Best of the Web for Windows users - 13 - 19 November 2016

This week, Microsoft has made it possible for anyone to use Skype without creating a Microsoft account. Also, they have introduced useful updates to Cortana and the Photos app in Windows 10. Not only that, but they also joined the Linux Foundation, as a Platinum Member. To learn more about these events as well as other interesting news, read this week’s recap:

Microsoft: the news of the week

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

Now anyone can use Skype right away - If you've ever wanted to make a call on Skype but just didn't want to deal with the hassle of creating a Microsoft account, today is your lucky day. Now anyone can start a conversation directly from the web. Watch the video below to learn how.

Redmond delights: 10 reasons to be excited about Microsoft's future - Microsoft is a very different company today from what it was two decades ago. It’s less complacent; where once it could rely on huge revenues from Windows and Office sales, greater competition and the rise of highly capable free alternatives has pushed Microsoft to stop resting on its laurels.

Windows 10 Photos app adds inking and new filters for everyone on PC - Alongside inking and pen support — which is a big deal in and of itself — this update includes new filters for some extra editing mojo.

Cortana Skill Update: Helping you keep track of your to-do list - With the new list skill, Cortana can now easily and conveniently help you manage your lists and keep track of the things you need to do so you don’t have to.

Xbox Boss Discusses Project Scorpio's "Higher Price" and Reasoning Behind It - Microsoft's upcoming Project Scorpio system has been described as the "most powerful console ever made." As such, it's going to cost more than the Xbox One S (which starts at $300), but its exact price point remains a mystery.

Patch Tuesday overhaul: Microsoft to replace security bulletin index with database-driven portal - Over the past year, IT admins and security professionals have had to deal with massive changes in the way Microsoft delivers updates. Beginning in 2017, they'll have to adjust to a new format for security bulletins as well.

Microsoft—yes, Microsoft—joins the Linux Foundation - Microsoft, the company that has built an empire on proprietary, closed-source software, has joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member.

WINDOWS INSIDER MEMBERS GET A SNEAK PEEK OF CREATORS UPDATE WITH OFFICE HUB - On Thursday, Insider members received an update to the Get Office app that is installed as standard on Windows 10. The app is still labeled as Get Office in most contexts — but upon closer inspection in Task Manager, it is actually referred to as Office Hub.

Visual Studio Mobile Center introduced, aims to simplify mobile app testing - Visual Studio Mobile Center aims to simplify mobile app testing for Android and iOS app developers. The service can connect with GitHub, allowing developers to be able to get started very easily with their app’s GitHub repository. Once setup, developers can easily build the app for Android and iOS from Mobile Center on the cloud. After that, they can also test the app right from Mobile Center which is very neat.

Microsoft is going to pretend to release Visual Studio for Mac - The biggest news is that Visual Studio is coming to the Mac—or, at least, a piece of software named Visual Studio is coming to the Mac. Microsoft has always had a surprising willingness to give different products similar names, a move that generally provokes more confusion than it does enlightenment. The same seems true here.

Microsoft adds Outlook Customer Manager to Office 365 SMB plan - Microsoft is adding a new customer relationship management tool that is accessible via Outlook to its Office 365 Business Premium plan for no additional cost for subscribers.

Microsoft offers EU concessions over its $26 billion LinkedIn bid - Microsoft has offered concessions to EU antitrust regulators over its $26 billion bid for social network LinkedIn, the European Commission said on Wednesday, as the U.S. software company seeks to allay concerns over its largest ever deal.

One of Microsoft's datacenters in the US now runs entirely on wind power - Microsoft announced on Monday a number of new deals with regard to renewable energy that have helped make its Cheyenne, WY datacenter run entire on wind power. The new investments are part of Microsoft’s plan to use 50% renewable energy by 2018.

Cool tips and guides

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

How to Get Your Streaming Video to Stop Buffering So Darn Much - If you’re dealing with stuttering, hanging, or just low quality video, there are a few things you can do to improve it.

How to Use Tabletop Games to Become a Better Writer - Amidst the rise in tabletop gaming, dozens of storytelling games have emerged that challenge you or your teammates to create entertaining stories instead of beating each other. If you want to hone your skills as a creative writer, these are an excellent way to start.

Google PhotoScan Can Bring Your Old Polaroids to Life - Alphabet Inc’s Google has come up with a brand new addition to its range of apps with PhotoScan. This app will assist you in converting your old printed or polaroid images to digital format in a much more enhanced manner.