Best of the Web for Windows users - July 31 - August 6 2016

This week, Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released and there was lots of talk about it, including detailed reviews. Also, we have learned when the update will come for Windows 10 Mobile and the first reviews for Xbox One S are in. Check them out in 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 Anniversary Update: The Road To Redstone - There’s a lot to like with the Anniversary Update, and as the first major update since Windows 10 shipped, it’s a good start for Microsoft on their new track of Windows as a Service. We already s aw a couple of smaller updates since launch, fixing several outstanding items, but the Anniversary Update adds a lot more functionality to the operating system.

Android notifications on Windows 10: Microsoft does the bare minimum - The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is out this week, and it offers an interesting mobile feature aimed not at Windows Phone, but at Android: mirrored Android notifications. The idea is that when a notification pops up on your Android phone, it should also pop up on your Windows PC, allowing you to then deal with your notifications remotely on the PC. For now most of the features come with a well-deserved "beta" tag, but it's worth a look to see where this feature is and how much more work needs to be done.

Windows 10 usage continues to increase for Steam gamers; now at almost 47% - Valve has released new statistics for hardware usage, showing Windows 10 usage increasing steadily as Windows 7 user base continues to fall.

Microsoft's war against Chrome battery life now includes Windows 10 notifications - Microsoft decided to target Google's Chrome browser back in June with a new campaign designed to highlight how bad the browser is for your laptop battery life. While Microsoft's marketing effort was initially limited to a YouTube video and associated website, the software maker has started to take things a step further in its battery battle in recent weeks.

Windows 10 free upgrade is still available using Windows 7 and 8 product keys - In spite of the official end of the free Windows 10 update offer on July 29, it seems any valid Windows 7/8.x retail product key still installs Windows 10 for now.

Microsoft confirms two major updates planned for Windows 10 in 2017 - It may come as no surprise, but Microsoft won't release another major update for Windows 10 in 2016. The good news is that you can expect two big updates to Microsoft’s latest operating system in 2017.

Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update will start rolling out on 9 August - New information has come to light that suggests the Windows 10 Mobile update will start rolling out on August 9. Microsoft’s official Lumia India Twitter handle confirmed the date in a tweet.

The origin story of the Microsoft ninjacat - If you haven't heard about the Microsoft ninjacat before… then this blog probably isn't very interesting to you. But if you want to take a romp through history on this topic to get up to speed, this article is probably the best place to start.

Skype says Hello to new bots - Microsoft has added to the number of chatbots available for users of Skype, introducing automated AI assistants for vacation price comparison sites Skyscanner and Hipmunk, ticket store Stubhub, and programmable messaging service IFTTT.

Apple makes a really good ad for Microsoft’s Surface Pro - Apple has a new ad out for the iPad Pro. The tablet, which it explicitly and repeatedly calls a "computer," has "a keyboard that can just get out of the way" and "a screen you can touch and even write on." Apple stops just short of calling the iPad "a tablet that can replace your laptop," but if you lift the voiceover verbatim and play it over footage of a Surface Pro 4, you have a pretty good ad for a Microsoft product.

Xbox One S review – a beautiful upgrade, but only for 4K fanatics - Microsoft’s first major upgrade to console offers a sleek new chassis and 4K Ultra HD features – but do you need them? Learn from this review.

Xbox One S performance boost revealed - Xbox One S has a GPU clock-speed of 914 MHz, up from 853 MHz in the older unit. That's a 7.1 per cent increase and ESRAM bandwidth increases in line, taking that up to 218 GB/s effective. Some games see no difference - others run noticeably faster. More details in this performance comparison.

Xbox One S Teardown - What makes the new Xbox One S a worthy mid-cycle update to Microsoft's console? Let's tear down this surprisingly slimmer, possibly speedier, appreciably sassier Xbox One and find out. Game on!

Cool tips and guides

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

How to Watch the 2016 Olympics Without a Cable Subscription - Despite advances in streaming technology over the years, watching the Olympics on anything but a TV with a cable subscription is still a hassle. This guide shows you how to get your Olympics fix without resorting to signing up for a cable plan.

How to Ditch Chrome's New Material Design and Get the Old Look Back - Chrome 52 is rolling out for both Windows and Mac, and the first thing you’ll notice is that it comes with a slightly new look. This new interface translates better on some devices than it does others, but thankfully if you’re not a fan it’s easy to get the old design back.

9 basic principles of responsive web design - Responsive web design is a great solution to our multi-screen problem, but getting into it from the print perspective is difficult. No fixed page size, no millimetres or inches, no physical constraints to fight against. Designing in pixels for Desktop and Mobile only is also the past, as more and more gadgets can open up a website. Therefore, let's clarify some basic principles of responsive web design to embrace the fluid web, instead of fighting it.