Hands-on with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update official release hands-on demo with the new features (video)

Microsoft releases the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and this hands-on video demo dives deep into what's new in the second major update available on August 2, 2016.

Microsoft is updating Windows 10 again and there is a lot to talk about in this new release. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is perhaps the biggest update the company has released in this new “Windows as a Service” (WaaS) model.

Offering Windows as a service means that the software will never be considered a complete product. Instead, Microsoft will continue to provide updates with features and improvements at least once a year. As a result, our devices will get improvements and new features faster than ever before.

On version 1607 that Microsoft is initially rolling out to computers, phones, and Xbox One is an update that focus on making Windows 10 safer and more secure, as well as more personal and more productive.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update biggest features

You can also check you my previous guide highlighting the best hidden features on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The changes for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update boils down to a set of new features, including Windows Ink, which is the new and improved support for pen on touch-enabled devices like Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

A simplified Start menu that combines the “Most used” and “All apps” menus into one list that makes it easier for users to get to apps. In addition, Start gets improvements on tablet mode with a new list for all apps, and the ability to automatically hide the taskbar to let apps take full advantage of the screen.

Cortana gets a lot of new refinements, including the ability to create photo reminders. You can now also summon Cortana above the Lock screen to ask basic questions. And your phone notifications will now sync to your PC.

Badge notifications arrive to buttons on the taskbar, and the time and date flyout now integrates with the Calendar app.

Action Center receives a lot of new user interface improvements. On this release, you’ll see new rich notifications with hero images and the ability to reply to texts. You can now rearrange, add or remove quick actions buttons, and customize notifications priorities.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update introduces a new version of Microsoft Edge with support for extensions. The new version of the browser brings new settings, the ability to pin tabs, and a much improved favorite bar. Windows Hello brings biometric authentication to websites, and web notifications are also coming to the browser.

Settings app overhaul

The Settings app gets overhauled with a lot of user interface tweaks and new features. On version 1607, you’ll find new features like new battery saver options, and the ability to customize the pen and Windows Ink experience. In addition, Network & internet now includes a Mobile Hotspot and option to reset network adapters.

On Personalization, you get a new option to use a dark theme for apps, and the Taskbar settings have also been moved to this area.

Update & security brings Active Hours to prevent sudden restarts when applying new Windows updates.

Windows Defender brings a new feature called Limited Periodic Scanning to let Windows 10 periodically scan and remove viruses that your third-party antivirus may have missed. And Refresh Windows is a new tool to let users quickly and easily do a clean install of Windows 10.

A new version of the Windows Store

On Windows 10 version 1607, also brings a new Windows Store with a user interface facelift. A new option helps users to remove apps from “My Library”, and many other tweaks that just improves the experience getting apps and other goodies from the Store.

Wrapping things up

If you’re expecting bigger changes, the new update will feel a bit light. However, that’s just an indication of everything Microsoft got right from the beginning and with the November Update. A year later, the operating system looks and feels a lot better, and that’s something PC users will appreciate.

The hands-on video demo that I added to the Pureinfotech YouTube channel highlights all the new features, improvements, and changes found on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The update is available for download starting August 2, 2016, through Windows Update. However, you can also download the Windows 10 ISO files to install the update (as soon as it becomes available).

What do you think about the new changes for the Anniversary Update of Windows 10? Tell us in the comments below.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].