Best of the Web for Windows users - 17 - 23 January 2016

This week we have learned that Windows 10 now has a bigger market share than Windows 8.1, that the launch for Windows 10 Mobile has been delayed again, for various reasons, and that Microsoft has announced a voluntary replacement program for all Surface Pro AC power cords. To learn more about these events, as well as other interesting news, read this week’s recap:

Microsoft: the news of the week

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

Great Start of the Year for Windows 10 As It Overtakes Windows 8.1 - Since Windows 10’s launch in July 2015, the new desktop operating system has improved its share gradually, becoming the third most used PC platform in the last months of the year.

Microsoft will announce the Lumia 650 on February 1 with little fanfare - Multiple sources have confirmed that on Monday, February 1, Microsoft will reveal details about the new Lumia 650, including pricing and availability, through their official blog. The news is somewhat expected as the phone is not exactly worthy of a press event and Microsoft is likely going to keep their presence at Mobile World Congress low-key.

Dropbox’s new Windows 10 app shows the highs and lows of the platform - Dropbox has updated its Windows 10 app. It's now a Universal Windows Platform app, with a mobile version promised soon, and it takes advantage of a number of features new in Windows 10 that weren't possible for Windows Store apps in Windows 8.

Microsoft brings Office Insider Program to Mac users - Microsoft announced that it has now expanded the Office Insider Program to include Office 365 subscribers who use a Mac. Coinciding with this expansion, Microsoft also launched a new Twitter account for the Office Insider Program.

Microsoft just made Office apps far more powerful for the iPad Pro - Office apps for the iPad and iPad Pro can now take advantage of new inking tools for more precise finger and stylus drawings and notations. Microsoft is also bringing its PowerPoint Designer and Morph tools, which let you spruce up and animate PowerPoint slides, from Windows 10 over to iOS.

How to get a replacement AC power cord for your Surface Pro - Microsoft announced a voluntary replacement program for all Surface Pro AC power cords sold before March 15, 2015, in the U.S. and Canada and before July 15, 2015, in other markets where Surface is sold. More details in this news article.

Windows 10 Mobile Launch Delayed - The Windows 10 Mobile launch date saga continues, this time with more information coming from a French carrier who says that the release of the new smartphone operating system has been delayed until late February. And that’s the earliest date, they say, which means that the launch might actually take place in March.

Microsoft Build 2016 sold out "in 1 minute", despite no giveaways for attendees this year - Those attempting to purchase one of the $2,195 tickets for the Microsoft Build 2016 event, clogged the company's registration site, and within moments, people trying to sign up were quickly informed that they'd been added to a waiting list.

6tag updated with improved UI for large-screened devices - the best third-party Instagram app for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile has just seen an update which makes it look a bit better on large-screened Windows phones. The app also makes use of Instagram’s latest API, which would hopefully ameliorate some concerns that Instagram is cleaning out accounts they believe are spam.

'Force HDR' coming soon to Windows 10 Camera - After more than a few complaints of how Rich Capture works on the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL, Microsoft's (ex-Nokia) imaging chief, Juha Alakarhu, has shared that 'Force HDR is coming' soon to Windows 10 Mobile's official Camera application, though he couldn't promise 'any dates yet'.

Wake up with games through the Mimicker Alarm app, powered by Microsoft Project Oxford machine learning - Microsoft has launched a crazy alarm app for Android. Learn more about what it does in the video above, as well as in the official announcement made by the company on its blog.

Microsoft adds Snapdragon 617 in Continuum for Phones supported processors - Microsoft has officially added Snapdragon 617 processor to the list of processors supporting Continuum for Phones. This makes it possible for future mid-range smartphones with Windows 10 Mobile to support this feature.

Microsoft announces Minecraft: Education Edition for schools - When kids open Minecraft, Microsoft doesn't just want them exploring dark caverns, endless plains, and procedurally generated mountains; it wants them exploring places carved out of the real world, like ancient Pompeii, the pyramids of Giza, and Greek temples — places they can learn from. To start making that happen, Microsoft is today announcing Minecraft: Education Edition, a new version of Minecraft that's customized for schools.

Microsoft Donates $1 Billion Worth of Cloud Computing Services to Charity - The goal is to give nonprofits, who otherwise might not be able to afford it, access to some of the most cutting-edge technology. More details can be found in this news article.

Cool tips and guides

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

Xbox One backward compatibility: every major game tested - Microsoft stunned the gaming world last year when it announced that Xbox One would offer backward compatibility for Xbox 360 titles. It's a technological miracle considering the architectural differences between the two systems, but with the feature now fully rolled out and over 100 compatible titles available, Eurogamer wanted to put it to the test. In this extensive feature, they've road tested every major Xbox 360 game you can run on Xbox One: all of the Gears of War titles, Halo Reach, Assassin's Creed 2 - everything. Here’s what they have learned.

How to Watch Netflix, Hulu, and More Through a VPN Without Being Blocked - Netflix recently announced it plans to crack down on VPN, proxy, and unblocking DNS users trying to access content in other countries. The good news: watching streaming sites through a VPN may get a bit more difficult, but it will always be possible.

Find out which Apps have access to your Google Account - A useful guide for the many users of Google accounts.