Best of the Web for Windows Users – 27th of July - 2nd of August 2014

This past week has been dominated by news about Windows Phone and its upcoming operating system update. There's also some interesting news about Xbox One and Office for iPad. To learn all the details, read this week's recap!

The Best Tech Related News

Let's start with the most important news of the week about Microsoft and its consumer ecosystem:

Microsoft Leaks Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 Details - Microsoft has leaked new information about Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 to its OEM partners. The update includes many useful things like Start screen folders, smart case support, new screen resolutions and more. Read this article for the full list.

Microsoft is about to launch a selfie phone and a new 'high-end' Windows Phone - Two new handsets are being prepared by Microsoft, one of which is supposedly going to tackle the much disputed selfie trend. The other one is said to be an "affordable high-end phone".

Cortana now shows local recommendations from Foursquare - Cortana has received an interesting update, allowing it to show local recommendations from Foursquare based on your location.

Microsoft to roll out new Cortana beta and alpha releases in more countries - Microsoft will roll out beta versions of Cortana for countries such as China, the UK, Canada, India and Australia. Read the full article to see what the beta will deliver.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 wins plaudits for display, says researcher - DisplayMate Technologies stated that the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has one of the best displays on the market. Read the full article to find out why.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1: Internet Explorer - Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 will bring some interesting improvements to Internet Explorer, such as browser detection and legacy WebKit features detection.

BlackBerry Messenger now available for all Windows Phone 8 users - The famous BlackBerry Messenger is now available in beta for Windows Phone. Learn what it has to offer from this article.

With 35 million downloads, Office for iPad gets updated with new features - Microsoft has released a very large update for the Office for iPad productivity suite. Enhancements have been made to Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Chinese employees at Microsoft's Nokia arm protest mass layoffs - In the light of the recent layoffs made by Microsoft, hundreds of Chinese employees of Microsoft's phone business have started protesting against the layoffs. They claimed that the software giant has performed a "hostile takeover and violent layoffs".

EA is letting Xbox One owners pay $5 a month to play all its best games - Is Gaming as a Service (GaaS) here? Electronic Arts has announced the availability of a subscription service allowing Xbox One owners to play many of their games starting with $4.99 per month. The service is said to be available soon for everyone using Xbox One.

HTC's next Windows Phone is coming to Verizon with an awkward name - It seems that HTC is jumping aboard the Windows Phone bandwagon again. A new handset is said to be in development, under the name of "HTC One (M8) for Windows". Good? Bad? Remains to be seen.

The Best Tech Tips & Guides

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

ATM Skimmers Explained: How to Protect Your ATM Card - Our friends over at How To Geek have published a great piece on ATM skimmers and what to do to avoid being skimmed. We definitely recommend giving this article a thorough read!

Top 10 WhatsApp Tips Every User of this Addictive App Should Know - A very useful list of tips that you should start taking into account if you're a fan of WhatsApp.

17 software packages in a repair performance test after malware attacks - Are antivirus products and recovery tools really able to repair your computer after a malware infection? AV-TEST has put 17 software packages to the test. Read the full article for the results.

The Best of 7 Tutorials in July 2014

We would like to end this episode with a recap of the most popular articles that we published in July 2014:

What Are Those Windows Features That You Can Add or Remove? - Our most successful article in the past month which got featured by many big websites, including Lifehacker.

How to Connect to Hidden Wireless Networks in Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 - We've detailed a feature that is not known by many users and can come in very handy at times. Read the full article to learn how to connect to hidden wireless networks.

Simple Questions: What is the Workgroup & How to Change it in Windows? - Networking is not an easy subject and managing workgroups can be a confusing task if you are not familiar with the concept. We've provided detailed information on what a workgroup is and how you can change it.

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