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Windows 10 Anniversary update: Five things you need to know

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Windows 10 anniversary

The Windows Anniversary update is coming this summer, and we've got all the details on what you'll see from the big upgrade.

Announced today at Microsoft's build Keynote, the firm unveiled a few new features that it hopes will get its users excited.

1. Windows Hello integrated into websites via Microsoft Edge

The biometric security platform, Windows Hello, can now be integrated into websites via Microsoft Edge. This means you can use either your face or your fingerprint to log into websites you use regularly, such as your online bank, if they choose to support it. Of course, there are very few devices on the market that work with Windows Hello, and even fewer websites that currently support it. However, as the tech becomes more pervasive, navigating the web could be come a fair amount simpler. Of course, all of this only work if you use Microsoft Edge.

Related: Windows 10 review

2. Surface Pen gets a lot smarter with Windows Ink platform

This is again a very specific update for people running devices that support the Surface Pen. Double tapping the top of the pen appears to no longer bring up OneNote, and instead brings up a side bar with shortcuts to various tools that work with Windows Ink. Windows 10 Ink shortcutsThese include Sticky Notes (see below) and the Maps app, which allows you to draw directly onto 2D and 3D maps to make measurements and plan routes.Windows ink 3D map

3. Sticky Notes get smart

Microsoft made a big deal about Sticky Notes. If you like to use the Sticky Notes app for reminders, your notes will now automatically convert to Cortana reminders if it spots keywords in your note. For example, if you say ‘Finish project tomorrow’, Cortana will see the word ‘tomorrow’ and create a reminder for you, so not only do you have a Sticky Note, you also have a reminder that’ll appear on your other devices that are connected to your Microsoft account.Windows 10 sticky notes

4. Desktop app converter

This could be very exciting. Older applications that were developed for Microsoft’s Win32 and .NET can now be converted into Modern apps (ApX) with a single batch converter. Without any code modifications, a legacy application can be converted to a Modern App and supported to the Windows Store. If you’re not a developer, this is still a big deal, as your favourite free applications may play nicer with Windows 10 with less work than was previously required.

Related: Build 2016 keyote in numbers

This will also work with games. Microsoft used the example of Age of Empires II HD Edition, which it converted to an ApX that still worked with Steam. This means games can be hooked into Windows 10's various APIs including Live Tiles and notifications.

Microsoft also announced that it would be bringing the Bash comand line, which is used for developing binary apps and only found in its pure form on Linux, to Windows 10. This is a big deal for developers.

5. Cortana enhancements

A whole bunch of new Cortana comands are coming, including a shut-down command much like 'Xbox Off' on the Xbox One. Later in the keynote, it was also revealed Cortana is now coming to the Lock Screen of Windows 10, meaning you can now ask Cortana questions without having to log in.

You can now also perform commands such as sending files to your contacts. The example 'send that PowerPoint I worked on last night' was used, and allows you to send a file directly from Cortana over email without opening your email client. Cortana can also suggest extra commands, such as booking a table at a restaurant for a meeting taking place at lunch time. This all works by hooking into Windows 10 apps, that can now talk to Cortana when it's relevant to a given command. This is called Proactive Actions, and is now open to developers.

Tell us what you thought of Microsoft Build 2016 in the comments.

Michael Garry

April 3, 2016, 4:54 am

Wow, worst set of updates yet? I don't use Edge (I tried it for a few weeks, its not as good as Firefox), I don't own a surface, I don't care about sticky notes and Cortana refuses to work where I live (non-UK, even though the machine is setup for UK English).

But still the update will be forced on me, which I wouldn't mind if it didn't: a) restart my machine without permission (its a machine I work on and leave it running for weeks at a time) and b) it will blue-screen on update, it always does, as it continues to try and force a broken driver onto my machine, then has to roll itself back EVERY BLOODY TIME.

Not impressive MS, not at all.

Munchy

August 4, 2016, 8:53 pm

i love windows 10 but on mobile I switched to android edge s7 and why, well no good looking and full specked windows mobile phone, the 950xl isn't even available from the operators and that's not a great phone but I would have gone there still.
But after here maps went and then PayPal that was enough to say goodbye, I hope its only for a year or 2 but cough cough.
Edge isn't ready for me because when I open a new tab I have to select one of 3 microsoft choices and that's not acceptable to me. I want what I always wanted and used, a new google page with my google shortcuts lol, my home page for new tabs or better still let me choose what page opens on a new tab on edge.
Drawing might be better but after comparing with the ipad the difference is night and day, personally pressure controls on iPad pro beat that out.
Cortana is awesome on both mobile and desktop. I hope she works equally on android cause releasing all microsoft apps on android means I could switch. Is that a good thing or not is subjective but no mobile eco system, well one that's self destructing cause of microsoft tactics is not a good thing.
theres a lot of great changes, I actually like edge but like I said new tabs need sorting, id also like the app buton back on the start menu I had no issue there and preferred the cleaner look.

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