Best Of The Web For Windows Users - 7 - 13 June 2015

A lot of interesting news surfaced on the Internet the past seven days. We learned about an unreleased Nokia smartwatch, a partnership between Microsoft and Facebook's Oculus virtual reality project and we now know the release date and prices for Microsoft's Surface Hub. Find more about all these and more, in this week's recap:

The Best Tech Related News

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

Is Windows 10 ready? - Windows 10 is due to be officially released to the general public less than two months from now. However, Microsoft has to complete the RTM (release to manufacturing) process in less than a month's time, so that OEMs can prepare their devices. The question The Verge asks is "Is Windows 10 ready?". We really hope it is.

Surface Hub Coming to 24 Markets; Businesses Can Order Starting July 1 - Mike Angiulo from Microsofts Devices Group officially announced that the company will be accepting orders for their Surface Hub starting with July 1st. He also revealed that their group productivity device will be available in 24 different countries, and it's going to be sold in two different configurations: one that is designed for smaller conference rooms and offices (with a 55 inch screen and a lower price), and one designed for larger meeting rooms (with a 84 inch screen and a higher price).

Some Windows 10 Enterprise users won't get Microsoft's Edge browser - Machines on the Long Term Servicing Branch will not get Microsoft's new browser - Edge. Due to the fact that such computers and devices are running mission-critical applications, they will only receive hot fixes, but no new features for the next 10 years.

Microsoft Moonraker was Nokia's smartwatch before it was killed - Prior to being acquired by Microsoft, Nokia worked on a smartwatch, code named Moonraker. Apparently, Microsoft canceled its development process, as they were nearing the launch of their wearable Band. However, right now, they are working on the second generation of Microsoft Band, so it's possible that the Redmond giant will bring some features from Moonraker to the Band.

Microsoft partnering with Oculus for Xbox streaming, bundled controller for Rift - Oculus announced that its first consumer virtual reality headset - the Rift - will launch early next year. The head of the Microsoft Xbox division - Phil Spencer - revealed that each Rift will get a Xbox One controller and wireless adapter. Furthermore, the headset will support game streaming. This news comes to confirm that, in Windows 10, Microsoft will offer support for both augmented and virtual reality.

Facebook Connect features shut down for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps - Due to the fact that Facebook changed its Graph API tool, some of the Facebook integration features are no longer available. Read this article to learn which specific apps and services will be affected by this change.

Skype Translator Preview Is Coming to the Skype for Windows Desktop App - Last month, Skype Translator was made available for previewing by anyone. This week, we just found out that this feature will also be rolled out to Skype for Windows Desktop, some time this year.

A More Efficient Skype Experience for Your PC - The modern app version of Skype is getting retired by Microsoft. Instead of offering two different apps (modern app & Desktop app), Microsoft decided to merge them and offer one single Skype app that works both with mouse and keyboard, and with touch. That seems to be a natural evolution path, considering the upcoming Windows 10.

Microsoft to Open Source Windows Live Writer - A tweet from Microsoft's Scott Hanselman reveals that the popular blogging software - Windows Live Writer - will become open source.

Opera Mini for Windows Phone ditches beta label, celebrates with new video - Opera Mini became available for Windows Phone users in September, last year. However, until now, this app was in beta stage. That is no longer the case, and Opera Mini for Windows Phone celebrates this event with new video on YouTube.

The Best Tech Tips & Guides

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

How to turn your Windows 10 upgrade files into an ISO disk image - Windows 10 previewers did not and don't always get ISO files that they could burn on a disc or write on USB memory stick. Instead, Microsoft usually pushed new builds via Windows Update. However, Ed Bott found a way to create your own ISOs, using the cached update files. This guide shares everything you need to know and do.

My Smartphone Doesn't Need to Be Revolutionary - This is a really nice analysis of what smartphones used to be years ago and what they are now. They are devices that we all got used to, and if you think a little, you don't really expect (or want) anything revolutionary when it comes to them. That is…if you put aside performance and battery life. But other than that, do you really want new, revolutionary features to be added in every new and major version of iOS, Android or Windows Phone? It's simple: most of us don't want to learn how to use an absolutely new operating system.

Beware: Free Antivirus Isnt Really Free Anymore - Are free antiviruses really free? This is the question How-To Geek asks. And the answer is a simple no, at least in most cases. You can find from their analysis which free antivirus companies are making money on your good faith. Instead of offering clean, free products that could convince you to buy their paid versions, many security companies choose to bundle all kinds of adware, spyware, toolbars and other types of crapware. We recommend reading this article to learn what to use for your systems protection.