Best of the Web for Windows users - 29 May - 4 June 2016

Did you know that Microsoft is working on research projects that teach robots how to locate or identify you? Or that they work on projects that help us talk to plants? I didn’t until this week. Therefore I invite you to read this week’s recap with the most interesting news about Microsoft and its ecosystem. You will find plenty of surprising bits of information:

Microsoft: the news of the week

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

Microsoft makes blocking Windows 10 'Recommended' update near impossible: Report - Microsoft's push to update existing Windows 7 and 8.1 users is now becoming a shove, according to a new report. But it now sounds like the situation may not be as dire as feared.

Microsoft pushes Windows 10 Holographic as the one-stop option for VR and AR - Microsoft announced that Windows Holographic is coming to more than just the HoloLens: Microsoft wants it to be available for all virtual reality and augmented reality/mixed reality systems, from the tethered, fully immersive virtual reality headsets already on the market, to a new generation of untethered HoloLens-like devices. You can view a proof-of-concept video below.

Windows 10 will soon let you unlock your PC with wearables - Microsoft is opening up its Windows Hello feature to allow wearables to unlock a Windows 10 PC.

Windows Insider Program gets a new leader as Gabe Aul steps down - For the past 20 months, Microsoft's Gabe Aul has been the public face of the Windows 10 pre-release program. Effective immediately, he's turning over the reins to an engineer with "deep roots in Windows."

Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 Mobile 'Redstone' build 14356 - Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 Mobile test build, 14356 -- with new notification and photo sharing capabilities -- to Fast Ring Windows Insider testers.

Viber for Windows 10 beta begins rolling out for Windows 10 - Viber for Windows 10 beta begins rolling out in the Windows Store, it’s free to download from the Store and will be available across all Windows 10 devices.

Facebook Messenger Beta for Windows 10 Mobile hits the Store and is available (for most) - In a late night surprise, at least for those of you in the States, as Facebook Messenger beta built for Windows 10 Mobile is now available in the Store.

Minecraft sales top 100 million - Microsoft acquired Minecraft maker Mojang nearly two years ago, and at the time it had sold more than 50 million copies across PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and other platforms. Microsoft is revealing today that Minecraft has now reached the 100 million sale milestone, having sold 53,000 copies per day during the course of 2016. It's a phenomenal achievement for a game that started off as a bedroom project, distributed initially as a Java applet on a web forum.

Microsoft lowers Xbox One’s entry price to $299 - In a surprise move ahead of next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft has lowered the price on almost all of its Xbox One bundles by $50.

Microsoft Announces Office 365 Advanced Security Management - This week, Microsoft announced Office 365 Advanced Security Management, a set of tools that will provide organizations with better visibility and control over their Office 365 environments. Some of these tools are available immediately, while the remainder will ship by the end of the third quarter.

China’s Xiaomi Buys Microsoft Patents to Spur Global Forays - Xiaomi Corp. bought nearly 1,500 technology patents from Microsoft Corp. in a deal that may smooth potential legal tangles over intellectual property as it pushes beyond China.

Microsoft Is Teaching Your Plants To Talk Back - Project Florence could have incredible implications for the future of farming—and revolutionize the way we understand our environment.

Microsoft's Platypus can help robots locate and identify you - Microsoft Research is working on a system, dubbed Platypus, that can detect a human’s location and identity inside of a building. While technology that can do this already exists, for example computer vision, Platypus’ approach is novel and relies on the human body’s own electrical field.

Cool tips and guides

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

How to Set Up and Use Open365, an Open Source Alternative to Office 365 - If you use the LibreOffice suite of programs, you’ll be happy to learn about Open365. Just as LibreOffice is the free, open source alternative to Microsoft Office, Open365 is the free counterpart to the cloud-based Office 365.

How to Speed Up a Slowing Chromebook - Chromebooks aren’t perfect and can slow down just like any other computer. Here are some tips to speed up a Chromebook if it is slowing down.

Lagom Is an Informative, Minimalist Browser Start Page - There’s no shortage of start and new tab pages that will dress up each new tab with useful information, tons of widgets, or even gorgeous time lapses, but if you want something a little more minimal but still informative, Lagom has you covered.

Digital Citizen: The best articles of the month

We would like to end with the most popular articles that were published on Digital Citizen, in May 2016:

Digital Citizen Awards 2016 - The best Windows security product of the year! - This year we have awarded our first Digital Citizen awards for the best antivirus for Windows. Learn who has won our accolades.

How to make a backup copy of a protected disc (DVD or Blu-Ray) - This is a very sensitive topic and very few websites have good quality guides on this subject.

Screen resolution? Aspect ratio? What do 720p, 1080p, 1440p, 4K and 8K mean? - Do you want to know what all those acronyms related to displays mean? Read this modern-day guide to screen resolutions, aspect ratios and so on.