Much cause for celebration for Microsoft this past week, and a few issues of despair. The Azure cloud platform suffered a downtime, rendering services inaccessible. But in the column of successes, we have a bunch of entries this week, and in the column of deals, some very irresistible offers.

A selection:

Milestone of the Week

Microsoft rarely talks about statistics of its app repositories, but when it does, it’s usually triumphant. The company let everyone know that Windows users now have access to over 525,000 unique apps, both on Windows and Windows Phone. A lot of work remains, but we’re getting there.

Release of the Week

Don’t tell Microsoft, but the third major update to the Windows platform is here. Some are referring to it as the November Update, while others are going with the erstwhile name of Windows 8.1 Update 3. Whatever you choose to call it, this important new refresh is now available for deployment.

Strategy of the Week

An unravelling strategy, one can make a point, but a strategy nevertheless. Intel is a leader, but apparently even leaders find the ultracompetitive mobile world a hard nut to crack. So much so that the chip giant has decided to cut on the subsidies it offered to Android tablet makers to use its processors.

Question of the Week

The Microsoft Band is a mighty fine accessory, for a first generation device, at least. Polished, optimized, and high on functionality. The device soon became a sales hit, but only to go out of stock soon after, leading some to question just how many Bands did Microsoft actually built for the debut?

Overtake of the Week

Remarkable how most of the negativity surrounding Windows 8 has now vanished. A lot of it has got to do with Windows 8.1 and how it fixed several issues with the original vanilla version. Good thing, then, that this flavor of the operating system is about to overtake the Windows XP behemoth.

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