Microsoft came up with some interesting facts and figures at its annual Build 2016 conference; along with a few pleasant surprises as well.

Things started off along expected lines with Microsoft boasting the user base of Windows 10 has now grown to over 270 million devices worldwide. That in itself is an impressive figure considering the OS isn’t even a year old, having been launched just last July.

Microsoft said it makes for the fastest Windows adoption rate they have seen so far, bettering Windows 7 by 145 percent during the same period.

Of course, much of the success of Windows 10 has to do with Microsoft making available the OS free to Windows 7/8.1 users. The company didn’t just stop at that as there were constant updates made available periodically, typically once every three months.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft also added the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will also be made available this summer to all existing Windows 10 users. Also, like the original release, the summer update too will be for free and will include some exciting new features and innovations.

Windows Ink

Important amongst these include Windows Ink, which aims to make styluses almost an inseparable part of the Windows experience in the future.

Microsoft said the new initiative is aimed at reaching out to the more than 72 percent users who use a pen and paper for at least an hour a day for their daily chores. With Windows 10, those can be accomplished using computers itself, be it a PC, a tablet or a mobile.

Windows Ink

Microsoft also stated they are introducing suitable changes to several of its apps such as Office, Maps and so on to make them better suited to receive pen inputs. For instance, the Sticky Notes app is being updated to enable them to pick up the names of places or the times jotted down which then be used to create reminders.

Microsoft is also out to woo developers claiming it takes just about adding a couple of lines of code to make an existing app compatible with the Windows Ink functionality.

Bash coming to Windows 10

Another crucial revelation that Microsoft made at Build 2016 event is the inclusion of the Bash shell to Windows. None saw it coming which only added to the surprise element. Microsoft said the functionality will be available as part of the Anniversary update coming this summer.

The same has already been available on the OS X for years now, and it sure is a positive development with Windows too joining the ranks.

“This is not a VM. This is not cross-compiled tools. This is native,” said Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo. “We’ve partnered with Canonical to offer this great experience, which you’ll be able to download right from the Windows Store.”

Bash on Windows 10

The latest development will not only help developers to better flexibility and convenience but also makes for a renewed push towards open-source development.

“The native availability of a full Ubuntu environment on Windows, without virtualization or emulation, is a milestone that defies convention and a gateway to fascinatingly unfamiliar territory,” Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a statement today. “In our journey to bring free software to the widest possible audience, this is not a moment we could have predicted. Nevertheless we are delighted to stand behind Ubuntu for Windows, committed to addressing the needs of Windows developers exploring Linux in this amazing new way, and excited at the possibilities heralded by this unexpected turn of events.”

Perhaps things haven’t been this exciting with any version of Windows ever before.



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