Microsoft announces Windows 10 anniversary update
Despite the Nokia/Windows Phone failure, Microsoft Windows 10 seems to be doing all right. According to the Redmond giant, "Windows 10 continues to be the fastest-growing version of Windows ever and is now running on more than 350 million devices." Even more, the company also unveiled the launch date of the next major update for its operating system. Previously known as Redstone, the Windows 10 anniversary update is scheduled to become available in early August.
This update will hit all Windows 10 devices starting on August 2 and will be available for free, as long as the hardware and software requirements are met.
Some key highlights of the update according to the manufacturer:
- More security features: Windows Hello to enable biometric access to applications and the Edge browser for logging onto websites without passwords. Malware protection and Windows Defender will automatically and regularly perform quick computer scans.
- New security features for corporate customers: "Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection" identifies malicious software based on internal Microsoft flags. "Enterprise Data Protection" is now "Windows Information Protection" for recovery of accidental data loss. The protection mechanism works by separating personal data and corporate data regardless of where the data is written on the drive.
- Digital writing with Windows Ink: A recent study shows that digital handwritten notes are a more efficient means of retaining and sharing information compared to typing on a standard laptop keyboard. Windows Ink now ensures a more natural writing experience and allows users to create digital sticky notes. The software will be integrated onto Office 365, Edge, and map applications for easier editing.
- Cortana gets advanced features: The digital assistant will now function when the screen is locked. Additionally, its memory options have been expanded for better accessibility and synchronization across multiple devices.
- Microsoft Edge is faster and more efficient: Microsoft is promising that its Edge browser will be faster and less of a memory hog with the ability to minimize background activities. The browser now supports HTML, CSS3, and ARIA. Other enhancements include a "Pin" button with better accessibility for Pinterest users and Amazon shoppers.
- More fun playing: The XBox Store will be merged with the Windows Store. The XBox Play Anywhere feature will run on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One systems. Additionally, Cortana will be available on the console and for playing background music when possible. The anniversary update will also allow gamers to select any language regardless of location. The XBox S is launching this August and will be the only console thus far with HDR, Ultra HD Blu-Ray, and 4K video streaming support.
- Extra Features for teachers and students: The new "Set up School PC" app automatically configures the PC for students to use in classrooms. Schools with IT support can use the "Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer" tool for configuring multiple devices simultaneously, which will be a time saver for classrooms with dozens of stations. The "Take a Test" app allows teachers to design and write classwork activities while a browser-based app can ensure that students cannot copy and paste work.
Unfortunately, the Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends July 29, so those who did not upgrade yet should take advantage of it to gain free access to the anniversary update as well.