Microsoft has confirmed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will arrive on Aug 2. The timing assumes significance given that the free upgrade offer to existing users of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 versions comes to an end on July 29. That means those who are yet to make up their mind on availing of the free upgrade have less than a month to do so.
The Redmond giant has also stated the Anniversary update – also referred to as Redstone 1 – will only be available to existing Windows 10 users. That in itself should be another reason to upgrade to the latest Windows iteration considering that the Anniversary update to it will be a hefty one, with several cool new features to look forward to. Those include a better Edge browser, more capable Cortana, integration of Windows Ink, better security along with the option to play several Xbox games on the PC itself.
Cortana: The Anniversary update will see the Microsoft digital assistant elevated to the lockscreen so that users can call upon her services even without unlocking the device. That apart, Cortana will also benefit from an all-round enhancement to enable her to perform better than before.
Microsoft Edge: The biggest talking point here is the support for extensions with some of it like Pinterest and Amazon Assistant already having been made available. Another nice feature forthcoming on the Edge is the likely integration of Windows Hello to allow for convenient logins. For instance, users will not be required to type in their username and passwords. Instead, showing the face to the built-in camera will be enough to log into services like Netflix. Microsoft is already believed to be readying the release the API to this effect though no partners have been named as yet.
Windows Ink: Windows Ink that Microsoft had spoken of at length will finally be landing on Windows 10 with the forthcoming Redstone 1 update. This will allow users to make notes almost anywhere within Windows 10 and will have support for most pens.
Security: This will be another central aspect of the Redstone 1 update and includes the new “Windows 10 Defender Advanced Threat Protection” that serves as a threat-intelligence and attack detection service. There is also going to be the “Windows Information Protection” system aimed at the enterprise users and will allow for file level protection of business data and much more.
Xbox Play Anywhere: This is going to be another important feature of the Redstone 1 update and will allow users to play select games on both their Xbox One consoles and PCs.
These apart, the big Anniversary update will also come with a whole host of bug fixes and enhancements and will roll out to the more than 350 million PCs already running Windows 10. In fact, Microsoft is aiming for the maximum possible proliferation of all versions of Windows 10 across all the supported device segments on Aug 2. That includes not only PCs, tablets, Windows Phones, Surface Hub, and Xbox One, but Internet of Things devices, and HoloLens as well.