Best Of The Web For Windows Users - 12 - 18 July 2015

Another week has passed and it's now time for us to share the latest news from Microsoft's universe. The last seven days have been filled with novelties, announcements and rumors: we saw Windows 10 being released to manufacturing, Windows Insiders also got the latest 10240 build, we found out how Microsoft intends to "democratize big data" with the help of Cortana, we witnessed the exit from preview of Office mobile apps and the list goes on. Read our week's recap to get a better idea of everything new in Microsoft's ecosystem, and more.

The Best Tech Related News

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

Microsoft has finalized Windows 10 - Microsoft selected the Windows 10 build 10240 as the final RTM (Release To Manufacturing) copy. That means PC makers can start loading the new operating system onto their devices.

Build 10240 now available for Windows Insiders in Fast and Slow rings - Gabe Aul announced that the latest Windows 10 build - 10240 - is available to download and install for every Windows Insider. Find more about it from this official Windows blog post.

Windows 10's forced automatic updates are a good idea - By default, Windows 10 Home users will be forced to automatically receive updates. While some users might have concerns about it, the benefits of this approach outweigh the possible shortcomings.

Cortana for Android gets leaked ahead of official launch - While Microsoft announced that Cortana is coming to Android and iOS later this month, it appears that her Android version is already available for download on the Internet.

New Xbox Features on Xbox One and Windows 10 - Just a few days away from the launch of Windows 10, Xbox One users get some new and imporved features. Learn more about what's new from this article.

Microsoft's Cortana Analytics Looks To Simplify Big Data - By combining various technologies and tools, Microsoft creates Cortana Analytics Suite, a platform that aims to "democratize big data". It's really impressive what they already achieved - just watch the video below to get a glimpse of what Cortana Analytics Suite is capable of:

Windows RT update 3 is coming in September - While Windows RT users won't get the upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft will still deliver one final update to them, somewhere in September.

Microsoft removes the 'preview' tag from Office Universal Apps in latest update - In preparation for the coming Windows 10 launch, Microsoft has released the final version of its Office mobile suite. While no new features have been added to the apps, they received lots of optimisations over the past few months.

Microsoft patents 3D Touch system which can detect the angle of your finger - Microsoft developes a system by which it can detect in 3D space the angle of your finger above a screen. There are plenty of new features that this technology could bring to us, users. You can find more details in this article.

Several Windows 10 Mobile core apps score updates - Microsoft updated several Windows 10 Mobile apps, like Windows Camera, MSN Weather, Microsoft Photos, Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar and so on. Find what's new from this article.

Microsoft commits to 10-year support lifecycle for Windows 10 - This week, Microsoft published its license terms for Windows 10 and it also updated its support lifecycle policy. You can read all the details in this article.

Microsoft reaffirms commitment to Windows Mobile: new flagships on the way - When Microsoft announced that it's going to fire almost 8000 employees, mainly from its mobile division, people started to think that Windows Phone is dead. However, Microsoft always said they are strongly committed to Windows Phone. The latest announcement, made by Terry Myerson, restates this commitment, as Microsoft will launch new "premium Lumias" by the end of the year.

Microsoft to host a 'Windows 10 devices' press conference at IFA on September 4 - After a few years in which Microsoft held press conferences on their own, the company just announced that it will be present at the IFA trade show in Berlin, in September this year.

The Best Tech Tips & Guides

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

How to Reconfigure Your Sleep Cycles Using Your Smartphone or Smartwatch - Our friends from How-To Geek tested a few apps and peripherals that can monitor your sleep. Read it to find which is best for you and how to get a good night's sleep.

Should You Buy a Sound Card for Your PC? - Guiding Tech asks a very good question. Most of the mainboards today have built-in sound cards. Why would you want to buy an external one? Find the answer from this great analysis.

Checkbox Syndrome: Why We Spend Money on Things We Don't Need - Most of us know the temptation of buying the latest gadgets or products on the market just because they are "the latest". But it's true that before spending money on things that are an upgrade, the question we should really ask ourselves is "Are they better?". And by that we mean better for us, not just better than their previous versions. This LifeHacker article is a must read.