Best of the Web for Windows users - 16 - 22 October 2016

Microsoft released their latest financial results and they are so good that their stock just hit an all-time high, beating a previous record set in 1999. We also learned that the Anniversary Update is now on 77% of all Windows 10 computers and devices and that Microsoft will allow people to use their Skype names to sign into Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com and other Microsoft services starting next week. Th at’s really good news and there’s even more interesting stuff for you to read in this week’s recap:

Microsoft: the news of the week

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

Microsoft cloud annualized run rate hits $13bn in strong first quarter - The company now claims that its commercial cloud annualized run rate has passed $13 billion (it was $12.1 billion last quarter), and that the gross margin of its commercial cloud business is up 7 points quarter-on-quarter to 49 percent. Nonetheless, the company still doesn't give a detailed breakdown of its cloud revenue or expenditure, so getting true insight is a little hard.

Why Microsoft stock just hit an all-time high - Microsoft’s stock price reached an all-time high, beating a previous record set in 1999 (!) in the heat of the dot-com bubble. Shares opened at $60.31 and reached $60.45. Why is Microsoft setting share-price records in 2016?

Anniversary Update is Now on 77 Percent of Windows 10 PCs - It looks like Microsoft has finally worked out the kinks: The Anniversary Update is now installed on 77 percent of Windows 10-based PCs. That’s double the figure from a month ago.

Facebook Messenger for Windows 10 now lets you make voice and video calls - Just like on Messenger for Android and iOS, the phone icon in the top right corner of the screen in the Windows 10 app during a chat glows green when the other person is currently active, so you know you can reach them immediately.

Microsoft to add single sign-on via Skype option for various Microsoft services - Microsoft will allow people to use their Skype names to sign into Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com and other Microsoft services starting next week.

Microsoft reaches 'human parity' with new speech recognition system - Researchers at Microsoft have published details of new speech recognition technology that they say transcribes conversational speech as well as a human does. "We've reached human parity," says Microsoft's chief speech scientist Xuedong Huang in a statement. "This is an historic achievement."

Windows Device Stats: Windows 10 Mobile and HP Elite x3 Both Stumble in October - More bad news for Windows phone fans: According to the latest usage stats, Windows 10 Mobile growth has ended. And that shiny new HP Elite x3? It is off to a terrible, terrible start.

Microsoft unveils new features for OneNote for Android - Several new features have arrived in OneNote for Android: password protected sections, multi-window support, audio recording and the insertion of embedded files.

Microsoft quietly makes Outlook.com Premium public-preview available - Microsoft's Outlook.com Premium service, which will cost $19.95 per year for the first year, is now in public preview for US users.

Earn by Microsoft set to shut down in March 2017 - Earn by Microsoft, a program through which users could gradually earn credit to spend at the Microsoft Store by shopping at other stores, will be shut down on March 5, 2017.

Microsoft Bookings get a social boost with launch of new Facebook Page integration - Microsoft Bookings is an automated cloud service with a web-based interface that allows customers to book an appointment even outside of business hours, or during the busy working day when there's no-one available to take phone calls. Microsoft is now hoping to make it even easier for customers to schedule appointments by allowing businesses to integrate their Facebook Page with the Bookings service.

Cool tips and guides

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

Collin's Lab: History of the Battery - Adafruit’s Collin walks through the battery’s beginning as a set of capacitors used to store voltage through its more modern usage as a container of cells where stored energy is converted into electricity. He then shows how to build a voltaic pile using copper, zinc, and salt water so you can better understand how it works.

21 Best WhatsApp Tricks Every User Should Know - WhatsApp is hands-down, the best and most used instant messaging service on smartphones these days and the reason that makes it the best is its feature-packed nature. You might be using a couple of these features already, which is enough to make you fall in love with the app. But are you sure you know all of them?

How to Save Money on Smarthome Products - Smarthome products aren’t cheap, and completely outfitting your house with these devices can be an expensive endeavor. However, here are some things you can keep in mind if you’re looking to save some cash when you upgrade to a smart thermostat, smart lights, and more.