Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 Anniversary update next week. Overall, Windows 10 has been a great success for Microsoft, being installed on more than 350 million devices. Anniversary update brings a slew of tweaks, fixes and new features. This is a very significant update for only one-year-old operating system.
I have been happy user of Windows 10 in one of my Dell Latitude that came preinstalled with Windows 10. I also had my fair share of trouble in upgrading my XPS15 to Windows 10 that ended up crashing the machine and me abandoning the Windows 10 upgrade for that machine altogether. In fact, I had to find a way to avoid Windows 10 update for my XPS15 and posted the tutorial for it. Since the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends, I gave one more try to update my XPS15 yesterday and so far things look good (It’s too early to say more).
As with any other OS or gadgets, there is always something to cheer for and something that you do not like. I have my own likes and dislikes of Windows 10 but I will talk about that some other time. For this post, let’s focus on something that I like most in Windows 10 Anniversary update. There are host of features, tweaks, and fixes in the update. Here are the key features that I like most and think they are something to look forward to.
Microsoft Edge- More powerful with extensions and highly efficient
Microsoft has shipped Windows 10 with a brand new browser, Microsoft Edge. The new browser works really nice, designed well, and is very promising. I think it’s a genuine effort by the Microsoft to make a great browser that people would love to use. However, it’s still not my default browser no matter how much I like it or how much better it works. The big obstacle is the lack of Browser Extensions that I have grown too dependent on- LastPass and AdBlock Plus to name just few. There is no way in the word I can use any web browser if they do not support these extensions.
Microsoft has realized the bottle neck and thankfully has finally listened to users (Microsoft has been good at it since the start of Windows 10). Microsoft Edge will ship with support of Extensions in the Anniversary update. There are only few extensions available now they have started with the best one (LastPass, EverNote, AdBlock, etc.) and it can only get better. It’s now up to third-party developers to comeup with more add-ons. I think most popular extensions will be available on Edge browser very soon as developers now know they have potential to get a very big user base.
Further, Microsoft Edge is very power efficient browser (that claims to improve battery life up to 70% compared to competitors) that can play higher resolution and bitrate video compared to the other browsers. With the update, Microsoft has added in web notifications for Edge, allowing websites to push notifications to the Windows 10 notification center.
Overall, the updated Microsoft Edge is very powerful and efficient browser that we can actually use. It’s now getting closer to be a great choice on Windows platform for anyone who may be looking to switch.
Windows Ink- A brand new feature
Windows Ink is a brand new feature to look for in Anniversary update. I have not used this feature in my test but I am looking forward to use it. Windows 10 will get more pen- and stylus-friendly with Windows Ink. It’s new pen-centric experience that lets you use your active stylus throughout the operating system. Windows Ink comes with its own special workspace, which you can access through an icon in the system tray.
As expected, Windows Ink is well integrated with Office, Cortana, and Microsoft Edge. Drawing ideas, taking some notes, setting sticky Note reminders with Cortana and lot of other things can be done with the help of this feature in a very natural way. All these software interactions share one thing: a pen. Perhaps Windows Ink will help us to not forget the pen and how to write with a pen!
Bash in Windows
I occasionally use Linux for special purposes. I know lot of people who suggested me to get Mac because it supports that command line tools natively. I have managed to stay away from Mac (My personal preference) by using linux as dual boot or using other tools that can facilitate my need.
Microsoft came up with very surprising feature when it unveiled bash for Windows this year. If you’re a developer then Bash on Windows 10 is a big deal. For most users, it’s something you will never use it. With this feature, Microsoft has essentially added the Linux command line to Windows 10. It’s a masterstroke by Microsoft providing Linux developers access to all their tools on Windows. It will stop linux developers from moving away from Microsoft if they like the Windows but for work needs, they use linux. It’s an optional Windows feature you’ll need to go in and enable, but once it’s setup you’ll receive future updates from Microsoft.
Project to PC
Windows 10 Anniversary update will also ship with a new "project to PC" option. It’s more or like remote desktop, but allows you to easily find a PC to project to from a phone or another PC. As the name suggest, you will be able to project what you see on your own display onto another machine, and use its keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals.
Other significant features in the Windows 10 Anniversary update that I like but have not detailed in my post is Security improvements. Two key improvements are, Windows Hello for apps and Websites, and update to Windows Defender. The reason I have not detailed these features here is because I feel it probably warrant their own post.
Overall, I am very excited for the Windows 10 Anniversary update and I think it is a very significant update to the already a stable and capable Windows 10.