Best of the Web for Windows users - 1 - 7 January 2017

2017 has started with some good news for Microsoft: exciting Windows 10 devices were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Windows 10 is now used by more than 50% of Steam users and we have a launch date for Windows 10 Creators Update: April 2017. To learn more details, as well as other interesting news, read the recap of the first week of the year:

Microsoft: the news of the week

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

The best PCs, gadgets, and wearables of CES 2017 - The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas tries to get consumers excited for the new year with a treasure trove of new devices. Most of the big names in computing, gaming, fitness tech, smart home, and more show off some of their newest products that will come out later in the year. And until they hit shelves (if they do hit the shelves), CES is the only way to get a glimpse of them.

The PC is interesting again - While Apple has managed to incite a firestorm around the MacBook by toning down performance and stripping out ports, the Windows hardware ecosystem has marched forward in recent years relatively unabated. We now have Windows 10, Microsoft’s most robust and fleshed-out operating system in almost a decade. We’re also experiencing a surge in experimental electronics that rely on the added power of the desktop and laptop, led by the burgeoning world of virtual and augmented reality.

Exclusive: Windows 10 Creators Update set to be released on April 2017 - Microsoft will be releasing the Windows 10 Creators Update this April. While the update initially had a version number of 1703 in Insider Builds leading to speculation that it would be released in March 2017, the press revealed that the final version number will actually be 1704 for an April release.

Rumors of Cmd’s death have been greatly exaggerated - Microsoft has said that the Windows Command-Line shell is NOT being removed from Windows in the near or distant future, despite what several media outlets have said in recent months.

Windows 10 finally being used by more than half of all Steam gamers, 17 months after launch - Steam's latest hardware report shows that Windows 10 is finally being used by more than half of all Steam gamers, nearly 17 months after its official launch.

2016 sees Internet Explorer usage collapse, Chrome surge - Google Chrome surged to command 56 percent of the market, while Internet Explorer plummeted to just under 21 percent. Microsoft Edge isn't being completely ignored by users—it started the year at 2.8 percent and finished at 5.3 percent—but it seems to be underperforming its predecessor.

Exclusive: This is Project NEON, the upcoming incremental upgrade for Windows 10’s design - MSPoweruser managed to get a closer look at Microsoft’s internal plans for Project NEON and the future of Windows 10’s user interface. It’s a fairly minor update that builds on the current Windows 10 user interface. More details in this article.

Xbox Closes a Milestone Year in 2016 with an Exceptional Year Ahead for Gamers - Microsoft will not only launch the most powerful console ever in Project Scorpio, but they also plan to bring a number of exciting enhancements to Xbox Live. Learn more from this official blog post.

Nissan teases Microsoft's Cortana assistant in its cars - Nissan appears to be preparing to announce Microsoft’s Cortana integration for its cars. The motor company tweeted a short video with Cortana checking a schedule and teasing some “exciting announcements” for Nissan’s CES keynote.

Cool tips and guides

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

How to Disable LibreOffice’s Startup Splash Screen on Windows and Linux - If you are using LibreOffice, this guide will be useful to you.

How to Get Google Play on a Kindle Fire and Install Any Android App You Want - One of our editors has a Kindle Fire at home and he loved this guide. Now he can install any Android app he wants, straight from Google Play.

Samsung’s Water Resistant Galaxy A Series: 5 Things to Know - Samsung has officially announced the launch of its 2017 variant of Galaxy A series devices — the A7, A5 and A3 — and all three of them sport an IP68 certified water and dust resistant design. Here’s what else is interesting about these smartphones.

Digital Citizen: The best articles of the month

We would like to end with the most popular articles that were published on Digital Citizen, in December 2016:

What is a system repair disc and how to create one in Windows - When you purchase a new computer or when you reinstall Windows, you don’t think about problematic times where your computer will malfunction and you will need a system repair disc. Here’s how to create one such disk today, when things work well so that you can fix things faster when they don’t.

How to configure the mouse in Windows 10 - Do you need to know how to configure the mouse so that it works the way you want to? Read this popular tutorial!

How to work with the Performance Monitor in Windows - If you want to know how to keep an eye on your computer’s performance, read this guide.