If you missed it: Windows 9 release date, Surface Pro 3 UK launch, and Windows Phone 9 Preview

If you missed it: Windows 9 release date, Surface Pro 3 UK launch, and Windows Phone 9 Preview

More Windows 9/Threshold news spilled out this week, starting off with the revelation that we can expect to see a technical previous of the next version of Microsoft's operating system at the end of September or beginning of October. There have already been a few leaks so we know a little about what to expect from the next release, and it's looking as though there will be an improved updating feature.  We'll hear more about the next version of Windows when Microsoft holds a press event at the end of September to talk about the operating system. Will it be called Windows 9 or Threshold?

One of the complaints levels at Windows Phone is the number and range of apps that's available -- but it seems that this is not the only problem. The lack of Google apps is something that irks many people, and bad news came this week as it was revealed that there are no plans to update the (Google-owned) navigation app Waze any time soon. Updates did roll out to Xbox One users, however, as the August update gave access to a redesigned Activities Feed. Sneaking out a little earlier than expected (rather appropriately), Madden NFL 15 Bundle became the first game available for pre-loading ahead of launch date.

Not all updates are good news, however, and Microsoft acknowledged a problem in the August Update for Windows 8.1, and even went as far as advising users to uninstall it. Xbox One users benefited from a raft of app updates this week, but Xbox 360 owners learned that Ubisoft will no longer be developing games for their console -- although there is a new 500GB version of the console hard drive to look forward to.

There have been lots of updates this week, and one rolled out to the Surface Pro 3, helping to improve boot times. At the moment there is a lot of attention focused on the Surface Pro 3, but if this is a device that's slightly out of your price range, the Chromebook-rivaling new HP might be of interest. Google and Microsoft have a long-running rivalry which has played itself out in advertising campaigns as well as in the courtroom. But this s far from being the only company with whom there have been legal wranglings -- Samsung is another big name. Now it's looking as though the two firms might rekindle an old partnership which will see them working together in the future. Also on the cards for a future release, although unlikely to have Samsung's involvement is a Chromecast-style streaming device.

It's likely that Microsoft and Samsung will work together on mobile projects, and this week saw the unveiling of a key new handset -- the HTC One M8 for Windows. This is something of a flagship device, and has a price tag to match, but in the UK the Lumia 530 will be available soon for the super-budget price of £60. More excitement in the world of Windows Phone -- we could see Windows Phone 9 Preview released as early as December.

There were a couple of departures this week. Steve Ballmer stepped down from the Microsoft board of directors, and Michael Halbherr also left his post as the CEO of HERE at Nokia.

That's about it from us for this week... what have been your highlights? Ice Bucket Challenge?

Oh -- and don't forget to grab yourself a copy of the Converge app for Windows Phone so you can keep up with the latest WinBeta stories on the move.

What are your highlights from the past week?