The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week -- September 8-14

Big news came from Apple and Microsoft this week. Microsoft seemingly had a change of heart; having previously said that Windows 8.1 RTM would not be made available before its official launch date, the company announced that it would be released to people with TechNet and MSDN subscriptions.

The same group of people also gained access to the pre-release version of Skype. Microsoft was clearly in a very giving mood this week as the company also announced that it was giving free copies of Office 365 to non-profit organizations.

But it was Apple with the really big news. As well as revealing that iOS 7 will be available on September 18, the long-awaited new iPhones were also unveiled. The iPhone 5c is Apple's colorful addition to the iPhone line-up, while the higher end iPhone 5s benefits from a 64-bit processor, new camera options and, of course, that fingerprint reader. Pre-orders were opened soon after the announced launch.

Not content with what's available to buy now, Ian looked further into the future to see what we could expect from the word of tech in the year ahead. Joe revealed the latest range of Chromebooks will be based on Haswell chips.

Social networking giant Facebook revealed not only that possibility that public posts could start to appear in TV broadcasts, but also that we should brace ourselves for the arrival of auto-playing video ads. AVG announced CrowdControl, a new tool managing privacy settings on Facebook.

This was also a week of offense. AT&T caused ripples with an ill-advised ad-campaign that featured 9/11 imagery on the anniversary of the tragedy. IN the UK, the domain name registry Nominet asked for input from customers to determine whether potentially offensive domain names should be banned.

Mihaita spent some time this week looking at life online. As well as embracing Just Delete Me's easy method closing down online accounts, he was also pleased that Microsoft finally added IMAP support to Outlook.com.

Tablet users could be in line for a boost in storage space -- Seagate's 500GB Ultra Mobile HDD indicates a move away from SSDs where space is traded off for speed. On the subject of mobiles, Brian got a little vocal about the issues he has with Android, while I voiced my dislike for a lot of what I found in Windows Phone 8. Mihaita looked at how Google is shunning Microsoft's mobile OS by delivering uglier interfaces to WP users accessing its online services.

Moving to the desktop, Wayne opined about the installation process of Windows 8.1. He also showed his age (sorry, Wayne!) reminiscing about his punk days, as Google celebrated the music of The Clash. Also on the musical front, Google rolled out an update to Music All Access that allows for better personalization of the service.

We already knew that the PlayStation 4 is not too far off, but Sony also announced the PlayStation Vita TV. Essentially a Chromecast-style media streaming unit, the Vita TV also allows for the streaming of PS4 games from one room to another. Anyone already packing a Roku streamer now has a new Android app that allows for video to be streamed from Android to Roku.

These are just some of the highlights from this past week. The next seven days promise to be at least as busy!

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