Saturday, 30 July 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary Update on 2nd of August 2016: What's coming up...

Some of the best new features

Windows Ink
Windows Ink is without a doubt the best part of the Anniversary Update. The Surface Book, had ink support in Windows 10 so limited in the beginning. Windows Ink improves things a lot. It’s essentially a central location to find built-in or third-party apps that work with your stylus. You can use the new sticky notes to note down reminders, and they’ll even transform into true reminders as Cortana understands what you write.

Microsoft Edge extensions

If you’re a fan of Chrome extensions, then you’ll be glad to hear that they’re heading to Microsoft’s Edge browser. The Anniversary Update brings support for extensions, and it’s now up to third-party developers to fill the Windows Store with their add-ons. They’re very similar to Chrome extensions, and ones like AdBlock, 1Password, LastPass, and EverNote are already available.

Cortana improvements

Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, debuted on Windows 10 last year, and the software maker is bringing it to the lock screen with the Anniversary Update. You’ll be able to ask it to make a note, play music, set a reminder, and lots more without ever logging in. Cortana is also getting a little more intelligent, with the ability to schedule appointments in Outlook or options to send friends a document you were working on a week ago.

Dark theme and UI tweaks

Microsoft hadn’t fully completed the Windows 10 UI last year, but it’s starting to look a little more polished now. Most laptop displays and monitors have black bezels, and the continued use of a dark mode across the OS just bleeds naturally into the corners. You can switch on what I call even darker mode in settings, and it will switch built-in apps that typically use a white background over to black.


Elsewhere, if you’re a fan of tablet mode then you can now choose to automatically hide the task bar when you’re using a tablet. This lets apps take full advantage of the screen just like they used to in Windows 8, and Microsoft has also improved the all apps view on the Start screen so it’s full screen and easier to navigate.

Set your time zone automatically

Automatic time zone switching in OS X was always there, and astonished that Microsoft has never added a similar feature to Windows. With the Anniversary Update to Windows 10, it’s finally here. If you’re traveling abroad for vacation then you’ll never have to worry about manually adjusting your PC clock again. It sounds like the most minor feature, but more often than not it’s the small things that add up and make a difference. Microsoft hasn’t enabled the automatic time zone switching by default, so you’ll need to enable it from the settings app.

Project to PC

Microsoft is adding a new "project to PC" option in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It’s similar to remote desktop, but it allows you to easily find a PC to project to from a phone or another PC. You’ll be able to project what you see on your own display onto another machine, and use its keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals. It seems like a feature that is more suited to the business environment, especially if you want to show a colleague a document but don’t necessarily want to share the contents directly with them.

New Skype app

It feels like Windows 10 has so many Skype apps it’s difficult to know which one to choose. While there’s a desktop app and integration into the Messaging app in Windows 10, Microsoft has created a new universal app that’s designed to be the future of Skype on Windows 10. It’s not totally feature complete yet, but for your basic Skype video and audio calls it works well. It launches instantly, and you’ll get notifications for calls and messages straight within Windows 10 whether you have it open or not.

Going by the reviews, it appears Windows 10 Anniversary Update is substantially more stable, and has interesting new features. You can read the first impressions of it on ZDNet, and review on PCWorld.

You can't turn off Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft made an interesting decision with Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, which is now in its final stages of development before it rolls out on August 2.
Cortana, the personal digital assistant that replaced Windows 10’s search function and taps into Bing’s servers to answer your queries with contextual awareness, no longer has an off switch in Windows 10 Home and Pro.
The impact on you at home: Similar to how Microsoft blocked Google compatibility with Cortana, the company is now cutting off the plain vanilla search option. That actually makes a certain of amount of sense. Unless you turned off all the various cloud-connected bits of Windows 10, there’s not a ton of difference between Cortana and the operating system's basic search capabilities.
In fact, the biggest functional difference is that Cortana is far more useful than plain search thanks to the digital assistant's handy voice commands, reminders, the ability to send text messages, and so on. That said, Microsoft’s move is probably less about the practical differences between Cortana and search, and more about pushing people to use Cortana.

But what if you still don’t want to use Cortana at all?
Refusing to download the Anniversary Update is not an option. You can delay it, but since Windows 10 updates are mandatory for home users, you’ll eventually receive the update. 

Microsoft removes policies from Windows 10 Pro

Professional editions of Windows 10 ship with the Group Policy Editor that enables users and administrators to make changes to the default configuration of the operating system.

Up until now, policy availability was more or less identical for all professional versions of Windows 10. Turns out, this is no longer the case when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is released.

Some policies contain a note stating that they only apply to certain editions of Windows 10, with Windows 10 Pro not being listed as one of them.

Note: This setting only applies to Enterprise, Education, and Server SKUs

Furthermore, the corresponding Registry keys are not working either anymore which means that Pro users have no option to make changes to features affected by the change.

Update official Microsoft source
Microsoft published a new article on Technet that confirms that policies related to "tips and tricks" and "store suggestions" cannot be disabled anymore on Windows 10 Pro.

sources: The VergeSlashdot, PCWorldGHacks