Microsoft News Roundup: Xbox Elite Controller leak, Microsoft layoffs, Galaxy Unpacked, and more
This week we saw a leaked Xbox Elite Controller, reports of Microsoft layoffs, and more.
Microsoft and the biggest companies in tech roll out new stories each week. We cover them as they break, of course, but it's easy to miss a few pieces as they roll by. To kick off each weekend, we gather together the latest news in one bitesize piece. This week we saw a leaked Xbox Elite Controller, Windows 11 on ARM news, and reports that Microsoft plans to lay off its "Modern Life Experiences" team. Hot off the virtual press, here are the biggest news stories from this week.
Xbox Elite Controller leak
A "White Edition" of the Xbox Elite Controller leaked in a video this week. The alleged white version of the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 replaces the charcoal body of the currently available Elite Controller with a white finish. The handles of the controller are black, creating a contrast between black and white.
There's always a chance that leaked videos like this one could be fake, but our gaming editor Jez Corden believes there's a good chance that the controller shown off is genuine.
Microsoft to reportedly lay off "Modern Life Experiences" team
Microsoft plays to lay off its "Modern Life Experiences" team, according to a recent report. That team focuses on "winning back consumers" and was founded in 2018. Over 200 employees will reportedly be affected by the move. They have 60 days to find a position within Microsoft or have the option to take severance, according to the report.
Microsoft will, of course, continue its efforts to win over consumers, but will presumably find another method of doing so.
Windows 11 on ARM gets a big boost
Windows 11 on ARM devices should see a rise in optimized apps, thanks to ARM64EC support rolling out to the operating system. ARM64EC allows developers to use a combination of ARM code and x64 code within the same application. This lets them migrate to an ARM-friendly base while seeing immediate performance gains. For example, the bulk of an app could be optimized for ARM, but certain dependencies or extensions could run x64 code through emulation.
"With ARM64EC, you can choose to start small and build incrementally. You can identify a part of your codebase that would benefit most from native performance and rebuild it as ARM64EC," explained Microsoft when it first announced the feature. "The rest of the app will remain fully functional as emulated x64, but the recompiled ARM64EC parts will now have native speed. Over time, you can recompile more of the app as ARM64EC to further improve performance and conserve battery life for your app’s customers."
Microsoft Edge makes it easier to leave Chrome
Microsoft rolled out an update for Edge that brought the browser to version 104 this week. While a relatively minor update, it did include one feature that caught people's attention. Edge 104 allows users to migrate data from Chrome by logging in to a Google account, even without having Chrome installed. This should make it easier to swap over to Edge without losing data.
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022
While not directly related to Windows or Microsoft, Samsung Galaxy Unpacked was the biggest news in tech this week. Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Flip 4, and Watch 5 at the event. The Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 are about what we expected, iterative improvements over their predecessors.
One interesting thing stuck out about the Z Flip 4 that tied it to Microsoft's Surface Duo. Samsung's upcoming device will have an improved multitasking experience. Our senior editor took a closer look to see if the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can "dethrone the Surface Duo’s dual-screen multitasking."
In addition to covering the biggest news stories from the industry, our experts review the latest gadgets and games each week. Here's everything we looked out over the past seven days:
- Intel Core i9-12900HX review: Narrowing the gap between desktop and mobile performance
- Razer Stream Controller review: A dull and expensive alternative
- Cult of the Lamb for PC review: An adorable adventure through the ominous occult
- Falcon Northwest Tiki review: A bantamweight desktop packing a heavyweight punch
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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.