What a week! What drama! What intrigue! You just scratched your head, right? I know you did because this was a tame week by any standard. That in mind, let’s keep it brief today, upbeat, and happy.

To begin, I shall not ask you a Microsoft question, as I do every week, but instead invite you to put on this excellent live recording as background music for this post. You need to smile some, it is Friday after all.

Now, ensure that you are following TNW Microsoft on Twitter, and Facebook, and let’s get into the news.

Windows 8

Of all the Microsoft products, few command our attention like Windows 8. The next edition of Windows is of critical importance for Microsoft, and also the larger technology world as it has the potential to shake up how the majority of computer users interact with their machines. We are going to bring you all the Windows 8 news in small, bite-sized pieces:

  • News broke early this week that, according to a study or somesuch, Windows 8 is headed for irrelevance. We took that to task.
  • Enterprise adoption of Windows 8 does appear to be prepared to ramp up very slowly, as Microsoft continues to push Windows 7 (over Windows 8) to its largest customers.
  • We managed to use the word ‘squirting’ in a title, in case you missed it, because file sharing à la the old Zune system just might be making it into Windows 8.
  • The Windows Store had its wrapper tugged off this week at an event.
  • PayPal will be supported in the Windows Store, but Microsoft will not explain if this means that PayPal will be allowed for in app purchases only, or the buying of apps themselves.
  • The Windows App advertising SDK went live this week as well, so head here if you are in need of its 0s and 1s.

Xbox

Holy new interface, Batman! That’s right, this was the week in which the new UI that has been long in the works was released:

The new update doesn’t just refresh the visuals of the Xbox Dashboard, it ushers in a number of new voice and gesture controls that will help users discover new content and improve navigation through the various menus within the Dashboard itself.

Basically, Microsoft is putting all of its efforts into developing the Xbox 360 into more than a games machine; it wants users to perform web searches, enjoy TV shows and films and hopes to engage console owners with new, custom applications to bring all media content together in one place.

Even more, Microsoft is rumored to have sold 1.44 million Xbox 360 consoles in November, and the companion app for the device also went live for mobile handsets.

Mobile Market Share

Microsoft continues to shed market share in the mobile space, despite its best efforts to the contrary:

Twice this year, Microsoft managed to not lose mobile market share on a month to month basis. In both circumstances, the company simply maintained the previous month’s tally.

However, simply not shrinking is not exactly a positive direction. According to the most recent data from comScore, Microsoft shed another 0.2% market share from September to October, settling down at the 5.4% mark. In contrast, the company had 8.4% two years ago, in 2010.

Zing.

Silverlight 5

And finally, Silverlight 5 dropped today. At last. You can download it here.