Best of the Web for Windows users - 6 - 12 December 2015

This week Microsoft has released plenty of apologies for the problems users had with the new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, as well as the storage space available on OneDrive. They also made it possible to deliver operating system updates to Windows 10 Mobile without carriers, which is a major improvement that will benefit users. We also learned that extensions are coming soon to the Microsoft Edge browser, including AdBlock. To see more details 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:

Windows 10’s next major update will let Cortana float around your PC - Cortana first arrived on Windows 10 earlier this year, and now Microsoft is planning and building major updates, codenamed Redstone, to the operating system that will make Cortana a lot more powerful. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the company is experimenting with having Cortana float around Windows 10 .

Here is how Microsoft can push OS updates to Windows 10 Mobile without carriers now (and forever) - Microsoft released Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile updates on a global scale testing the Windows as a Service (WaaS) model. Besides the syncing of cumulative operating system updates between desktop and phone, the event revealed that carriers seem to be sidelined. Here is why that is and what changed between Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile.

Microsoft apologizes for offending OneDrive fans, but won't restore unlimited storage - Customers of Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service got an unwelcome surprise last month, with the company dropping its promised 'unlimited storage' option and drastically reducing free tiers. This week, the company apologized for its poor communication and announced a new offer to restore the old free limits for some OneDrive users.

Microsoft Issues Apology For Surface Woes - Microsoft’s Surface Book and Pro 4 were announced two months ago and released a few weeks after the initial announcement. While the devices generally received a positive review, there are issues with the products that are still affecting some customers.

Microsoft, partners inch closer toward Windows 10 Edge extensions - A new preview of Microsoft's Edge browser in Windows 10 should be available soon and will support Pinterest, Reddit and possibly other extensions. More details in this news article.

Windows Device Recovery Tool updated to support Lumia 950, 950 XL and 550 - Owners of the newly launched Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL and the Lumia 550 smartphones from Microsoft can now use the company's Windows Device Recovery Tool. The PC application has just been updated to support those new Windows 10 Mobile smartphones.

Lenov-lol, a load of Tosh, and what the Dell? More bad holes found in PC makers' bloatware - In brief, Lenovo laptops and PCs can be hijacked by visiting a malicious website – and Dell and Toshiba machines suffer vulnerabilities, too. More details in this news article.

HERE'S HOW ASTRONAUTS WILL USE MICROSOFT'S HOLOLENS ABOARD THE SPACE STATION - The astronauts aboard the International Space Station received a welcome delivery from Earth: over 7,700 pounds of supplies, including food, science experiments, and most unusual of all, several Microsoft HoloLens headsets. Just what will the astronauts be using these crazy new headsets for ?

Lumia 550 with Windows 10 Mobile now available and shipping in select markets - Microsoft’s new low-end Lumia 550 is now available in select markets. The device is selling for around $139 and it’s Microsoft’s "most affordable 4G LTE smartphone running Windows 10”.

Get 10 of the top albums of 2015 in the Windows Store for free - Microsoft is making 10 of the top albums from 2015 available in the Windows Store, for free for our Windows 10 fans as a gift from us for the holidays, and to say thank you for the support.

Open Live Writer is an open source fork of Windows Live Writer - Microsoft’s blog editor Windows Live Writer has been revived with an independent open-source fork, Open Live Writer.

Uber heads to Windows 10 Mobile and PCs with Cortana support; new US users get a free ride - Uber is among the first major multinational brands to launch an app built on Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP), allowing it to run not just on Windows 10 Mobile smartphones, but also across Windows 10 PCs and tablets.

Microsoft Insiders being sent Lumia 950s and Display Docks for feedback on Continuum - Letters are being sent by Microsoft to select Insiders who have had heavy participation with Insider feedback to tell them that they can grab a Lumia 950 (or Lumia 950 XL) along with a Microsoft Display Dock and Actiontec wireless adapter (for wireless Continuum).

Deezer preparing to launch Universal Windows App - Deezer has announced plans to release a Universal Windows App for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. To begin with, Deezer is planning to launch a Preview for the app, that will first be available for its Premium+ subscribers.

TuneIn Radio is here for Windows 10 - TuneIn Radio is now available for Windows 10. You can download it for free from the Windows Store to your Windows 10 PCs and Tablets. More details in this announcement.

You can now use Kinect to log into Windows 10 with your face - Kinect for Windows has enabled a lot of hacks and apps in recent years, but everyone has really been waiting for Microsoft to make use of the accessory on the desktop. With Windows 10, Microsoft is finally making Kinect useful for Windows without the need for third-party apps. A new Kinect developer preview enables Windows Hello for the sensor when it's used with Windows 10.

Microsoft Embraces Linux Foundation To Create New Certification - To help identify individuals who have an expertise with using Linux and Microsoft’s cloud platform, the company has worked with the Linux Foundation to create a new certification. It is called the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Linux on Azure certification.

Cool tips and guides

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

Facebook Is Ruining Your iPhone Experience, Here’s How to Stop It - Yes, Facebook is ruining your iPhone experience. It’s running in the background when it shouldn’t be. It’s looking up your location way more often than necessary and, if you believe Federico Viticci, it’s even using totally shady practices to make sure the Facebook app is awake and is collecting all sorts of data.

What happens when a PC is turning off? - A very entertaining and useful discussion about what Windows does when you shut it down.

5 Best Dictionary Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera Browsers - When you are reading an article on a website and you come across a word which you do not understand, you would normally look for some dictionary website or use the dictionary software or app in your mobile or desktop. Now you can use a browser extension instead.