Mark your calendars, Windows 10 users: Microsoft is releasing its Windows 10 Anniversary Update on Aug. 2, 2016.
This is one of the biggest updates to arrive on Windows 10 since it was released to the general public on July 29, 2015. Since then, Microsoft reports its newest OS is running on 350 million devices and that users have spent more than 135 billion hours on it.
New features arriving in the Anniversary Update are designed to improve security, digital inking capabilities, Cortana, and the Edge browser. Microsoft's personal digital assistant will now be available above the lock screen. New Edge extensions will include AdBlock and LastPass.
The Anniversary Update is arriving a few days after the official one-year mark for Windows 10, but Microsoft still plans to terminate its free upgrade offer on July 29. If you haven't downloaded Windows 10, you have a few weeks to upgrade and get the Anniversary Update features for free.
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Of course, not everyone wants to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft this week paid out $10,000 to a customer after an unauthorized upgrade caused her business computer to slow down, crash, and become unusable for days at a time.
The customer, Teri Goldstein, owns a travel agency business in Sausalito, Calif. When attempts to contact Microsoft support proved unsuccessful, she sued the company for the cost of wages lost and a new computer. She won her case.
This occurrence exemplifies the aggressive upgrade strategy Microsoft has adopted to increase the Windows 10 user base. Following user complaints, Microsoft changed its upgrade prompt for Windows 10 to be less aggressive, reported The Verge.
In order to drive more upgrades, Microsoft recently changed its upgrade prompt so that if users tried to dismiss it by clicking the red X, the update would be scheduled anyway. The UI change was confusing, so Microsoft is now giving users the option to "decline free offer," and if they click the X, the upgrade won't download.
Microsoft this week confirmed plans to kill the Surface 3 in December 2016. The news was originally reported by Thurrott.com, which noticed multiple editions of the budget hybrid were missing from Microsoft's online store.
The Surface 3 was introduced in March 2015 as a more affordable version of the Surface Pro 3; given its age, a spike in popularity was unlikely. Microsoft later confirmed inventory is limited and production will end by December.
While a Surface 4 would seem a natural next step for Redmond's hardware portfolio, neither officials nor Microsoft's rumor mill have discussed plans to launch an upgraded model. There's a chance Microsoft will exit the budget device space altogether, given its recent efforts to bring its premium Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book to enterprise customers.
Salesforce launched a new integration with Microsoft Outlook to accelerate productivity for business users, specifically sales reps. A new add-in called Lightning for Outlook enables users to access Salesforce data from the Outlook inbox without the need to go back and forth between apps.
Microsoft and Salesforce have a strategic partnership that has resulted in integrations throughout the Office suite. However, this latest announcement marks the first time Lightning components are available in another app, said Salesforce Sales Cloud director Greg Gsell.
Office updates include new functionality for Sway in Office 365. Subscribers now have access to three new features, including the abilities to add passwords, add more content (like text, photos, and videos), and remove the informational footer for a more polished appearance.
Windows Insiders in the Fast ring received Windows 10 preview build 14376 for PC and mobile. This build does not include any major new features, but it packs several improvements for both types of devices. As with all early builds, there are issues to be aware of before downloading.
Dona Sarkar, software engineer and new head of the Windows Insider program, announced the "Messaging everywhere" feature will not be arriving as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
This feature would allow users to send and receive texts from a Windows 10 phone to a Windows 10 PC. It was well-received by Insiders during testing, but Microsoft believes it can create a better experience through the Skype app and has decided to withhold it from launch.