Microsoft has finally announced the date of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that’s set to arrive on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One.
Coming August 3, both PC and Xbox One users will receive the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that’ll bring with it a number of new features and improvements across both systems. It’ll also be the first major update for the OS since its launch last year.
With the update bringing various new things to both systems, we’ll break them up into two sections.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update on PC
Diving right into the Anniversary Update on Windows 10 PCs, users who own either the free Windows 10 update, or a fill license key, will see improvements on security thanks to Microsoft’s new Windows Hello feature, a new feature that’ll allow users to use biometrics to access sites and apps for both Windows apps and Microsoft Edge. Compatible hardware is required, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction in terms of security.
In addition, Windows Defender will also be receiving an update and will allow you to schedule scans as well as a number of new new notifications and summaries when scans are complete and threats are found.
More security for Enterprise
For Enterprise customers, that Windows Defender update will be a bit more robust with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. This will offer “detects, investigates, and responds to advanced malicious attacks on networks by providing a more comprehensive threat intelligence and attack detection,” says Microsoft.
Enterprise customers will also receive Windows Information Protection keeping their personal and work data separate and more secure to prevent data breaches.
Windows Ink removes the pen from the paper
Moving back to the consumer for a second, the Anniversary Update offers a brand new feature, mostly for those on Windows 10 compatible tablets: Windows Ink. This feature, aimed at creatives, allow note taking, music composition, sketches, and much more, to be completed using a stylus.
Smart Sticky Notes will help users remember common tasks such as reminding them of flight times or even offering directions using Maps.
In addition, these quick notes can also then be transformed into actual legible pieces, with music notation being placed into a more coherent music notation sheet, and custom routes drawn on a map become more detailed directions.
A smarter Cortana
In the fight of the personal assistant, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will give Cortana even more smarts, allowing Windows 10 and Xbox One users the chance to ask for helpful information of issue commands. With over 1,000 compatible apps, Cortana can now do a number of things, and with the update, will be more helpful than ever.
Users will be able to access Cortana from the lock screen of their device, allowing you to issue commands without lifting a finger. You can also use Cortana to relay useful, personal information such as where you parked, flight numbers, and even recall pictures taken at certain times.
Microsoft Edge becomes… Edgier?
The Anniversary Update will offer a ton of power improvements to Microsoft’s latest web browser allowing for more browsing, and less watching your battery life drain.
Extensions will also become available with the update with extensions from Pintrest, Amazon Assistant, AdBlock, AdBlock Plus, and LastPass making their debut. Something many users have been requesting since Windows 10 launched.
Finally, a ton of new accessibility architectures will be added, supporting modern web standards such as HTML 5, CSS3, and ARIA. Assistive tech will become much improved with the Anniversary update with page structure and content being exposed more clearly, high contrast mode offers additional visual context while preserving text contrast, and additional improvements will be coming to the keyboard navigation and screen reader features that’ll make the experience much better.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update on Xbox One
Now to the fun part. Now the Xbox One has firmly become part of the Windows 10 family, a ton of new unifying features will be coming to the console to bring it more closer to the Windows 10 PC experience.
First of all, the Xbox Play Anywhere scheme will come into full effect, which applies to all future first-party games. It’s essentially cross-buy and cross-play, allowing Xbox One users to purchase a game and receive the same game on Windows 10 for free. Players will also be able to jump between games on either platform and retain the same achievements and in some cases, progress too.
Cortana will also be coming to the Xbox One allowing users to turn their Xbox on without shouting “Xbox On” and being ignored. Now they’ll be able to say “Hey Cortana, Xbox On” and hopefully the console should hear you a little better.
Unification of both the Windows 10 and Xbox One storefronts will also come with the new update, making navigation hopefully a little easier.
Finally, highly requested features such as background music playback and language region independence will be coming in the update too.