Microsoft has confirmed that the next big update for Windows 10 - the Anniversary Update - is coming on August 2 and brings new features. Microsoft says that over 350 million devices are now running Windows 10, and that it will be offering free Windows 10 upgrades until July 29.
The Anniversary Update includes security upgrades, improvements to Cortana and features aimed at making touchscreen devices with Windows 10 more useful.
Starting with the new Windows Hello features; they make it easy for you to use the same security of Windows Hello with Windows apps and Microsoft Edge browser. The Anniversary Update also enables companion devices to use Windows Hello to unlock your PC, giving you more choices for quick, secured sign-ins.
Improvements to Windows Defender, Microsoft's free anti-malware service, includes the option to automatically schedule periodic quick scans of your PC; as well as provide new notifications and summaries when scans are complete and threats are found.
For enterprise users, Microsoft announced two new security features, launching with the Anniversary Update.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) detects, investigates, and responds to malicious attacks on networks by providing a more comprehensive threat intelligence and attack detection. This service is informed by the world’s largest array of sensors and expert advanced threat protection, including a team of security researchers at Microsoft leveraging in-house and security partner intelligence.
Because Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection is being built into Windows 10, it will be kept continuously up-to-date.
To help protect businesses from accidental data leaks, the Anniversary Update also delivers Windows Information Protection, formerly referred to as enterprise data protection. Windows Information Protection enables businesses to separate personal and organizational data and helps protect corporate data where ever it goes.
Windows Ink, available for the first time in the Anniversary Update, brings the writing you do every day into your digital world. Now, using a Windows 10 device, graphic designers can be more creative, musicians can write digital music, and students can do mathematical equations and learn by writing - all with Windows Ink.
- Quickly take a note, sketch on a screenshot, or draw an idea.
- Smart Sticky Notes help you remember common tasks like reminding you of flight times
- Key apps have new ink-specific features, like using handwriting in Office, ink annotations in Microsoft Edge or drawing custom routes in Maps.
In addition, following the Windows update, Cortana will be available above your lock screen so you can do things like ask questions, play music from your PC or set a reminder without unlocking your device.
Cortana can save and recall key information, like your frequent flier number or where you parked at the airport. You can also add photos to make your reminders visual, like a photo of a bottle of wine you enjoyed at a restaurant.
The digital assistant can give you notifications across all the devices you have with Cortana - like sharing directions across devices or from text or messaging services on your phone.
The Anniversary Update also includes even more power-saving improvements in the Edge browser, using fewer CPU cycles, consuming less memory, and minimizing the impact of background activity and peripheral content.
Microsoft Edge Extensions, such as Pinterest’s "Pin It Button," Amazon Assistant, AdBlock, Adblock Plus and LastPass, will be available in the Windows Store with the Anniversary Update to add features to your browser.
A new accessibility architecture for Microsoft Edge supports modern web standards, including HTML5, CSS3, and ARIA. With the Anniversary Update, page structure and content are now exposed more clearly with assistive technology. Visual presentation of web pages in high contrast mode is improved to provide additional visual context, while preserving text contrast.
New features for Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10 Anniversary Update:
- With the Xbox Play Anywhere program, you can buy a game once and play on your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One with shared progress, shared game saves and shared achievements. Every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.
- Xbox Play Anywhere games will be offered within the new unified Windows Store on both Windows 10 and Xbox One. You’ll be able to find the content you want faster and purchase game and app bundles, pre-orders, pre-downloads and subscriptions such as Xbox Live Gold.
- On Xbox One, gamers will be able to use Cortana commands to find new games, see what your friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks and turn on your Xbox One by saying "Hey Cortana, Xbox On".
- Language Region Independence (allowing gamers to choose any supported language, regardless of their location) and support for background music, will come with the Anniversary Update.
- Gamers can enjoy the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on the new Xbox One S. Available starting at $299 USD this summer, with a limited 2TB Xbox One S launch edition available in August for $399 USD, it supports for HDR gaming and 4K Ultra HD video and Blu-ray.