Windows 10 Anniversary Update Slated For Aug. 2 - InformationWeek
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6/29/2016
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Windows 10 Anniversary Update Slated For Aug. 2

Microsoft plans to mark the first year of its latest OS with several new features in a Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Microsoft's $1 Billion-Plus Acquisitions: 9 Big Bets
Microsoft's $1 Billion-Plus Acquisitions: 9 Big Bets
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Mark your calendars, Windows users. Microsoft has confirmed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is slated for a public rollout on Aug. 2.

Windows 10 was officially released on July 29, 2015. Almost one year later, Microsoft reports over 350 million devices running Windows 10 -- an increase of 50 million since the last device count in May 2016.

Customer engagement is also high, with users spending more than 135 billion hours on the OS.

To celebrate the one-year mark, Redmond is releasing one of the biggest updates to arrive on Windows 10 since its public rollout. The Anniversary Update includes new features for businesses and consumers.

[More on Windows 10: Microsoft paid out $10,000 for a forced OS upgrade.]

Security is a priority in the coming update. Two major security features arriving on Aug. 2 are Windows Defender and Windows Hello for apps and websites in Microsoft's efforts to eliminate the password.

Biometric authentication system Windows Hello can be used to log in to apps and websites within Microsoft Edge. As part of the Anniversary Update, Windows users can also use Windows Hello to unlock their PCs using companion devices.

For individual users, improvements to Windows Defender will include an option to automatically schedule quick, regular PC scans and receive alerts and summaries if threats are detected.

Enterprise customers will receive Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which is designed to detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats. Businesses will be protected from accidental data leaks with Windows Information Protection, which lets corporations separate personal and business information to better protect sensitive data.

Cortana, which first arrived on the desktop in Windows 10, will now be available above the lock screen so you can set reminders or play music without unlocking it. Cortana will also save and recall important information like frequent flier numbers, and give notifications across all devices where it is present.

Windows Hello isn't the only improvement arriving in Microsoft Edge. The browser will come with power-saving upgrades like using less memory and fewer CPU cycles, and lessening the affects of background activity. Microsoft has already touted the lasting power of Edge, and this indicates it's doing more to preserve users' battery life.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

Edge will also be updated with extensions including the Pinterest "Pin It" Button, Amazon Assistant, LastPass, AdBlock, and AdBlock Plus in the Windows Store. It'll also have a new accessibility architecture to support modern web standards like HTML5, CSS3, and ARIA.

Microsoft is also working to improve digital pen capabilities with Windows Ink, a central hub for using the pen in Windows 10. You'll be able to use Windows Ink to take notes, draw, or sketch on screenshots. Smart Sticky Notes help you remember tasks and suggest directions.

Some of the core apps in Windows 10 have been updated to include features to support inking. You can handwrite notes in Office or Edge, or draw custom routes on the Maps app.

Windows 10 has been available as a free upgrade since it launched last summer, but the clock is ticking for anyone still running older versions of Windows.

The Anniversary Update will be released a few days after Microsoft stops offering Windows 10 for free to current users of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. If you want the upcoming features at no cost, be sure to upgrade to Windows 10 before July 29.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2016 | 7:54:27 AM
Re: The end of free
" craptastic hardware compatibility...or better to say, the lack thereof, crash happy default drivers, and the utterly dysfunctional UI" I have to say these are not complaints I hear often.  Most of what I hear is "Windows 7 works just fine why can't I keep it" or "Windows 10 is ugly"  I understand all of that, the flatter UI is a pretty big departure from Win 7 and if something is working people just don't want to change.  I haven't though heard that the UI is dysfunctional.  I'd say Win 8 was very clunky to start but 8.1 fixed most of those issues.  10 seems not that different navigationally than 7 especially if you learn to use the search functions of Cortana. 
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2016 | 7:57:33 AM
Re: The end of free
The biggest issues with Win 10 are the craptastic hardware compatibility...or better to say, the lack thereof, crash happy default drivers, and the utterly dysfunctional UI. Until Microsoft comes to it senses and fixes those issues Win 10 will require sneaky tricks and brutal bullying to gain more momentum. Eventually systems will get replaced and Win 10 usage grows, but it will not be due to user choice. If Win 10 is as awesome as Microsoft claims it is many more would have taken the free offer.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2016 | 7:56:20 AM
Re: The end of free
Yes, I did hear about that, from what I understand it was a small business and the upgrade rendered their software useless and caused at least a temporary shutdown.  I doubt that every user who accidently clicked the update now button is going to have the same luck suing Microsoft.  
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2016 | 7:50:49 AM
Re: The end of free
Apple still sells the discs, that was more or less my point there.  They don't charge for OS upgrades either, I was moving along the lines of "no more free Win 10" when in the market they are a dying breed charging for the OS.  Even enterprise Linux distributions don't officially charge for the OS, they charge for support. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2016 | 6:51:16 PM
Re: The end of free

"...If they do start charging it needs to be at a very low cost, similar to buying an OSX disc."

 

@SaneIT  No need to buy as OS X disc if you have a working OSX based machine.  

The image is buried within the OS after install, so you can do a flash drive based install for any Mac that might need upgrading.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2016 | 6:47:25 PM
Re: The end of free

"...Microsoft is still pushing those updates very hard."

 

@SaneIT    Maybe too hard.  Did you hear of that recent lawsuit against them by a user who had a update forced on them and when they stopped it -  they lost all of their business data ?     The person sued and won 10k !    Nice. 

 

So part of the Anniversary Update will probably include an easier way for non-techies to "Just Say No".

SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2016 | 9:10:13 AM
The end of free
I get the feeling that the Anniversary Update will turn into an extension on that free update time limit.  I'm still hearing a lot of stories about people fighting the update and Microsoft is still pushing those updates very hard.  It doesn't make sense for them to start charging at this point.  If they do start charging it needs to be at a very low cost, similar to buying an OSX disc.
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