The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week

Looking at the biggest stories on BetaNews from August, 25 - 31, 2013. For the second week running, Microsoft managed to steal many of the headlines. After going gold, RTM, or however Microsoft now wants to refer to it, Windows 8.1 was released to OEMs. Depsite reaching this important milestone, developers were… irked, shall we say, to learn that they will not be able to get their hands on the completed code until it is released in October. At least that would be the case had the bits not leaked online very quickly. It was a Chinese version that was made available for unofficial download first, but an English version wasn't far behind.

I have previously pondered the popularity (or otherwise) of the Surface Pro, and this week Derrick stood firmly behind Windows RT positing five reasons it is destined to succeed.

In the mobile arena, the security of Android came under the spotlight – tests revealing varied performance between mobile security apps. Another study found that third-party Android app stores are rife with malicious code.

Apps appearing in Google Play may be safer, but two fifths of those released are virtually abandoned, receiving no updates at all. Rarely a man to mince his words, Brian wondered whether Android has lost its way, lambasting Google for slowly stripping away features from both hardware and software.

Many of us are still smarting from the loss of Google Reader, and the service that many people flocked to, Feedly made its Pro service available to all. Alan wondered why anyone would feel inclined to pay for RSS, and it’s a question I'm inclined ask as well.

Anyone already paying for a SkyDrive Pro account got a nice surprise this week as Microsoft announced that 25GB of space would be available to all employees using a business account. Everyone else can take advantage of the newly added OCR feature that can be used to grab text from photos.

Nintendo crept out of the shadows with a release that took many by surprise. The 2D version of the 3DS handheld -- called, inspiringly, the 2DS -- drops a dimension and trims the price tag. Another hardware release this week came in the form of the European and Asian Nexus 7, but there's still no news from Google about whether touchscreen issues have been addressed once and for all.

My Nexus came on a trip away with me, making me think about the importance of battery life in mobile devices. Looking to a future release, case maker Poetic may have dropped a clanger when they seemingly revealed the name and release date of the next iPhone.

Facebook lost a lawsuit that will see the social networking site pay out $20m. The site also revealed details of the government data requests it has received from around the world and proposed a series of changes to the way it handles user data.

The debacle about the NSA/government/world-and-dog collecting data about internet users continues to rumble on, and the week was rounded off with the unlikely alliance of Microsoft and Google. The two firms are working together to try to force the government to allow them to reveal more about the data requests that are being made of them. A PR move doomed to failure? Only time will tell.

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