Things were suitably quiet this week after the bombshell of last Friday when CEO Steve Ballmer made public his plans to retire within the next 12 months. The week started with confirmation that Windows 8.1 had hit RTM status and was capped by of news of leaked RTM version of the upcoming OS.

Between these two bits, however, were packed these analyses, statistics and rumors:

News of the Week

While there were rumors floating around that Microsoft had signed off Windows 8.1 last Friday, the company waited to officially confirm the news due to Ballmer’s retirement announcement. Early this week, though arrived the official news that the upcoming operating system had hit this milestone.

Thought of the Week

It did not take long for analysts, market watchers, even heads of rival companies to suggest that Bill Gates should mount a return to set the company he co-founded on the path to success, even if on an interim basis. Gates surely would have given a little thought to it, but he still plans to focus on charity.

Rumor of the Week

Nokia is coming from a busy summer. And now the Finnish telecommunication titan seems all set to top it off with even bigger announcements — both literally and figuratively speaking. A Windows RT tablet is reportedly ready for unveiling, and so is the Lumia 1520, a 6-inch phablet. Told you they were big.

Strategy of the Week

Microsoft does have a knack of pulling some good strategic moves in the market. Redmond is reaping the benefits of its little investment in Facebook. And now, even though it seems to be facing some tough competition, the technology titan seems poised to make another strategic investment in Foursquare.

Statistics of the Week

Statistics, numbers and market share figures have not usually featured in this column recently, primarily because there have been little worth reporting. But with a 7.02 percent share Windows 8 is now within touching distance of Mac OS X, to lay claim as the third most popular OS in the world.

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