The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be free for existing Windows 10 users—all reported 270 million of them—and comes packed with several key innovations for both developers and consumers alike.
Beginning with security, Microsoft plans to extend biometric security to apps & the Microsoft Edge browser via the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This expansion of Windows Hello onto browsers would be the first of its kind; albeit, at first, it would be somewhat limited, as it would require website developers to support biometrical passwords (something I pined for a while back).
Microsoft is also bringing improved pen support to Windows 10 in their Anniversary Update, enabling users to write notes on their devices as easily as they do on paper. During the company’s keynote at Build ’16, they demonstrated how app developers can incorporate Windows Ink into their apps with as little as two lines as code, reducing the uncertainty around any complications involved.
Windows’ personal assistant, Cortana, will be “more helpful than ever” with the new Windows 10 update. Cortana will be making helpful suggestions throughout a user’s day, and will be available above the lock screen for quick-access. Microsoft today launched a Cortana Collection in the Windows Store, to make it easier for Windows 10 users to find apps with the personal assistant.
Finally, Xbox fans have a reason to be excited for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Microsoft will enable any Xbox One to become a developer kit through Xbox Dev Mode with the Summer release, allowing anyone to create apps directly from their own device. The company is also bringing background music and Cortana to gaming on the Xbox One—all coming at a time when the Microsoft is unifying PC and Xbox games under a single Universal Windows Platform.
Those wishing to test out the Windows 10 Anniversary Update early can sign up for the Windows Insider Program; everyone else will have to wait until the Summer, though no firm date is available as of yet.