This week was not filled with major announcements but lots has happened in the Microsoft ecosystem. First of all, now all users can legally download Windows 7 installation images when they need to, Cortana has predicted most of the Oscar winners, Microsoft now has a solution for removing the Superfish adware from Lenovo's computers and more. Let's take a look at this week's most important news about Microsoft and its consumer products and services:
The Best Tech Related News
These articles are this week's most important news in Microsoft's ecosystem:
Microsoft Now Lets You Download Windows 7 ISOs with a Valid License - If you don't have your Windows 7 disc handy—but want to create a custom installation, run Windows from a USB drive, or just do a fresh install—you'll need an ISO file of the disc. Now, Microsoft has a Software Recovery Center where you can download those ISOs for free.
Microsoft came remarkably close to predicting all 24 Oscar winners - Cortana isn't the only part of Microsoft that's interested in predicting the future. David Rothschild, an economist with the company's New York research lab, was behind the team that successfully guessed six of the biggest Oscar winners, including the awards for best film, director, actor and actress. In fact, across all 24 categories they only slipped up on four -- original screenplay, original score, animated feature and film editing.
Lenovo determined 'to make the Superfish situation better' - Amid ongoing public backlash over Superfish, Lenovo has said it wants to make the situation better and promised to develop a "concrete plan" to address concerns with "software vulnerabilities".
Microsoft has updated Windows Defender to root out the Superfish adware - Microsoft just took a major step towards rooting out the Superfish adware, which exposed Lenovo users to man-in-the-middle attacks. Researchers are reporting that Windows Defender, Microsoft's onboard anti-virus software, is now actively removing the Superfish software that came pre-installed on many Lenovo computers.
Microsoft to cut 9,000 Nokia jobs in China - Microsoft plans to shut two mobile-handset manufacturing plants in China formerly run by Nokia, cutting about 9,000 jobs in total.
Microsoft to drop Facebook, Google Chat integration in Outlook.com - Within "the next couple of weeks," Microsoft will discontinue support for Facebook Chat and Google Chat in Outlook.com.
Microsoft says OneNote users doubled in 2014, outlines plans for 2015 - OneNote, Microsoft's tool for managing freeform notes, has been around for more than a decade. But it's started gathering steam lately, with a twofold increase in users last year and a steady drumbeat of new features, OneNote's general manager told VentureBeat.
Update for OneDrive app for Windows Phone brings a few new features - The OneDrive app for Windows Phone received a new update. Now you can sign in to OneDrive on your Windows Phone with additional Microsoft accounts, protect OneDrive access with a PIN code, and create and view albums.
Microsoft Testing Pebble Notifications App Internally For Windows Phone Platform - Microsoft is internally testing a Pebble application for Windows Phone. The user can select the apps from which they will receive notifications and they can also customize notification types.
Cortana can now tell you about new movies, plus you can 'Pick the Winners' - If you are using Cortana on your Windows Phone or Windows 10 preview device, you may want to dive into Settings > Interests to check off some new categories. It looks like the Cortana team has finally delivered on some new items for Cortana to follow.
Microsoft Band just got a major update - The Microsoft Band and its companion Health app are getting their first major update. Microsoft's fitness tracker is getting a number of new features, including a new Bike Tile which optimizes the Band while biking, a quick read feature that lets you glance at your notifications, and surprisingly a virtual keyboard on the Band which you can use to reply to texts, if you're using Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft has also launched a web dashboard for Microsoft Health and will allow MapMyFitness users to sync with the service.
Microsoft opens up another support channel for Xbox One: Reddit - Microsoft has announced that they will now be providing official support on the Xbox One subreddit. The Xbox One subreddit is a massive community and represents a large portion of the company's user base.
The Best Tech Tips & Guides
We would like to share several tips and guides from other websites in the tech blogosphere:
Mac OS X Isn't Safe Anymore: The Crapware / Malware Epidemic Has Begun - In this editorial, the team from How-To Geek demonstrates just how much crapware there is also on the Mac OS X platform.
How To Password Protect PDFs on Mac, Windows and Web - A useful guide that shows how to password protect your PDF files.
How to uninstall and remove Superfish malware completely - The Superfish malware has been in the news recently, with Lenovo pre-installing it on all their computers. This tutorial shows you how to find out if your Lenovo computer has Superfish malware installed and offers instructions on how to remove it completely.
The Best Of 7 Tutorials
We would like to end with the most popular articles that were published on 7 Tutorials, in February 2015:
How To Repair Missing Or Corrupt Windows Files From The Command Prompt - A useful tutorial sharing how to repair Windows system files, straight from the Command Prompt.
How To Customize The Sound Scheme Used On Your Windows Computer - Some users love to use custom sound schemes on their computers. This tutorial is very useful to them as it shows everything you need to know about customizing the sound scheme in any Windows theme.
How To Change File Associations In Windows 7 And Windows 8.1 - If you would like to know all the ways for changing which programs open which types of files, you should read this guide.