Best of the Web for Windows users - 10 - 16 January 2016

This week we have learned that the PC market has declined, again. However, almost a third of US consumers already use Windows 10, while new test builds are being delivered for the next major update to Windows 10. On a different note, Microsoft has announced a new logo for their Bing search engine as well as interesting features that will be made available soon. To see more details about these events, as well as other interesting news, read this week’s recap about Microsoft’s ecosystem:

Microsoft: the news of the week

These articles are this week's most important news in Microsoft's ecosystem:

Survey says: Almost a third of U.S. consumers on Windows 10 - U.S. consumers have fallen for Windows 10, according to a survey done for researcher IDC, with a larger fraction of those polled already running the operating system than the predecessors, Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Microsoft updates support policy: New CPUs will require Windows 10 - In a change to its longstanding support policy, Microsoft says PCs based on new CPU architectures, including Intel's Skylake chips, will require Windows 10. A list of preferred systems will support older Windows versions on new hardware, but only for 18 months.

THE GREAT PC DECLINE ISN’T AS BAD AS IT LOOKS - Last year was rough for PCs. There’s no getting around that. But it wasn’t bad enough to merit the doom and gloom that has accompanied two reports detailing their continued decline in popularity. The PC situation is much better than the pundits would have you believe.

Ten years of Skype video: yesterday, today and something new… - Skype is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its free video calling feature with the addition of mobile group video calling for all major smartphone platforms. Microsoft says the feature should be available in "the coming weeks", but you can pre-register on the company's dedicated tenth anniversary website to try out an early version of it.

Skype call scheduling and more updates for Outlook for iOS and Android - Microsoft has started rolling out an update for the Outlook app with many new features. The most important feature introduced in the latest update is the ability to schedule Skype calls from the app by simply using the "Skype Call" toggle while creating a calendar event. The participants can then join the call by clicking on the link that will be sent to them.

Windows users face a dangerous world with end of support for older Internet Explorer versions - Microsoft officially drops support for most older versions of Internet Explorer. That means no more security updates for tens or hundreds of millions of Windows users, many of whom will be blissfully unaware that they're in danger.

Microsoft’s HoloLens battery lasts up to 5.5 hours - Bruce Harris, a Microsoft Technical Evangelist, has shared some new details about the HoloLens headset, addressing some field of view concerns and battery life estimates.

Microsoft is bringing its excellent Windows Phone keyboard to iOS - Microsoft is planning to make its Word Flow keyboard available on other platforms, starting with iOS. Is this a smart move? Only time will tell.

Facebook for Windows 10 Mobile updated with new design, Continuum support - Windows 10 Mobile users can download an update to the official Facebook app from the Windows Store. This looks to be a major upgrade, with a new design, support for Continuum and more.


Microsoft Updates Bing Logo as Search Service Grows Up - Microsoft plans to introduce a new version of the logo for Bing, the No. 2 search engine, switching to green from yellow and putting the "b" in upper case.

Bing may be building a speed test widget within search results - a report suggest that Microsoft is integrating a speed test to measure your bandwidth within search results. More details can be found in this news article.

Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 Insider Preview build 11099 for PCs to Fast ring - Windows 10 Insider Preview build 11099 is rolling out now, and as with build 11082, Microsoft's Gabe Aul said that it "does not include big noticeable changes or new features". More details are found in this news article.

Windows 10 Desktop On ARM Discovered in Microsoft Documentation - Thanks to documentation found on Microsoft’s MSDN portal, Microsoft clearly lists Windows 10 for desktop, ARM. Also notable is the support for Windows 10 Mobile ARM64 and Windows 10 Mobile x86, the latter could be used to create an Intel powered smartphone that runs the company’s mobile operating system.

Cool tips and guides

We would like to share several tips and guides from other websites in the tech blogosphere:

Should You Get an “Ultra HD” 4K TV ? - A very good article from the How-To Geek team, with whom we agree.

The Netflix ID Bible – Every Category on Netflix - Netflix has tons of great content, but it can be hard to find it all if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The site’s algorithms show you what it thinks you want to watch, but these codes can help you venture outside the suggested depths.

Why are websites hacked? How to prevent hacking? - Why are websites hacked? It’s not true that only top websites are hacked. Smaller websites and blogs are more vulnerable. This post takes a look at why websites are hacked, what to do if you blog is under Cyber Attack and how to prevent stealth attacks, hacking and reduce risks.