The news from camp Microsoft was not all good this week. Rumors had been flying around for a while that there were a number of job losses on the horizon, but the announcement that was made was worse than just about anyone had imagined. In total, some 18,000 ended up losing their jobs as Satya Nadella attempts to refocus Microsoft. Jobs weren’t the only things on the chopping block at Microsoft this week. Also getting the cut was Microsoft’s interest in Android and Xbox Entertainment Studios. The intriguing McLaren handset was also dropped.
Looking to the future, Microsoft Research is working on Project Adam a fascinating artificial intelligence project that can understand speech, text, and images. Potential applications for the AI project are plentiful, and the same is true of Smart Alice, a new wearable project that could help blind and partially sighted people. Of course, what most people are interested in is Windows 9, and this week we learned more about how the next version of Windows could look.
Talking about Windows 9, also known as Threshold at the moment, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said that this release is going to include game-changing features for enterprise — we can only assume that there will be similarly impressive features for home users as well. This was a fairly upbeat message delivered at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference, but Microsoft also admitted it has a lot a work to do in terms of increasing its device share, which currently stands at just 14 percent. On a more positive note, we did learn that the Lumia 520 remains the most popular Windows Phone, having sold more than 12 million handsets. With Satya Nadella praising Google’s marketing, perhaps we’ll see Windows Phone taking a leaf out of Android’s book.
We always get excited about the latest handsets to roll off the production lines, but with so much choice out there it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. We compared the Lumia 930, Lumia Icon, Lumia 630, and Lumia 635, and also learned that the much loved Lumia 1020 could be coming to the end of its life very soon. It’s a device famed for its incredible 41MP camera, and Microsoft highlighted this in a new Windows Phone video. Interestingly, unlocked versions of the handset went on sale through Microsoft, and while individual Windows Phone handsets are much-loved, we learned that the highest levels of brand loyalty are still enjoyed by Apple.
More pleasingly, Windows Phone is currently the fast growing mobile OS. Existing Windows Phone users awaiting the delivery of the Lumia Cyan update have a website they can use to keep track of the schedule after the rollout started. If you need a rundown of what to expect from the update, check out our guide.
Hopefully this coming week will be rather more position in tone, but we’ll be sure to bring you all the latest news whatever happens.