Short Takes Daily: What went on in the world of Microsoft this week? Richard Hay

Short Takes Daily: What went on in the world of Microsoft this week?

What a week it was! Catch up with the week's rundown here. Microsoft releases Office 2016 for the Mac, we all got into the Groove, another Windows 10 beta hit the Fast ring, and the future of Windows Phone seemed in doubt.


Office Universal Apps planned for release alongside of Windows 10 — "The free apps will allow users to perform core editing, viewing and printing of their Office files. No Office 365 subscription will be necessary for those functions."

So you want to pwn your kids in Minecraft ... — Here are are some useful Minecraft commands for parents trying to impress their kids.

Product Review: Inateck 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub with 2.5 Inch Hard Drive Disk Enclosure Case — Inateck has combined a solid hard disk enclosure case with 3 USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to have storage and connectivity in a single device. And, at $29.99, it's a steal. This is a device I'm definitely carrying with me on trips to use as my own private Cloud.

How to setup Quick Action Buttons in Windows 10 — The Windows Action Center is a great addition to the new operating system as it not only brings a history of your unseen notifications but it also places shortcut access to your favorite/most used settings on Windows 10.

Infographic: A Chronological History of Windows — Check out this great infographic about the history of Windows and let us know what your favorite version of the operating system is/was.


Gallery: Groove Music App -- We were not expecting to see the new branding on the app until the next Windows Insider Preview build  which is expected sometime this week.  However, an app update has been pushed to the Windows Store in Windows 10 Build 10162 that introduces the rebranded services app.

Gallery: Xbox Music App update on Android and iOS -- Now there are updates for the Xbox Music app on Android and iOS. These updates do not include the new Groove name, but they do finally deliver the ability to stream or download your music stored on OneDrive without the need for an Xbox Music Pass.

Microsoft's new Groove music service creates familiar naming confusion — The branding story continues to be convoluted when it comes to Microsoft’s newly announced Groove name for their music service — at least for many in the IT world who remember Groove's previous incarnation as a collaborative workspace technology, or for those who are aware of the existence of Groove Music App. 


Apple releasing OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 public betas — Perhaps the most interesting are the upgrades to Apple's Spotlight search technology, which started as a file-finding system and is rapidly morphing (along with Siri on iOS) into a full-fledged search engine. 

Microsoft releases Office 2016 for Mac — This is an attractive release that looks better than Office for Mac has ever looked, while offering connectivity to the iOS and Windows versions of the product. Bonus: all the apps now behave more like their modern equivalents on Windows and iOS.


Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 10166 to Insiders as RTM approaches — Something you will begin to notice with these late stage builds as RTM approaches in the next few days is that the blog posts from Gabe Aul announcing them do not contain laundry lists of issues or changes.

Windows 10 Mobile Build 10149 arrives for Slow Ring Insiders — Some movement on the Windows 10 Mobile front did occur today when our Ring Master, Gabe Aul, announced on Twitter that build 10149 for Windows devices moved into the Slow Ring for Windows Insiders.

Here is how to make sure you receive Windows 10 RTM on 29 July 2015 — What we learned was that the general public who were able to make a reservation for Windows 10 on their Windows 7 or 8.1 systems using the Get Windows 10 App would begin receiving prompts to install the new OS after 29 July. So the guaranteed method you can use to insure you are able to upgrade to Windows 10 on day one of its GA (29 July) – join the Windows Insider Program.

Windows 10 Build 10162 Activation Issues are Safe to Ignore for Now — There's a good number of Windows Insiders having issues with operating system activation after installing Build 10162.  Microsoft says they're on it.

KB2952664 in an Endless Install Loop for Some — One of the updates this week (KB2952664), an updated version of Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade notification app, continually runs in the Windows System Tray to offer users the Windows 10 upgrade. This update has been revised 10 times already, so eventually Microsoft may get one that works.

Windows 10 Drivers Not working? Uninstall and Reinstall — Something not working after installing Build 10162? Try uninstalling and reinstalling the hardware driver.

Reports - Windows 10 will hit Release to Manufacturing milestone this week — "The Windows RTM milestone used to normally occur a few months before the planned General Availability (GA) of the upcoming operating system but in this new era of Windows as a Service (WaaS) the OS is never really done and will be updated on a regularly basis with new features, fixes and other updates."


Gallery: Bing Maps Preview July 2015 — Microsoft announced a significant redesign of Bing Maps with a renewed focus on planning excursions including directions, destination information, street level views and venue reviews from popular sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor.

Q. Are my desktop.ini files really ticking time bombs or does tech support have this wrong? — A reader wonders if the Office Depot techs she talked to know anything about .ini files, because she's got her suspicions.


Windows Phone Isn't Dead, It's Changing — Satya Nadella is definitely altering the face of Microsoft, what this means for the long term has yet to be written. For its hardware business, including Windows Phone, the company is not exiting the market – it's just retooling in an effort to make it more sustainable.

Microsoft will keep building Windows Phones but comes at a high cost — Satya Nadella has revealed the company will take a $7.6 billion impairment in regards to the Nokia Devices and Services purchase that was initiated by former CEO Steve Ballmer in September 2013 for $7.2 billion. 


Band To-Go Keeps your Microsoft Band Me Tile Fresh — The Microsoft Band's innards are customizable for personalization. The Microsoft Health app has theme customization features built in, but the ability is very basic. Other apps like Pimp My Band (which is my current favorite) provide additional customization capabilities, allowing you to create and store your creations so they can be synched back across at any time.

Microsoft Band Retail Channel Suffers from Windows Phone-itis— Microsoft definitely has a retail channel problem. But, whose fault is it?

I Call Foul on Microsoft Band Support — Rod Trent vs. Microsoft. We know who we're betting on.


Today's cutting edge is tomorrow's assumed knowledge — Here are five technologies that Windows Server IT Pros should get familiar with as they are likely to become very important in the next five years.

UPDATE: Expect a Critical Adobe Flash Update Today (Now Available) — A new Flash vulnerability has surfaced, and Adobe delivered an update today. The vulnerability is rated as critical. No platform is safe, either

New Policies in July's Windows Update Client to Stop Windows 10 Upgrades by Normal Users — A computer that is licensed through an Enterprise SKU will not receive Windows 10 upgrade notifications, nor will the user be able to initiate an upgrade manually.

Product Review: Microsoft Lumia 640 XL — The screen is amazing, the phone's easy to handle despite the size, the battery life is better than expected and the camera is amazing.


Skype for Business Now Available for Windows Phone — "Available from the Windows Phone store, this new Skype for Business app will either transform your currently installed Lync 2013 app, or allow you to get a new installation."

Skype for Business Online Meeting Migration Tool in Technical Preview — New features for Skype for Business are starting to roll out in preview. Those new features include Skype Meeting Broadcast, PSTN Conferencing, and Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling. 



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