The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week
Looking at the the biggest stories on BetaNews from August, 18 - 24, 2013. Perhaps the biggest news from the last seven days -- at least in part because it came as such a surprise to most people -- was the announcement that Steve Ballmer intends to resign from Microsoft within the year. The CEO is planning to step down as soon as a suitable replacement is found, but there has been speculation that Ballmer may have been pushed rather than opting to jump.
Getting my hands on a Surface Pro for the first time gave me an opportunity to try out Windows 8 as a touchscreen operating system. Despite loving the Surface in general, I pondered whether the use of the same version of Windows 8 as on desktop machine may have been what's stopping Microsoft’s convertible devices from becoming more popular. At the same time, Brian fell in love with the Lenovo Yoga, citing Windows 8 as one of the computer’s strengths.
Lenovo cropped up elsewhere in the news as the firm teamed up with Pokki in a deal that will see the Start menu replacement software pre-installed on a number of systems.
It was a busy week for gamers, with the eagerly anticipated PlayStation 4 finally being assigned a solid release date. Not to be outdone, Microsoft revealed details of the upcoming Xbox One’s games line-up, announcing that 38 percent will be platform exclusives. Anyone looking to break into the world of game development is likely to find it a little easier after Microsoft launched ID@Xbox for indie developers.
Ashton Kutcher’s role as Steve Jobs has come in for some criticism, including from Robert X Cringely. While not unimpressed with the film on the whole, Robert feels that much of the essence of Jobs is overlooked. Also falling slightly short of the mark was the Ubuntu Edge campaign. The indiegogo fund-raiser ended up a massive $20m short of its $32m target.
Receiving something of a mixed reaction, and adding to last week’s commercials, were Microsoft’s Office 365 ads which put one of Brian’s loves, the Lenovo Yoga, up against the iPad in the classroom -- you can guess which came out on top.
Mark Zuckerberg joined forces with a number of key players in the Internet and mobile market to set up Internet.org. The project has been created with the goal of making the Internet more widely available, particularly to people in developing countries.
Two months after Google purchased Waze, the partnership is finally starting to trickle through. Incidents reported by Waze users not only appear in the Waze app, but also in Google Maps -- Waze users can also benefit from the addition of Google searching within the app.
Microsoft’s Outlook.com hit the headlines several times this week. After problems with the site, the access issues appeared to be fixed, but then re-emerged for some users. Microsoft said sorry, and then went on to add not only new alias management options to the site, but also officially released Skype for Outlook.com.
The company also announced an ad-free version of Bing for schools. No prizes for guessing the name of this service -- Alan revealed it to be, rather unimaginatively, Bing for Schools.