This week Microsoft officially announced that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be made available on all Windows 10 devices on August 2, 2016. The update, which will be free, will bring with it a wide-array of new features like Windows Ink, and enhance current features like Cortana. The update will also enhance apps like Microsoft’s Edge browser; add advanced security features for consumers and enterprises; add new gaming experiences; and enhance tools for the modern classroom.
To help protect businesses from today’s modern threats, Microsoft also announced two new security features for enterprise customers: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Windows Information Protection, formerly referred to as enterprise data protection.
“When we introduced Windows 10, our vision was not only to deliver the best and most secure version of the OS ever, it was also to create an experience that would keep getting better,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group. “The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is a great example of this — and we look forward to building on it even further in the future.”
To celebrate the availability of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft is making it easy for everyone to enjoy the great new features with special offers. Students can save $300 when they purchase an Xbox One and Surface or get a free TV when they purchase a Dell PC over $699. Plus, consumers can get $150 off select HP5 devices or $100 off select ASUS6 and Samsung devices.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is full of innovations that help people be more productive, stay safer online — and, of course, have fun too. For all Windows 10 customers, the Anniversary Update brings new improvements to Windows Hello and Windows Defender. With Windows Hello, customers can sign in with enterprise-grade security, password-free, to apps, and access supporting websites with biometric authentication using Microsoft Edge, the first and only browser to natively support biometrics according to the company.
Windows Defender anti-malware will also be improved with the update, allowing users to automatically schedule periodic quick scans of a PC, and provide notifications and summaries when scans are complete and if scans find any threats.
Other security update to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection will allow users to detect, investigate and respond to malicious attacks. Windows Information Protection, formerly referred to as enterprise data protection, helps protect businesses from accidental data leaks by separating personal and organizational data, protecting corporate data wherever it goes.
As we mentioned before, the update will also introduce Windows Ink. This will be an all-new experience that puts the power of Windows in the tip of a digital pen. The update enables people to write on a device as they would on paper. Integration with Office and other applications such as Microsoft Edge and Maps bring the power of inking everywhere while you use your device.
The Cortana improvements that we mentioned earlier will offer better access above the lock screen, more ways to remember with the ability for Cortana to save and recall information, and better synchronization across devices.
As previously announced, Microsoft’s Edge Browser will become more power efficient, offer more extensions and allow better accessibility. The Anniversary Update includes even more power-saving improvements in Microsoft Edge, using fewer CPU cycles, consuming less memory, and minimizing the impact of background activity and peripheral content such as Flash advertisements.
Microsoft Edge extensions, such as Pinterest’s Pin it Button and Amazon Assistant, will also be available in the Windows Store. The new accessibility architecture for Microsoft Edge also now supports modern web standards, including HTML5, CSS3 and ARIA. With this update, page structure and content are exposed more clearly with assistive technology. Visual presentation of web pages in high-contrast mode provides additional visual context, while preserving text contrast. Also, form entry when using keyboard navigation and screen readers improves the browsing experience for people of all abilities.
Announced at E3 2016 this year, the Xbox Play Anywhere feature will be introduced through the update as well. With the update gamers can buy a game once and play on a Windows 10 PC or 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 on both Windows 10 and Xbox One.
Cortana is also now available on Xbox One to help gamers find great new games, see what friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, and turn on Xbox One by saying, “Hey, Cortana, Xbox On”.
Top fan-requested features including Language Region Independence so gamers can choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of their location, and support for background music will come with the Anniversary Update. As well, the new Xbox One S, available this summer starting at $299, will include the Anniversary Update. With a limited 2TB Xbox One S launch edition available in August for $399, it is the only console with support for HDR gaming and 4K Ultra HD video and Blu-ray.