Best of the Web for Windows Users – 13 - 19 July 2014

This week was very busy with news about Microsoft. They have announced the biggest layoffs in their history, major strategic changes as well as new updates for Windows Phone users. We have lots of recommendations for you to read, so that you get a good understanding of what's going on in Microsoft's ecosystem.

The Best Tech Related News

Let's start with this week's most important news in Microsoft's ecosystem:

Microsoft layoffs of 18,000 employees begin - This is by far the biggest news of the week about Microsoft. If you would like to learn more about these job cuts and how they will be made, read this article from Mary Jo Foley. She has insights from lots of good sources.

Beyond 12,500 former Nokia employees, who else is Microsoft laying off? - It seems that 5,500 Microsoft employees will also remain without a job. Many of them are from Microsoft's unified Operating System Group. However, other groups will also be impacted and Mary Jo Foley has details.

Op-Ed: Microsoft layoff e-mail typifies inhuman corporate insensitivity - We enjoyed Ars Technica's editorial about they way Microsoft told its employees about the upcoming layoffs. Unfortunately the letter is a great example of corporate doubletalk and lack of actual transparency.

Microsoft officially increases free OneDrive space to 15GB for everyone - It's time also for some good news: OneDrive users now have 15 GB of free storage space and Office 365 subscribers get 1 TB of space per user.

Microsoft merges developer resources for Windows Store and Windows Phone, adds 21 new payout markets - Microsoft is moving forward with its vision of unified apps across all its devices. It is now offering a single Windows Dev Center website for all software development needs regarding building apps and games across smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Bing follows Google in offering Europeans the 'right to be forgotten - Microsoft has announced that it has started accepting requests from European users who want to remove search links from Bing, due to Europe's "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling. We hope to see more governments and companies embracing this ruling.

Microsoft launches a price assault on Chromebooks -The competition between Chromebooks and Windows laptops is heating up on the US market. This holiday season many low-cost Windows devices will be launched and The Verge has more details about them.

Microsoft: Xbox One sales double in US following Kinect unbundling - Last week we had news about Xbox One sales improving in the UK, as a result of the Kinect unbundling. This week the same news comes from the US market. Xbox One is selling better since it is offering a version without Kinect.

Microsoft won't let you set Google as default search on some new Lumias - You should take this news with a grain of salt as it is not entirely true. According to The Verge, the new Lumia 630 and Lumia 930 with Windows Phone 8.1 don't allow you to change the default search engine from Bing to Google. However, as the same news article admits, some European Lumia 930 / 630 carrier-supported devices have the Google option enabled. We also purchased a new Lumia 930 which is not carrier-supported and the option exists, contrary to the news article.

Welp, There Go Your Dreams of Android on a Nokia Phone - Another major announcement from Microsoft is that they will be ditching Android devices and will be focusing only on Windows Phone and Lumia devices. Goodbye Nokia X!

ALL-NEW WINDOWS PHONE EXPERIENCE: LUMIA CYAN UPDATE - the Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphone family will receive the Lumia Cyan software, the new Windows Phone 8.1 update and Lumia features upgrade. You can learn more about it from this official announcement. Its availability on a country by country basis can be found here.

BitLocker and Lumia Cyan causing issues for Windows Phones running Preview for Developers - According to a lengthy thread on the Nokia support forum, people are experiencing issues after upgrading their Lumia Windows Phones running the 8.1 Preview for Developers and using BitLocker full disk encryption. More details can be learned from this article.

That's it for this week's most important news.

The Best Tech Tips & Guides

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

The HTG Guide to Purchasing the Perfect USB Hub for Your Needs - A very useful guide from our friends over at How-To Geek.

Top 10 Notepad++ Plugins For Writers And Coders - We love Notepad++ and we think that this list of plugins may be useful to some of our readers.

How to resume YouTube videos automatically or manually - This guide presents a useful add-on for Google Chrome and Firefox users. You may want to use it.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week's roundup of news and articles.