At its Build 2016 developer conference event in San Francisco today, Microsoft shared details on its Anniversary Update for Windows 10. The company detailed a slew of new features coming to its latest and greatest operating system, for free. In fact, the Anniversary Update is also coming to Xbox One, bringing Windows 10 apps to Microsoft’s gaming console.
Windows 10 is a service. As we wrote in our deep dive on how Microsoft is still building Windows 10, this means Windows Insiders are still getting new builds even though the operating system launched back in July 2015.
Bryan Roper, product manager of Microsoft’s Windows Group, took the stage to show what its 270 million users and developers can expect.
First up, Windows apps and Microsoft Edge are gaining support for Windows Hello. In short, you’ll be able to log into apps and websites with your face, no password required.
Next, Roper talked about Windows Ink, a new experience for using a pen or stylus on your Windows device. Roper declared, “72 percent of people still use pen and paper” and for “more than an hour a day” before diving into how users will be able to use new inking features in both Windows 10 and Microsoft Office. He showed off a Sticky Notes app that can recognize times and places based on natural language processing, the Maps app being able to interpret lines that you draw, Word understanding when you cross out and highlight text, and working with a ruler and digital pen in PowerPoint. Furthermore, Roper also showed off how developers can leverage Windows Ink in their own apps with as little as two lines of code.
Microsoft says the Anniversary Update will arrive “this summer,” but Windows Insider testers and developers will be able to play with it sooner.
Build is, after all, a developer event. Indeed, Microsoft also shared details about the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK. It contains thousands of new features and APIs, including these highlights:
- Background execution: Ability to run your application in the background without requiring two separate processes. Along with extended execution and opportunistic tasks, writing applications that run when they need to will become simpler and more powerful.
- App Extensions: UWP now supports app extensibility allowing you to build an ecosystem based on your application. Microsoft Edge uses this technology for its own extensions.
- Action Center in the cloud: Enables your app to engage with users on all their devices. You can now dismiss notifications on one device and they will be dismissed everywhere.
- Windows Store & Dev Center: New tools include user roles in Dev Center, app flighting, improved analytics, an analytics API that allows you to grab your data and use it outside of the dashboard, user segmentation and targeting, A/B testing, app subscriptions, advertising improvements, and more.