The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week: September 29 -- October 5

This has been a week with a lot of news about operating systems. As we near the official release OS X Mavericks went GM and was made available to developers, while in the world of Linux Red Hat Enterprise 5.10 was also unveiled. Windows 8.1 was made available for pre-order, but a study of sales figures revealed that Windows 7 continues to grow faster than Windows 8. Ahead of his retirement sometime in the next twelve months, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer was punished for poor performance with a bonus reduction, with first generation Surface sales partly to blame.

Things look better for Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, with reports of the tablets selling out -- this is perhaps not surprising when Delta Airlines has bought 11,000 of the devices for its pilots. As well as looking forward, Microsoft also came over a little nostalgic, choosing to show off the capabilities of Internet Explorer 11 with a revived version of the classic Windows 95 game Hover.

After last week's look at the usability of Windows Phone, we took a second look at the Pfeiffer report to address some of the queries it raised. Windows Phone may have fared poorly in this particular test, but sales are improving in Europe. In software developments, Google announced AdMob for Windows Phone.

Speculation was rife about the possibility of Android and Windows Phone making an appearance on HTC devices, and the Windows Phone version of Facebook was updated. This was far from being the only Facebook news as Graph Search was extended (much to the concern of those worried about privacy), and status updates were made editable with the possibility for hilarious results.

Not to be left out, iOS felt the benefit of the arrival of online radio and music promotion platform Earbits. In less pleasing news, investigations into benchmarking found that Samsung may have been massaging the figures to help make its devices look better.

In the world of security Adobe suffered a breach that resulted in the theft of millions of customer records, while Evernote aimed to increase security by adding two-factor authentication. Yahoo showed that it was serious about security by offering a reward of up to $15,000 for vulnerability a bug reports. The company also bolstered defenses with new second sign in and App Password features. Better known for helping to speed up file sharing, BitTorrent revealed a new secure messaging service.

Staying with the web, the BFI announced a new movie streaming service and Chromecast users felt the benefit of the arrival of Hulu. Microsoft gets the final words this week as the company revealed more details about Smart Files in Windows 8.1's integrated SkyDrive. Ahead of the release of the latest version of the operating system, the Start button was highlighted in the company's latest ad campaign.

Back again in seven days after what promises to be another busy week.

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