At its annual Build Developer Conference, Microsoft was expected to focus on the HoloLens augmented reality device. Windows 10, the star of the show in Build 2015, would still likely have a large presence in Build 2016 though, with the next big update for the operating system supposedly to be announced.
Microsoft did not disappoint those that were looking forward to the announcement, as it unveiled the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
The announcement was echoed by the company through a post on the official Windows blog, which highlighted several key innovations that would be coming to Windows 10 through the free update.
Windows Hello Expansion
The update will be bringing the Windows Hello security feature, previously only applied to signing in to Windows 10 devices, to apps for the operating system and the Microsoft Edge browser. Edge, according to Microsoft, is the only Internet browser in the market right now that has native support for biometrics.
The new Windows Ink feature will enable users to write on their Windows 10 devices as if they were writing on paper. At Build 2016, developers were taught how to enable the functionality in their apps using as little as 2 lines of coding.
Uses for the feature include creating notes, drawing on a whiteboard and putting the user's thoughts in digital form.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings several improvements to the digital assistant, with Cortana now able to proactively make suggestions to users in their daily activities. Users will also be able to access Cortana above the lock screen for quicker access.
Developers have been given access to the proactive intelligence of Cortana, which would allow apps to carry out actions that based on user context.
Xbox One Modifications
With the upcoming update, background music and Cortana will be added to the Xbox One gaming console. Cortana will be able to help gamers by looking for new games and providing tips, transforming into a personal gaming assistant. Some features that were highly requested by users are also coming through the update, including support for several GPUs and v-sync toggling.
Developers will also be given access to the Universal Windows Platform, which will allow them to build apps that could be used on both Windows 10 and the Xbox One. The Xbox One can also become a developer kit through the Xbox Dev Mode, which would allow all users to develop apps right in their living room.
The exact date for the launch of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was not revealed by Microsoft. However, as Windows 10 launched on July 29 last year, the same date could be expected for the upcoming update.