It’s been one year (and a few days) since Windows 10 came out, and the Anniversary Update is officially rolling out today.
With new features for Windows Ink, updates for Cortana, refinements for Windows Hello, and much improved window management, there’s a lot to look forward to here. But don’t panic if you aren’t seeing an updated offered: Microsoft is rolling the OS out in waves, meaning some lucky users will get the update today.
Everyone will get the update eventually, but a Microsoft blog post says impatient users can manually install Anniversary by heading to Windows Update and hitting “Check for updates”. “Feature update to Windows 10, version 1607” is what you’re looking for.
If you’ve been ignoring Cortana, the Anniversary update gives you a few reasons to reconsider. Cortana can now mirror notifications from Android, for example, meaning you can read texts without picking up your phone. The virtual assistant can also now handle more complex queries, like pointing out conflicts while you add something to your calendar.
Managing windows gets easier, thanks to multiple changes to Task View. It’s not easier to move windows from one virtual desktop to another, and visualize all of your full-screen windows.
Windows Hello, which uses biometric data like your fingerprints or face to log into Windows, will now work with third-party applications. This means you could, once developers support it, log into apps or websites without a password.
But maybe the biggest updates are exclusive to owners of an Ink-compatible stylus. The update adds a new panel for using the pen, which adds functionality like erasers, pen tips, and even a virtual ruler for drawing straight lines. All this, and there’s a handy new sticky notes app that feels almost like the real thing.
The Annivesary Update is rolling out to PCs first, but updates are also coming to Windows Phone and Xbox One (the Xbox update is called the Xbox Summer Update). Cortana will come back to the Xbox, outside of Halo, helping you find new games and offering tips. You can even ask her to turn your console on, if you want. Xbox users will also get access to some Windows Store applications, and in some cases get a Windows 10 PC copy for games purchased on Xbox.
So there’s a lot to look forward to, but only some users will get access today. Rolling out to hundreds of millions of users can’t be simultaneous, after all, so don’t panic if you can’t see the update yet.
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