Microsoft has come out and confirmed that there is a planned update to Windows 10, due to be rolled out on the anniversary of the operating system on 2nd August. This news came after Microsoft posted a blog containing only the headline: “Microsoft announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update available Aug. 2” which was then taken down swiftly afterwards. The update will be free to existing Windows 10 users, with new features such as Windows Ink as well as updates to the Edge browser extensions and Cortana.
This update is set to come out 3 days after the end date to get your free Windows 10 upgrade if you are running Windows 7 or 8.1, you can find out more about the upgrade end date here. After the 29th July users will have to start paying for the upgrade to Windows 10 at a cost of $119/£89.
This does seem to put Microsoft’s goal of 1 billion devices powered by Windows 10 under threat but other devices such as Xbox consoles and Windows phones are planned to start running the OS. “There will be Xbox Ones and mobile devices that will be upgrading for free after July 29th” says Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of Windows and Devices in an interview with The Verge.
The promise of an update, 5 days after the end date for your free upgrade might be a further push to get more people to upgrade. They have also promised brand new features and further updates. The first being with Microsoft’s voice-activated assistant Cortana: on Windows 10 powered devices, Cortana is now going to sit above the lock screen, meaning that you will no longer have to unlock your device to interact with Cortana. A feature that is already available on Android and iOS, but still promises to be an easy time saver.
Another feature that promises to do the same is Windows Ink, which aims to revitalize the stylus. This feature is going to allow you to write quick notes or ideas directly onto the screen and, like Cortana, most of Windows Ink’s appeal will be that you don’t need to unlock the device to use it.
Microsoft is also planning on expanding the uses for Hello. Hello, for a while now, has been the way you can log into your devices using your face or fingerprint, but Microsoft is now looking to expand this feature to websites, which is great when considering that passwords are leaked every other week.
What I want to know is whether or not some of these new features that Microsoft are releasing are going to be used by the masses or are they just going to be used by the select few. I feel like there has been similar incarnations of Windows Ink and Hello before but they weren’t greatly adopted by users, but this could have been the limitations of the older technologies. Either way we will see in the following months the adoption of these new features.
By Sam Tutt on July 8th, 2016