Windows 10 Anniversary Edition: 10 things to look out for

Microsoft rolled out the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition last week, about a year after Windows 10 was launched. All users of Windows 10 are eligible for this update, which is being rolled out in phases. Here's what to look forward to, based on using the operating system for a couple of days.

START MENU

The Start menu has been redesigned with the "Most used" and "All apps" lists being integrated. There's a new left rail which has the user profile, settings and power buttons at the bottom left; the top left sports the "hamburger" button. And the Live tiles stay on the right

WINDOWS HELLO

Microsoft's biometric authentication program, Windows Hello, now supports logging into some Windows apps as well as websites on Microsoft Edge, using your face or fingerprint. Microsoft claims Edge is "the first and only browser to natively support biometrics"

CORTANA

Microsoft's personal assistant claims to work even harder this time around, and is available on the lock screen as well. You can download the Cortana app on your Android phone (available as CoA Preview on the Play Store in India) and get your phone to talk to the PC; thus you get your phone's notifications on your PC

XBOX PLAY ANYWHERE

Now you can buy one digital copy of a game and play it both on the PC as well as the Xbox One. Also, Microsoft has many games planned for Windows 10, among which Forza Motorsport 6: Apex will be free for Windows 10 users

WINDOWS DEFENDER

Microsoft's built-in malware service can now scan real-time downloads. While this program disables itself when some other malware program is installed, in the Anniversary update, one can set it up to automatically turn on and scan the PC occasionally

MICROSOFT EDGE

Besides supporting biometrics, the browser also has support for extensions, which help enhance the functions of a browser, like saving passwords or blocking ads. There are only a few extensions available currently, but that should go up, considering that this browser is quite user friendly. Watch out Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

DARK MODE

Earlier, to get hold of a "Dark" theme in Windows, one had to go through a host of registry tweaks. Not anymore. With the update, a few clicks are all it takes to activate this theme. While native Windows app support it, I couldn't see any difference in third-party apps. Microsoft adds, tongue-in-cheek, "Just try not to get carried away browsing and remember to get enough sleep!"

TASKBAR, ACTION CENTRE ETC.

The Calendar app comes integrated with the taskbar's calendar. One can add events from Google Calendar. Notifications, too, can be prioritised for the Action Centre. One can set up which "Quick Actions" as well. In case anything goes wrong, there's a nifty tool one can download to start a fresh installation of Windows

FOR THE GEEKS

The anniversary update fixes the "restart when updating" feature by letting one set "active hours" during which the PC won't update. For those who shuttle between Linux and Windows, this update gives Windows its first "Bash" command line interface

WINDOWS INK

Microsoft now allows one to use the stylus to do multiple tasks: from sketching, scribbling & marking, to jotting down notes. Windows Ink has its own workspace, which can be accessed from the system tray. Microsoft is integrating it into existing apps such as Maps, which would allow one to chart a route


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