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Hello friends! December 30 is on the calendar, which means it’s time to take stock of the outgoing year. In this article, we will talk about only a few events and announcements from Microsoft that we especially remember for one reason or another. Of course, there were many interesting things, and in the comments you can tell us what was the most unexpected and impressive for you.
In mid-January 2022, Microsoft stunned the entire gaming industry by announcing its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s leading game developers. The amount of the deal is $68.7 billion, and they want to complete it in 2023.
Of course, such a large deal could not fail to interest the antimonopoly authorities around the world. Some approved it fairly quickly, while others launched an in-depth investigation into how the merger would affect the gaming market.
Thus, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided not to approve the deal and intends to block it through the courts. This somewhat reduces Microsoft’s chances of successfully completing the purchase. However, the final decision is still far away, so the pendulum can swing in either direction.
In September, Microsoft released the first feature update for Windows 11, dubbed “2022 Update” or “version 22H2”. In this update, the developers have fixed many shortcomings, errors, and also introduced a number of new features.
We agree that the first release of Windows 11 was indeed controversial, as it lacked some familiar and useful features. In version 22H2, something was returned, finished with a file, and in this form the system can be safely recommended for installation.
Changes include support for dragging and dropping items to the taskbar, updates to File Explorer and the Start menu, a new menu for calling anchor layouts, a new Task Manager, and more.
Interestingly, some innovations were added to Windows 11 2022 Update about a month later, along with one of the cumulative updates. In particular, the long-awaited tabbed interface appeared in Explorer, quick access to the Task Manager from the context menu of the taskbar, and so on. Similar updates for version 22H2 with new features will be released every few months as part of the new Microsoft strategy.
Well, if you want to know more about the changes in Windows 11 2022 Update, then read our review. by this linkin case you missed it.
There are also rumors that Microsoft has decided to return to the traditional three-year Windows development cycle, with the next major release coming in 2024. Officially, this information has not been confirmed, but the likelihood of such a development of events is very high.
For example, Microsoft has chosen to release new features every few months as they become available, rather than being tied to a yearly feature update schedule. The first such update, codenamed “Moment 1”, has already been released, and at least two such updates are planned for 2023 with a number of innovations.
As for the next version of Windows, work on it has already begun. Moreover, in the official video for Ignite 2022, the company accidentally showed the concept of the future Windows user interface.
As you can see, the system will have a floating taskbar with rounded corners, and the system tray will move to a new panel at the top of the screen. There will also be search and weather widgets at the top of the screen.
But it is important to understand that although this is official, it is still a concept. It is not a fact that this particular option will go into work, and even if it is implemented, then by the release it can change dramatically. Well, the more interesting!
A few years ago, Microsoft renamed the Office 365 subscription to Microsoft 365, and has been actively promoting this brand. Now it’s time for more global changes. The company has decided to rename Microsoft Office to Microsoft 365 to reflect the emergence of new productivity apps.
Of course, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook will still be available, but from now on, they are part of the Microsoft 365 brand. It also includes services such as Teams, Loop, Clipchamp, Stream, and Microsoft Designer. Over time, all apps will receive new logos and the Microsoft 365 badge.
However, they do not plan to completely abandon the Microsoft Office brand. The company will continue to release one-time pay perpetual app bundles, such as Office 2021 and Office LTSC, for consumers and businesses. But all new features will initially appear in applications under a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Also this year, Microsoft introduced a mini PC called the Windows Dev Kit 2023, which is built on Qualcomm’s current Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 ARM desktop processor.
First of all, this device is intended for developers who create applications with support for artificial intelligence for the ARM platform. Simply put, you can use it to develop and debug applications, the beneficial version of Visual Studio 2022 for ARM has also already been released.
However, no one forbids using Windows Dev Kit 2023 as a regular computer. The cost of the device is very attractive – only $599. Alas, in Russia and the CIS countries it will not be possible to officially purchase it, but you can try to bring it from abroad. Windows Dev Kit 2023 has been confirmed for sale in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US.
In the outgoing year, there were other rather interesting events. For example, Phil Spencer became the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, and the head of HoloLens, Alex Kipman, was forced to leave the company altogether due to allegations of harassment. Updated Surface devices have been released, and the Xbox TV app has been launched to stream games to Smart TVs. Yes, and game studios pleased us with a large number of cool and interesting projects.
The upcoming 2023 will certainly be no less bright, interesting and eventful. As before, the Community team will continue to keep abreast and will notify you of the most important news. In the meantime, it’s time to take a breath and gain strength before a new breakthrough!
Happy New Year!