Ah, the penultimate week before a big event! After close to a year of development work, which is still going on as of this writing, Microsoft is getting ready to unleash Windows 8.1 out in the open. These past few days were more talk less action, but it is the proverbial calm before the storm.

Below is a roundup of the week about to end:

Strategy of the Week

It never hurts to do what your competitors are doing, provided you can do it better. And Microsoft is confident that it can take the fight to Android and iOS if it can increase the market share of Windows Phone and Windows RT. Offering the platforms for free as dual boot options seems like a sound stroke.

Milestone of the Week

The two most important milestones in Redmond’s illustrious history will be reached next week when it launches Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11. But it reached another key landmark yesterday, as the Windows Store hit the magic number of 120,000 unique apps. Up, up and away!

Assault of the Week

With the company’s newfound focus on computing hardware, chances are that it is continuously working on a new gadget or gizmo around the year. And Microsoft’s main man Steve Ballmer recently confirmed that the company is already testing an 82-inch Windows 8 device.

Demand of the Week

Few thought that tablets will start outshining laptops, but that is how the market is rolling these days. But the arrival of Windows 8.1, it seems, is set to change that. According to reports, there is renewed interest in notebooks and ultrabooks, and hardware makers are seeing growing demands.

Discussion of the Week

Ford’s Alan Mulally has quickly become the leading candidate for Microsoft’s CEO post. In fact, the car maker’s board met earlier this week to discuss his possible switch to Redmond. Sure, the man can turn companies around, but then again, it begs the question, does Microsoft really need saving?

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