Windows 10 Anniversary Update is the official name of a big update for Microsoft's newest operating system that the company will make available in Summer 2016.
Formerly known as Redstone, it is a massive update that will introduce new features and changes to the operating system.
The Anniversary Update is a free update for all devices running Windows 10 according to Microsoft. This includes non-PC devices such as the company's Xbox One console.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update
The following paragraphs provide you with information about the upcoming anniversary update. We will update the article as new information become available.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update Release date
Microsoft has yet to reveal the final release date of the Anniversary Update for Windows 10. The company stated that it will come this Summer which could mean as early as June 21, 2016 or as late as September 21, 2016.
Since Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015, it seems unlikely that Microsoft will push out the anniversary update before July 29, 2016.
It could pick that date for the release, or push it out on the first Patch Day afterwards which would be August 9, 2016.
As mentioned already, the update is free.
Windows Insiders will receive the Anniversary Update, and tidbits here and there, before it will be made available to the masses.
Features such as Microsoft Edge extensions are already being tested on the Insider Channel.
Cortana and Bots
Microsoft is betting big in Cortana, the virtual assistant. Cortana will come to new regions in the world including Brazil, and it will be integrated even deeper into the operating system.
This starts with the lockscreen, as Cortana will be accessible on it directly without users having to unlock the system first before they can start to interact with the AI.
Using machine learning and research in natural language, Microsoft wants Cortana to converse naturally with humans, and to provide better assistance at the same time.
One example that Microsoft showcased during the Build 2016 Keynote was Cortana adding an appointment automatically to Calendar after reading an email detailing upcoming flight information.
Core apps, like Skype, will gain access to Cortana and Bots as well, and the idea here is basically the same. AI will pick up information during conversations and process them to assist the user. This may go even as far as helping the user book a hotel room or flight when the topic comes up in a conversation.
Designed specifically for developers, the introduction of Linux Bash on Windows 10 is something that all users can benefit from.
Microsoft calls the integration Windows Subsystem for Linux, and it is a native implementation.
This isn't Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is an genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight.
The binaries are downloaded by you - using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me.
This runs on 64-bit Windows and doesn't use virtual machines (via)
The default system browser is a basic browser in its current state. While it performs well and supports many of the newer technologies on the Web, it lacks options and tools such as extension support or better privacy controls that many users expect from a web browser.
Microsoft will deliver a truckload of new features and improvements to Microsoft Edge with the Anniversary Update:
- Support for browser extensions. According to Microsoft, it will be dead easy to port Chrome extensions to Microsoft Edge.
- Windows Hello support to add biometric features to the browser which enable you to sign in on websites or to services using facial recognition or fingerprints.
- Improvements to the new Tab Page, including options to pin and remove sites, and to move tiles around, and better news feed customization options.
- Option to delete browser cache on exit.
- Set a custom download folder.
- Tabs can be pinned in Edge.
- Many under the hood stuff, such as support for new APIs, out of process Flash, web notifications or device profiles.
Microsoft continues to bet big on pen and ink support on Windows 10 by introducing several improvements that will come out with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Among them better sticky notes, and there specifically recognition of what is being written. This is very similar to how Cortana and Bots improve conversations and provide assistance.
Basically, Windows Ink services will be able to pick up cues such as words or phrases defining time, to process them and assist the user. For time-based information, these could for instance be added as appointments in the calendar application automatically.
There is a new Windows Inking Action Center panel, better Office integration (proofreading improvements were demoed), new virtual ruler support, and more.
Other changes with impact
Microsoft demoed a conversion tool called Desktop App Converter during the Build 2016 Keynote that has been designed to convert desktop programs into UWP applications.
The company showed how it is done with two games, Age of Empires II HD and one of 2015's most successful PC titles The Witcher 3.
Programs converted this way will benefit from all UWP features including Live Tiles and integration in Windows Store.
It is unclear at this point in time if the Desktop App Converter can convert any program to UWP, or if there are limitations. What's almost certain however is that we will see an increase of desktop programs turned into UWP applications when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update comes out.
This may take care of some of the criticism surrounding Windows Store, and there especially the lack of desktop program listings.
Microsoft announced a bunch of new apps and games that will come to Windows 10 soon, including Uber, Vine, Bank of America, WWE or Starbucks. The company made it clear furthermore that it plans to bring all of its Xbox One games to Windows 10.
- Revamped Start Menu that displays all apps on the front directly.
- New Keyboard shortcuts: Windows-Alt-D to open the taskbar clock, Windows-F to create a screenshot and send it to the Feedback Hub, Windows-Shift-C to open Cortana in listening mode.
- New applications Quick Assist and Skype Preview.
- Redesigned UAC prompt.
- Lock Screen changes: email address is not displayed anymore, Cortana is available.
- Redesigned Info Center.
- New Settings app design.
- New Active Hours feature for Windows Updates.
Now You: What's your take on the Anniversary Update?