The company hasn’t pushed anything as hard as they have pushed Windows 10, allegedly the last operating platform they are ever going to release. They are so gung ho about everyone of their customers making the switch that they have offered it for free for the past year. It will remain a free upgrade until July 29, when new customers will have to either pay for a copy, or purchase a new device running it stock.
Now that hundreds of millions of us have taken the bait and made the switch (myself included), they are launching and promoting some features that take advantage of the upgrade.
Security With Microsoft Edge
Try as they might, Microsoft has never been able to get beyond the bad PR of Internet Explorer. Their rebranding and redesign of Microsoft Edge hasn’t made much different, with them still taking less than 5% of the overall browser market share.
Instead of touting performance as a reason to use Edge, Microsoft is now taking another route. They have announced major security updates that make their browser a safer option (allegedly) than Chrome and Firefox.
Edge is the first browser to ever support native biometrics, and Hello makes password sign-on through websites fast and secure. It also connects companion devices for the same benefits. With this Microsoft is aiming towards totally connectivity between all devices.
Overall Windows 10 Anniversary Update Protection
Security will also be enhanced through Windows Defender. Promising to cover 700,000 endpoints and counting through their Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Enterprises can have more of a hand in protecting their computer networks.
For the consumer, Windows Defender can be set to run occasional scans in the background for continuous protection, rather than manual checks when you remember. Reminders can be scheduled, and scan summaries will be provided if anything is found, with greater detail than before.
Digital Assistant Cortana
Competing with Apple’s popular Siri, and in response to the increased relevance of A.I. in consumer technology, they have been making some changes to Cortana. The digital assistant that was launched last year will be able to offer assistance on a wider array of functions.
For example, before you had to unlock your device in order to give Cortana a command. Now you can offer commands from the lock screen of your device, like playing music or getting directions. You can have Cortana recall information, make notes, schedule appointments, and more.
So far the assistant is most responsive on Windows 10 PC’s, with the full OS. But mobile capability is definitely improving, and soon they are promising Cortana will be available for the XBox One. That means greater collaboration between devices across the board, so you can access information from anywhere.
Windows Ink For Touchscreens
Windows Ink is one of the most underwhelming of the updates, and yet it is one of the most pushed. It is essentially a tablet pen/stylus app that lets you jot on touchscreen enabled devices. It makes your stylus more advanced than your average tablet pen, but not by a whole lot.
Basically, you will be able to jot down notes, draw, doodle, add annotations, and do other writing tasks directly on your screen using Microsoft Ink. It will be a cool feature for designers in particular, who have been lamenting the horrible function of their pen support thus far.
I would classify this one as an update that should have already been covered before, given how excited they have been about their touchscreen devices running Windows 10.
XBox One will be more Connected
Finally, we have the update that gamers will be most interested in. Already Microsoft has been issuing features that connect the XBox One and Microsoft computers/devices for more rounded gameplay. Now they will be fully integrated through Xbox Play Anywhere.
Gamers can play on both their PC’s and XBox One, and save that game through both within a single accessible file. So they can switch from one to another without having to play two different versions, or buy the game twice.
Cortana can be used to search for friends, find out if they are free, send game invites, and ask for progress and achievement updates. Which will be an even better feature once Cortana becomes native to the game console, as promised.
Windows 10 Upgrades The New Platform Launch
All of this really shows the innovative brand protection Microsoft is enacting with their modern operating system. In the past everyone knew the bad OS versions (like Vista), and the good ones (like XP). Now they are launching what are essentially new platforms under one name, built on one framework, giving them complete control over brand image.
Source: Windows Blog