This week has had a mix of positive and negative news about Microsoft's consumer ecosystem. On the positive side, Skype group video calling is now free and we've also learned about upcoming apps and features for Windows Phone. On the negative side, Microsoft still has issues with selling the Surface line at a profit and an important security problem for Internet Explorer was discovered and patched this week. Read about this news and more, in this week's recap.
The Best Tech Related News
Let's start with the most important news of the week in Microsoft's consumer ecosystem:
Skype Loves Bringing Groups Together – With FREE Group Video Calling - great news from the Skype team: Skype group video calling is now available to everyone, free of charge, worldwide. In the past users had to pay for a subscription in order to use this feature.
Losses mount for Microsoft's Surface tablet line - reports are showing that even though the Surface tablet line is selling much better than it used to, its losses are also increasing. Microsoft has to bring its costs down and find a way to sell the Surface line profitably.
Nokia ‘Superman' will be the best Windows Phone for selfies - The Verge shares that a Nokia "Superman" device is currently in development with a 5-megapixel camera at the front. We are looking forward to learning more about it.
Everything just became a lot #MoreColorful - Nokia has released their first commercial, after joining Microsoft. Their message is all about being different, the underdog of the mobile world. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore talks Windows Phone design decisions, apps, and updates - Joe Belfiore, who runs the Windows Phone design and definition team, was on Reddit to answer questions about the future of Windows Phone. Ars Technica does a great job at summarizing the key things that have been revealed in the discussion: the future of Cortana, the upcoming release of a File Manager for Windows Phone and good news about other apps.
Microsoft to release IE security patch today, including one for Windows XP - this week, a lot of noise was generated by the fact that an important security bug was discovered for Internet Explorer, which impacted all versions of Windows, including Windows XP. Because of it, Microsoft has decided to patch the issue even for Windows XP users although the official support has ceased. We feel that this is a mistake and it sends the wrong message to users who refuse to ditch Windows XP.
Xbox Originals to challenge Netflix in June - as of June, Microsoft will release a number of original programs for Xbox One users. The company has put together an ambitious and diverse array of programing, which will increase the competition faced by services like Netflix.
Milestone: Bill Gates no longer Microsoft's largest shareholder, as shares dip below Ballmer's stake - Bill Gates has slightly reduced his ownership in Microsoft, leaving Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's largest stakeholder.
Internet Explorer 11 passes 9 and 10 combined, Windows XP remains abundant - if you want to learn the latest picture in browser and operating system market share, take a look at these stats.
The Best Tech Tips & Guides
We would like to share several tips and guides from other websites in the tech blogosphere:
How to Enable Click-to-Play Plugins in Every Web Browser - a very useful tutorial from our friends at How-To Geek. The guide applies also to Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Image Background Using MS Word - we bet that you did not know how to do this in Microsoft Word.
Five Best Resources for PC Games - a good roundup with the best online services for purchasing games and finding good promotions.
The Best of 7 Tutorials in April 2014
We would like to end this episode with a recap of the most popular articles that were published last month:
How to Delete or Forget Wireless Network Profiles in Windows 8.1 - Windows 8.1 Update brings some welcome improvements to the way wireless networks are managed. Learn more about them from this guide.
How to Switch Between Keyboard Input Languages in Windows 8 & 8.1 - do you need to type in multiple lanaguages and have a quick method for switching between languages? If you do, then you should read this tutorial.
Introducing Windows 8.1: What are Smart Files in OneDrive? - very few people understand what's up with OneDrive files that are marked as Available offline or Online-only. Learn more on this subject from this tutorial.
We hope that you have enjoyed this week's recap. If you have any comments or questions, don't hesitate to use the form below.