Microsoft, carriers dance around 'Portico' update details
Some Windows Phone 8 users have been getting the first update to their devices over the past week-plus. That update, believed to be codenamed "Portico," includes a fix for rogue phone reboots, issues with Bluetooth connectivity, and being incorrectly routed to tethering upsell pages when browsing, among has other updates.
Up until this week, Microsoft was deferring all questions about the timing and features in this update to carriers. Microsoft officials wouldn't even say when and if Nokia Windows Phone 8 users -- along with HTC 8X users -- were going to get Portico.
Microsoft has set up a Windows Phone 8 update history page as of this week, which is a positive step. But why all the secrecy around this first update? If it's a case of needing to roll out slowly so as to monitor the impact of the update on phone performance, why not simply indicate that?
By the way, those Windows Phone 8 users still having problems with automatic brightness settings even after applying Portico, you might want to try a calibration trick about which Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Richard Hay blogged earlier this week.
Microsoft goes public with features cut from Outlook with 2013 release
But the deprecated feature I've gotten the most mail about is the decision to no longer provide search results for mail and calendar items in Windows Explorer or via the Start Menu. This change probably is somewhat less surprising to Windows 8 users, who are expected to search within apps. But to those using the new Outlook on older versions of Windows, the lack of the ability to surface mail and calendar searches without doing so inside Outlook itself has proven jarring, according to some from which I've heard.
Microsoft is slated to make Outlook 2013 generally available in early 2013, when it launches its Office 2013/New Office product family. (I'm hearing the likely date is the end of January 2013.)
New 7-inch (and 12-inch) Windows RT tablet coming from HTC?
The seven-inch form factor is one from which Microsoft itself seems to be shying away. When I've asked whether there might be a Surface Mini in the wings, I've heard from my contacts that Microsoft isn't convinced that a PC (which is what the Softies consider tablets to be) is a good form factor for creation and consumption.