This week was an interesting and varied one, with news coming in from all quarter. Anyone who is looking forward to the return of the Start menu looks likely to have to wait until the release of Windows 9, but XP remains popular so maybe people are getting their Start fix that way. Windows 8.1 with Bing was shown off in a hands-on video, which coincided neatly with Bing’s fifth birthday. At the moment, Bing is proving so popular that even Apple has adopted it as the default tool for a spotlight search in the recently announced OS X Yosemite, and the search engine this week benefited from the addition of new features.
There were quite a few Computex announcements, including the ASUS Zenbook NX5000, ASUS Transformer Book V and ASUS Transformer Book Flip, but this was a week dominated by Xbox One news. The console’s June update added external drive support, and 45 new apps were unveiled for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The ever-useful SmartGlass app was also updated with One Guide and universal remote control capabilities.
Windows drivers were released for the Xbox One controller and there were a number of games headlines. Forza Horizon was announced for Xbox One and 360, and that classic beat-’em-up Mortal Kombat X is due for release on both Xbox consoles as well as PC. Batman fans will be disappointed to hear that Batman Arkham Knight has been delayed, but there is better news for fans of the Halo franchise as Halo 5 is now available for pre-order.
The recently launched Surface Pro 3 is also now available to pre-order from Staples, and the tablet will be seen on UK TV screens as it is being feature in the Big Brother house. It’s also making an appearance in schools in the US, as well as on TV screens in a new ad.
Microsoft celebrated helping the FBI to defeat the Zeus botnet, and also explained how data stored in the cloud is kept safe. The dust has settled on the whole WhatsApp debacle, which led us to ask about just what happened — and the app also received an update. WhatsApp my not have been misleading or problematic, but ww wondered how Microsoft should best deal with problematic apps in its stores.
That was one busy week! This coming one looks like being pretty hectic too, particularly as there’s going to be an Xbox One media briefing at E3 tomorrow. We’ll keep you up to date with all of the news, but there’s also a dedicated Windows 8.1 app for watching the briefing.