Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Late last month, Microsoft announced a major update to Windows 10 would be made available on August 9th.

In a post on the Windows Experience Blog, Microsoft revealed a list of new features and security upgrades, improvements to Cortana and a set of features aimed at making the Windows 10 experience better on smartphones and tablets.

This news arrives almost exactly a yeat to the day of the consumer launch of Windows 10. The new operating system has seen massive adoption by both business and consumers users in the past year, and Microsoft hope these upgrades spur further adoption by any stragglers.

Security

  • Windows Hello will now have integration with biometrics.  This will allow users to embrace security without compromising convenience.
  • Improvements to Windows Defender (MS Antimalware software)
    • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection — cloud based antimalware software for enterprise
  • Windows Information Protection (more information here)

Cortana

This update will include updates to Cortana, the Microsoft virtual assistant, to hopefully make her more useful. The assistant is now available to take commands on users’ lock screens, so they can do things like ask questions and play music without having to unlock their devices.  Cortana can also remember things for users, such as their shopping lists or important to do item so that people do not have to refer to other platforms to retrieve them.

Windows Ink

Microsoft is also introducing new tools that make it easier to jot down notes using a touchscreen-enabled tablet or laptop. The Windows Ink features give users a virtual notepad to doodle, sketch or scribble down notes without having to wait for an app to launch.  Furthermore, key apps have new ink-specific features, like using handwriting in Office, ink annotations in Microsoft Edge or drawing custom routes in Maps.

Thats only to touch on a few of the key items in the update, there will be further secuirty enhancements and improved xbox integration. Microsoft Edge also received a handful of updates, including support for browser extensions which should make it more of a credible alternative to Chrome or Firefox.

Edge Browser

  • Battery usage efficiency gains — up to 3 hours compared to Google Chrome
  • Extensions available
  • Accessibility with HTML5, CSS3, Aria
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