Best of the Web for Windows Users – 14 - 20 September 2014

This week has been quite busy with lots of news about Microsoft. They have purchased a new company and announced another round of layoffs as well as new product launches. To learn more details, read this week's roundup.

The Best Tech Related News

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

Minecraft to Join Microsoft - Minecraft’s developer Mojang has been purchased by Microsoft. Since this is one of the most popular video games at the moment, we’re really curious to see how this will impact Microsoft, Windows and the game itself.

Microsoft cuts another 2,100 employees worldwide - Microsoft is continuing their previously announced layoffs with another round which is said to cut around 2100 people. Considering the previous layoffs of 13000 people and the estimated number of 18000 layoffs by the summer of 2015, we’re probably going to see another round next year.

Microsoft reveal 'wired' Xbox One Controller for PC - You can give your old Xbox 360 PC controller some time to rest now, since Microsoft has launched the Xbox One Controller and Cable for Windows, meaning that you can play your favorite PC games with an Xbox One controller via a micro-USB connection.

Microsoft is looking to 'fundamentally change the way Windows is shipping' - A job posting on Microsoft’s website suggests that the company is planning to change the way Windows is shipped and updated. We’re really curious to see how this will turn out.

Microsoft extends Windows Phone 7.8 mainstream support until October 14 - Although the Windows Phone 7.8 support was supposeed to be shut down on September 9, Microsoft has silently extended the support for a few more weeks. It is unknown why they chose to do this.

Microsoft is committed to mobile -- redesigns their "Mobile Devices" website - The Microsoft Mobile website went live this week and it will replace the Nokia website. It covers Lumia, Asha, Windows Phone and Nokia X. We’re wondering why there is no mention of Surface products on the new site.

Microsoft’s rejigged developer program increases appeal to the wrong developers - Microsoft has eliminated the annual fees for developers in favor of a single up-front payment. However, this doesn’t seem to solve any of the problems that Microsoft is having with the number of available apps for Windows Phone and their quality. Read the whole article to get a better understanding of this issue.

Microsoft OneNote, now on your smart watch - OneNote is making its entrance on Android smart watches. An update for the iOS app is on its way and so is another one for Windows Phone.

Microsoft gears up to take on Google's Android One; plans to rejig handset business with sub-Rs 2,400 phones - Google has launched their Android One phones in India and Microsoft is preparing to compete on the same price range with their Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft creates a keyboard for iOS and Android tablets - Microsoft has built a mobile keyboard compatible with iOS, Android and Windows tablets. The device features a button that you can use to switch between platforms, an Android home key and a Cmd key for Apple products. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t seem to have any Windows logo or button.

Microsoft's next version of Office includes a Clippy-like helper and a very dark theme - Aside from the Windows Technical Preview scheduled for later this month, Microsoft is also testing an Office Technical Preview. Apparently, the new version of Office will include a helper that reminds us of the good ol’ Clippy and it will feature a dark theme.

The Best Tech Tips & Guides

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

Installed RAM 20 GB (16 GB usable) - This discussion on Super User explains how Windows is managing the RAM memory in your computer. It is definitely worth reading.

How to Tame Your Work Phone and Be Productive - Lifehacker has published a useful article containing some advice on managing your distractions and becoming more productive.

How To Use Virtual Desktops On Windows To Improve Your Productivity - If you’re excited about the new virtual desktops that are rumored to be included in Windows Threshold, Guiding Tech offers an interesting alternative for other versions of Windows that do exactly that.

This is all for this week's roundup. We hope that you have enjoyed reading our recommendations.