What a busy week in the Microsoft world!  All kinds of news everywhere and it looks like there is no slow down for the month of October either.

Check out some of the things that have been happening recently:

  • Windows 8 NYC Launch Event – invites were sent out yesterday from Microsoft for this 25 Oct function that will feature the release of Windows 8 to the world and what appears to be the first hands on debut of the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet.  Officially Windows 8 will be available to the public beginning the next day and the Microsoft Surface RT tablet will also be in select Microsoft Stores starting at midnight.  Yours truly will be in place for the Windows 8 Launch in NYC with live tweeting and a live blog from the venue.  Thanks to @freddyfuentes for contributing to the trip sponsorship!
  • Windows Phone 8 launch Event – on top of the Windows 8 launch invites Microsoft has also sent out invitations to the 29 Oct launch of Windows Phone 8 which will be held in San Francisco.  We have already seen some of the new handsets that OEM’s are building for Windows Phone 8 however, there are a lot of details missing such as price and specific date they will be available and on which carriers.  We did find out yesterday that AT&T has an apparent exclusive for the new Nokia Lumia 920 handset which has caused a lot of consternation in the community. One thing is for sure, more Windows Phone 8 handsets will be available on more carriers than ever before which provides consumers a lot of choice to get on the platform.
  • Speaking of Windows 8 and its upcoming General Availability (GA), the Building Windows 8 team posted on their blog yesterday about the updates that will soon be out for the built-in apps for the new OS. It seems they plan to release those updates starting today and running through GA on 26 Oct. If you are already running the RTM version of Windows 8 then you will see a Windows Store tile notification about any available updates as they are released.  Updating them is as easy as going into the Windows Store and clicking the link in the upper right hand corner of the store.  If you want to check manually just swipe in on the Charms Bar (or press Windows + C) then choose Settings>App Updates>Check for updates to force a check. Check out their blog post to see more details on what changes have been made to the collection of apps. As a podcaster myself I must point out one thing that is missing and I hope shows up with the upcoming Xbox Music Service – podcasting support for subscribing, listening, etc.  Zune did this very well and podcasting is a mainstay information channel these days for a lot of people.  I am sure myself and many others will be keeping an eye on this.
  • The mention of the Xbox Music Service is a perfect segue to the reports about the upcoming launch of an ad-supported streaming service from Microsoft as part of Xbox Music. The Verge’s Tom Warren reported on this earlier in the week and this info comes after previous indications that there would still be a paid subscription option of some type under Xbox Music.  According to what I have read these services will be connected across your desktop, Xbox console and Windows Phone handset which fits right in with Microsoft’s goal to blur the lines between all of your screens.

Exciting times in the realm of Microsoft so it is going to be interesting moving forward because finally we get to set all the predictions aside and see where all these new platforms and services are going in the real world with real consumers.

Is there any Microsoft news in particular that you are excited about?