week. Blackmagic Design announced that DaVinci Resolve, a popular video editing tool for professionals and casual creators, will soon natively support PCs running Qualcomm's Snapdragon Elite X platform.
Microsoft also spoke at Snapdragon Summit, but that's worth a section of its own.
Microsoft teases Windows 12 features
Microsoft had two executives appear on stage during Snapdragon Summit. CEO Satya Nadella and CVP Windows + Devices Pavan Davuluri discussed the future of Windows, the Snapdragon X Elite, and NPUs. While neither specifically mentioned Windows 12, both executives talked about features that will be in the next version of Windows.
Nadella focused on AI integration with Windows and emphasized the importance of Copilot going forward. Microsoft has a form of Copilot available across several apps and services, including Windows 11.
Hybrid computing was also a focus of Nadella. In the future we'll likely see PCs share the processing workload through the cloud. For example, a PC would process some functions locally and offload more intensive workloads to a more powerful system.
Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden broke down all the relevant comments and how they relate to Windows 12.
Reviews & Editorials
Our experts go hands-on with the latest CPUs, GPUs, desktops, laptops, and games. This past week, our team reviewed the powerful Intel Core i7-17400K, ran the HyperX CloudX headset through its paces, and enjoyed the horror of Alan Wake 2.
Here are all of our recent reviews plus some editorials from our crew:
- Windows finally has its Apple Mac moment, and I'm more excited about the future of laptops than ever before
- Using the Surface Book 3 in 2023 makes me wish that Microsoft would announce the Surface Book 4
- Intel Core i7-14700K review: A powerhouse CPU even if it's not the upgrade you might have hoped for
- HyperX CloudX review (2023): Still one of the best-value gaming headsets money can buy
- Huion Kamvas Pro 24 (4K) review: Excellent color gamut and high pressure sensitivity make for a fantastic drawing tablet
- NHL 24 Review: A fresh take on an old formula
- Star Trek: Infinite PC review — Boldly going where games have gone before
- Wizard with a Gun Xbox review: These bullets have magic, and so does this game (mostly)
- Lenovo Legion Tower 7i (Gen 8) review: Simply powerful, and utterly easy to recommend
- Xencelabs Pen Display 24 review: Setting the bar high for drawing displays
- HYTE Y70 Touch — Hands on with a 4K 60Hz screen built into an extravagant PC case
- Alan Wake 2 review: Remedy tackles horror with messy magnificence
- HP OMEN 27qs gaming monitor review: The best way to game at 240Hz on a budget
It's not Black Friday yet, but there are still great deals to be found. Our team of experts spotted a bunch of discounts, including ways to save on games and game storage for your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.
Lenovo ThinkBook 14 (Gen 4): was
$1,469.00 now $763.50 at Lenovo (50% off)
This ThinkBook 14 (Gen 4) features an AMD Ryzen 5000 processor, DDR4-3200MHz memory, and PCIe 3.0 SSD storage. The 14-inch touch screen has an FHD resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio which is good for general work or school tasks. You can also get a webcam with an FHD resolution for better video calls, and Wi-Fi 6 support.
This AMD model has two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) ports, dropjaw Ethernet, HDMI, two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), and a 3.5mm audio jack. There is no IR camera, but you do have a fingerprint reader, firmware TPM 2.0, and webcam shutter.
✅Great for: Those with a limited budget who want an Ultrabook for their home or small business.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14" (Gen 10): was
$3,439.00 now $1,374.99 at Lenovo (60% off)
Lenovo is one of the best brands in the laptop and PC market, and the ThinkPad series is known for its durability and performance. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is no exception, as it offers a sleek design and a long battery life. Whether you need a laptop for work, school, or fun, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon can do it all. Don't miss this chance to get one of the best laptops on the market at a great price.
✅Great for: Use as a work laptop or personal device
💰Price check: $1,799.00 at Amazon
Metro Saga Bundle | was
$59.99 $11.99 at Xbox
While this amazing deal is active, you can pick up Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, Metro Exodus, and all of its expansion DLC for just $12. All three of these games are incredible — and their horror elements make the series a great pick for some Halloween gaming.
Dead Space (2023) | was
$69.99 now $39.99 at Best Buy
The Dead Space series is well-beloved by horror fanatics for its gore-filled sci-fi scares, and the Dead Space remake is the ultimate way to experience it. It's a near perfect remake on a legendary horror game, and it's on sale (also it's on Xbox Game Pass now).
💰Price check: $41.99 at Amazon
Resident Evil 4 (2023) | was
$59.99 now $39.99 at Amazon
Another absolutely incredible remake of a legendary classic horror game, the RE4 remake may be the only horror game released this year that goes toe-to-toe with Dead Space (2023) for sheer, terrifying quality. Right now, it also costs the same.
💰Price check: $42.99 at Best Buy
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard | was
$19.99 now $8.00 at Amazon
This horror game isn't new, but that doesn't make it any less of a near-perfect scary experience. RE7: Biohazard brought the survival-horror franchise back to its roots with modern twists, and it still stands as a high point in the series. For a limited time, it's unbelievably affordable.
💰Price check: $8.00 at Best Buy
Resident Evil Village | was
$59.99 now $16.00 at Best Buy
The sequel to RE7: Biohazard continues the story of Ethan Winters, but on a larger, grander, and spookier scale than ever before. Resident Evil continues to raise the bar for horror games, and Village is the latest and greatest from the franchise. It's also the most heavily discounted on this list.
💰Price check: $29.99 at Amazon
Seagate Xbox Series X|S Expansion Card 1TB | was
$219.99 now $149.99 (15% off) at Amazon
The officially licensed products from Seagate and Xbox expand your Xbox Series X|S storage capacity by up to 2TB, with 32% savings on 1TB cards. With these, you can play native Xbox Series X|S games with no issues.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.