Best of the Web for Windows users - 4 - 10 December 2016

This week was very busy for Microsoft and they have made lots of interesting announcements. For one, next year Windows 10 will offer x86 compatibility on ARM processors. This means that Microsoft will finally be able to turn your smartphone into a real PC and that Surface Pro will be able to become the ultimate mobile computer. Also, Windows 10 will include the Home Hub - a software service that is designed to make your PC the center of your home. To learn more details as well as other interesting news, read this week’s recap of what happened in Microsoft’s consumer ecosystem:

Microsoft: the news of the week

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

Windows is coming back to ARM, this time with 32-bit x86 compatibility - Microsoft is bringing back something that it had before: Windows for ARM processors. Qualcomm-powered Windows 10 PCs will hit the market in 2017 but this time in a different manner than in the past.

Microsoft is about to turn a phone into a real PC - The software giant demonstrated Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, complete with HD video playback, Adobe Photoshop support, and Microsoft Office. Microsoft expects ARM-based laptops to be the first to adopt this new version of Windows 10. Traditional x86 desktop apps will be emulated, making the experience seamless to the end user. Laptops might be the first, but it’s easy to see past that and realize that this means Microsoft is about to turn a phone into a real PC.

Microsoft's Home Hub ambitions aim to crush Google Home and Amazon Echo [exclusive] - Home Hub is a Windows 10 feature designed to make your PC the center of your home, by making shared PCs more communal and bringing the connected home to Windows. More details in this article.

New Windows 10 Insider Build allows you to shut down your PC with your voice - In its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build, Microsoft has given you the power to shut down or restart your PC by your voice alone—a convenience that also may allow pranksters of all stripes to wreak havoc.

Microsoft now has the tools to make the Surface Pro the ultimate mobile computer - But while the Surface Pro is very good right now, it could be great with just a couple additions: longer battery life and integrated cellular connectivity, whether that’s LTE, 5G, or beyond. Mobile professionals will tell you that a perfect mobile computer can last all day away from an outlet and can get connected to the internet no matter where it is, without having to rely on Wi-Fi access or using a hotspot from another device.

Surface Studio is a love letter to artists, a curiosity for anyone else - A very thorough review of the Surface Studio, which you must read.

Microsoft aims to advance the powers of AI and mixed reality with 'Project Evo' - Microsoft announced "Project Evo", a joint collaboration with Intel, to advance the powers of AI to new heights. Under this partnership, the companies aim to bring advanced security features and improvements to Cortana, AI, mixed reality, and gaming.

Cortana apps for iOS and Android get a new look, finally arrive in UK - The Cortana iOS and Android apps launched in the US and China exactly one year ago, but the UK version features a new simplified look and feel for the apps.

Microsoft just finalized its deal for LinkedIn — here's what happens next - Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, which was announced back in June, finally closed on Thursday — and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has now outlined how the two companies plan to integrate their products.

LinkedIn notifications in Windows will be a special kind of hell - As part of Microsoft’s finalized acquisition of LinkedIn, one of its goals will be the implementation of LinkedIn notifications in the Windows 10 Action Center, so you will never again miss the note telling you that a complete and total stranger is trying to connect with you.

Microsoft thinks search boxes will disappear within ten years - Microsoft has published a list of major tech changes its researchers expect to see in the next ten years. They range from improved language translators and advances in deep learning to the prediction that traditional app search boxes will become obsolete.

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube collaborate to remove ‘terrorist content’ from their services - The companies said that together they will create a shared industry database that will be used to identify terrorist content, including what they describe as the “most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos” that have been removed from their respective services.

Cool tips and guides

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

How to Download Netflix Movies to Your SD Card and Save Space on Your Phone - Rejoice, you can download Netflix movies and TV shows to watch offline. Unfortunately, it only downloads to your built-in storage by default, which can lead to some slow, cluttered phones. If you’d rather use the extra space on your SD card for all those Stranger Things episodes, here’s how.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which One Should You Buy? - Amazon blew the industry wide open with its release of the Echo back in 2014, and it has since become the company’s most popular hardware product. However, Google has since gotten in on the fun with the Google Home, a direct Echo competitor that aims to reign supreme. But which one should you buy if you’re in the market for a virtual home assistant?

15 Relatively Unknown Google Apps That Might Be Useful For You - Each of us uses a few Google apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Chrome and others on our mobile devices, just because of the added convenience and utility they provide. But there are a few apps out there which are definitely worth a try, and chances are you might not be aware of them.