Best of the Web for Windows users - June 26 - July 2 2016

This week we have learned new and exciting details about Windows 10 Anniversary Update, including its release date - August 2nd, 2016. We also learned that Microsoft has paid a California woman $10,000 over an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade and then it decided to tweak its aggressive Windows 10 upgrade prompt, so that it is easier to decline the upgrade. 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 Anniversary Update Available August 2 - The next major Windows 10 update, the Anniversary Update, is going to be released just slightly too late for its namesake event. The operating system first shipped on July 29, 2015. The Anniversary Update will come a few days after the first anniversary of that release, on August 2.

Mystery file in preview build hints at Windows 10 subscriptions - With the official launch of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update less than a month away, recent preview builds have been downright boring, with no new features to write about. But hold on a minute. What's this Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool?

Microsoft tweaks aggressive Windows 10 upgrade prompt following complaints - Microsoft has clearly learned that its ambition to have one billion machines running Windows 10 isn't worth losing the trust of its customers over. The new prompt includes the ability to "decline free offer," and the "Red X" at the top corner of the dialogue box will no longer initiate the upgrade.

Microsoft draws flak for pushing Windows 10 on PC users - How Microsoft has paid a California woman $10,000 over an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade.

1TB Surface Book & Surface Pro 4 available in 10 new markets starting today - Even more people can now get their hands on the most powerful versions of Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

Xbox Fitness users will soon lose access to workout videos they bought - Xbox users who purchased training videos through the Xbox Fitness app probably thought they were buying a workout program they'd be able to use regularly for the life of the Xbox One, at the very least. Instead, those videos will soon be completely unavailable to those who paid for them up front, according to a "sunset" plan announced by Microsoft.

The most stylish Windows phone in years launches in the US today - The Neo is arriving worldwide thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. NuAns is aiming to raise $725,000, and an early bird price of $270 will secure a Neo and a choice of the two tone cover or a flip case. NuAns even claims that the Neo will let you make NFC payments. Microsoft revealed an update to its Wallet app for Windows 10 Mobile last week, but only the most recent Lumia devices are supported for tap-to-pay.

PayPal may be working on a Windows 10 Mobile app [Update] - As previously announced, PayPal shut down its Windows Phone app on June 30. However, people who opened up that app got a message that indicates a new version is "on its way".

It’s official, Steam is coming to Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone - According to the listing, the app is not a Universal Windows 10 app, but it does support Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile. It will come packed with many features that Steam’s apps on other platforms.

VLC media player Windows 10 app now available for PCs, phones; Xbox One, HoloLens soon - The first version of VLC for Windows 10 is now available as a beta, with version number 2.0.0. According to Jean-Baptiste Kempf, president of VideoLAN, the new app includes "all the features available on iOS and Android and a few more".

Facebook Messenger picks up major update, now available as native Windows 10 Mobile app - Facebook Messenger has received a major update with a redesigned user interface for Windows 10 Mobile, bringing it in line with the updates rolled out to the beta client a few weeks ago.

Now Microsoft’s Support is also saying Snapchat is coming to Windows Phone - There have been some rumours of Snapchat coming to Windows Phone, started by one of the lesser known regional Lumia support accounts on Twitter.

Microsoft's Plan To Build The Ultimate Gestural UI - Almost 25 years ago, researcher Xuedong Huang founded the speech recognition program at Microsoft Research (MSR). His groundbreaking work ended up in Microsoft’s products like Cortana and Kinect. Today, voice recognition is pretty much figured out. But while computers hear us well, they still don’t see us very well. Gestural interfaces are still rudimentary. We may have virtual reality at home—and yet, those systems can’t even make out our own hands.

The Partnership of the Future - Microsoft’s CEO explores how humans and Artificial Intelligence can work together to solve society’s greatest challenges.

Cool tips and guides

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

What to expect from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update - The unconventional evolution of Windows 10 continues with the upcoming release of the Anniversary Update, version 1607. It's not just a service pack. Here's what's new.

How to Make Any Phone Feel More Like Stock Android (Without Rooting) - A very useful guide for all Android smartphone users.

How Using an Ultrawide Monitor Boosted My Productivity (and Can Boost Yours) - An editorial about the benefits of using a ultrawide monitor on your computer.

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 the month of June:

Test comparison - Which is the best free online antivirus scanner? - We’ve tested the 10 most popular online security scanners and, although it took quite a bit of work, we now have some exciting results to share with you. Don’t hesitate to read this article and find which are the best free online antivirus scanners for Windows.

Command Prompt - 6 disk management commands you should know - Wanna be a geek and truly learn how to use the Command Prompt in Windows? Read this guide!

Watch HD movies anywhere, on the go, or the best gadget to buy this summer - If you want to watch HD movies from anywhere you travel, then buying yourself a Miracast dongle or Miracast adapter is the best idea you can have. I’ve used it in all my travels for the last couple of months and I simply love it.