Friday is upon us yet again, my dear friends, making it time for yet another weekly Microsoft roundup. I do hope that you are mentally prepared for our endeavor.

Now, to spare us column inches, ensure that you are following TNW’s Microsoft channel on both Twitter, and Facebook, and let’s hop right into the news.

IE Rising

If you are a Windows 8 advocate, the following news will be a boon: Internet Explorer 10, the browser that ships with Windows 8 has broached the 0.5% market share barrier. A start? Yes, but a measurable one.

Here’s how the final, recent scoring went:

Between October and November, Internet Explorer gained an impressive 0.63 percentage points. Firefox meanwhile regained its recent losses, grabbing 0.45 percentage points, while Chrome fell a whopping 1.31 percentage points.

Internet Explorer gaining whilst Chrome slips and Firefox finds stability? What year is this? Naturally, there is now a demo version of Internet Explorer 10 out for Windows 7, if you are so inclined.

However, the browser remains very much a Windows 8 product, making its market share one proxy sign of the operating system’s popularity.

Windows Phone’s Momentum

This week TNW bumped Windows Phone to the major leagues, in our pages at least. Rising sales, improved developer momentum, and better revenues through app channels were the key considerations in our mental decision.

Sales for Windows Phone devices have risen by a factor of four, the Windows Phone 8 SDK was the most popular developer toolset that Microsoft released all year. Even more: app download rates and revenues have doubled.

That is no small list; Microsoft, at last, has a major mobile platform on its hands.

Windows 8 > Windows XP

This week, Windows 8 passed 1% market share, just as Windows XP fell below the 40% mark. Small milestones, but important moments they remain.

As TNW’s Emil Protalinski noted at the time:

The latest market share data from Net Applications shows that November 2012 was a great start towards that end. Windows 8 gained a solid 0.68 percentage points (from 0.41 percent to 1.09 percent) while Windows 7 gained just 0.02 percentage points (from 44.69 percent to 44.71 percent). Windows Vista meanwhile slipped 0.10 percentage points (from 5.80 percent to 5.70 percent) and Windows XP fell a huge 0.84 percentage points (from 40.66 percent to 39.82 percent).

When discussing monthly share rate changes, 0.84% is indeed a massive shift. Key for Microsoft is that Windows XP sheds market share, Windows 7 is not picking it up, Windows 8 is instead. That means that as XP moves towards the end of its life, Windows 8 could stand ready to accept most of its largess.

That would be a win for the firm.

Let’s Go to Outlook.com

Outlook.com will soon see a new bump in users from the Hotmail service, as Microsoft’s new email provider will enjoy more persuasive ads inside the legacy tool. In short, the great Outlook.com switch for Hotmail users is about to find a new gear.

Now, is this the moment that Microsoft begins to push users from Hotmail to Outlook.com? No. However, the product has been performing strongly, and the company appears comfortable to turn up the heat a notch. Naturally, Hotmail users will bitch and moan on the way over, but there is no deyning that Outlook.com is better than Hotmail.

Eventually, all Hotmail users will be shunted to Outlook.com. This is another step in that direction.

Now, have a solid brown ale and get out of the house. Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble