Microsoft’s logo displayed at a Surface event (Photo credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
“Microsoft Monday” is a weekly column that focuses on all things Microsoft. This week “Microsoft Monday” features news about the Alexa-Cortana Public Preview, a gold-plated Xbox One X, the Phantom Black Xbox controller, Halo: Infinite being known as Halo 6, new LinkedIn Sales Navigator features and much more!
‘Halo: Infinite’ Is ‘Halo 6’
Last week, Forbes contributor Paul Tassi published an article about how “Halo: Infinite” is actually considered “Halo 6.” This was confirmed by 343 Industries lead writer Jeff Easterling during a Mixer stream.
“It is Halo 6,” said Easterling. “You should just consider it Halo 6. Don’t think of it as a weird prequel kind of thing. It’s the next story. It’s the next chapter in what is going on.”
And it’s worth mentioning that Halo: Infinite will focus more on Master Chief compared to previous versions of the game.
Phantom Black Xbox Controller
Phantom Black Xbox ControllerMicrosoft
Microsoft has released a new Phantom Black Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller, which features a translucent black design, button mapping, a textured grip, a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and Bluetooth.
What makes this controller especially stand out is that the color fades from black to champagne gold. You can pre-order the Phantom Black Special Edition Xbox wireless controller now for $69.99 and it will start shipping on September 11th.
Gold-Plated Xbox One X
Up for grabs: this gold-plated Xbox One X Project Scorpio.Just complete this month’s quest for your chance to win: https://t.co/Slti6aWIH3 pic.twitter.com/phWgTXA991
— Xbox (@Xbox) August 15, 2018
Xbox Quests are a way to get rewarded for being an Xbox Live Gold member. For example, when you complete two quests on Xbox Quests you will win a mystery prize.
But this month, Microsoft is giving away something extra special. It is a 24k gold plated Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition.
Unfortunately, the special edition console will not be available for purchase. To win it, you will have to complete the Xbox Quest objectives this month. And according to IGN, this involves playing 30 minutes of multiplayer each day through August 20th and unlocking seven new achievements between August 21st and August 27th.
Alexa-Cortana Public Preview
Last week, Microsoft and Amazon announced the public preview of the Alexa-Cortana integration. This means that the Cortana digital assistant application can be activated through Amazon’s Alexa devices. And Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant can also be activated through Microsoft’s Cortana application as part of a collaborative effort by both companies. Microsoft had originally announced the integration during a demo at the Build 2018 conference in Seattle back in May.
To use Cortana on Amazon Echo devices, simply say “Alexa, open Cortana.” And to use Alexa on Windows 10 devices or Harmon Kardon Invoke speakers, simply say “Hey Cortana, open Alexa” or tap on the microphone button and say “open Alexa.” This integration should be rolled into iOS or Android soon.
“This is just the start for Alexa and Cortana, which means features like music, audio books, and flash briefing will not be available immediately,” said Amazon in a blog post. “But the experience will continue to improve as we work with Microsoft to add new capabilities and features over time. And because Alexa is always getting smarter, the experience will get better the more you use it.”
New Features For LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Last week, LinkedIn announced new Sales Navigator features. The most noteworthy features are known as Deals and Buyer’s Circle. These features are built into a web interface where sales representatives and managers can collaborate and save time while updating CRMs.
With the new Deals feature, it makes adding deal and contact information to the CRM much easier and it helps sales teams better understand pipelines. Rather than having to switch between screens in the CRM, users will be able to edit the information for an entire pipeline on a single page, including the deal size, stage, closing dates, next steps, etc. This saves a lot of time for organizations.
The new Buyer’s Circle feature provides an option to pull and display opportunity role information from the CRM like decision makers and influencers. This way you can find out if there are any key players who are missing from the deal. And you can add contacts to missing roles by simply dragging LinkedIn profiles to a role — which also automatically updates the CRM.
Some of the other features that were added to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator include Office 365 integration, a new search experience, mobile lead pages and new SNAP partners.
Skype Adds Ability To Archive Conversations
A new version of Skype available for Insiders now allows conversations to be archived. If you have access to the Skype Preview Insider program, then you should be able to download the latest version and start using the archiving feature now.
After you archive a conversation, it will be hidden unless something causes it to be resurfaced. Archived conversations can also be found by searching for the group conversations or contacts. Once you archive a conversation on one device, it also syncs to other devices.
Android Devices Now Able To Mirror Windows PCs
Microsoft’s Your PhoneMicrosoft
Microsoft has released a new app for Windows 10 called Your Phone, which makes it easier to sync tasks between PCs and Android devices. You will have to link your Android phone to your computer in Windows Settings and through the Phone app to properly use the app.
“Snap a pic on your phone, see it on your computer. With Your Phone app, get instant access to your Android phone’s photos, right on your computer. Finally, you can stop emailing yourself photos. Need to add a photo to your presentation? Want to spruce up that selfie? Just drag and drop,” says the description of the app.
New Shopping Cart Feature Being Tested
Shopping Cart featureMicrosoft
Last week, Microsoft announced a new Shopping Cart feature is coming to the Xbox Store. The Shopping Cart feature is already available in the Preview Alpha – Skip Ahead, Preview Alpha and Preview Beta ring of the Microsoft Store.
With this new feature, you will see a Cart icon in the Store that navigates users to the Shopping Cart just like you would see on other e-commerce services. All of the game and app product details pages will have an “Add to Cart” button, which is accessible form the “…” next to the Buy button. Plus there is a “Save for later” feature that allows you to remove items from the cart.
The Shopping Cart feature will support physical goods and games & apps Xbox One and PC (Windows 10).