Microsoft announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update at its Build 2016 event on 30 March in San Francisco. The update is slated to be rolled out in the summer of 2016 and will provide new features to almost all of Microsoft's products and services.
Microsoft executive VP Terry Myerson said: "With Windows 10 now running on over 270 million active devices, we're celebrating with our fans by delivering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This significant update will help you interact with your Windows 10 devices as naturally as you interact with the world around you — using your pen, presence and voice.
"We are dedicated to making Windows the most productive development environment for all developers, with all-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and all-new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform."
The update, codenamed Redstone, will include Hello biometric sign-ins, pen support, better Cortana commands and syncing of the Windows 10 and Xbox One app stores. Hello's biometric feature has now been added to Microsoft Edge as well as Windows apps. Pen support involves Windows Ink support being extended to Microsoft Office, Edge and Maps. Microsoft has designed the feature in such a way that developers can make use of it with "as little as 2 lines of code".
Cortana, which now supports over 1,000 apps, will come with smarter and more helpful commands, which will enable users to send files to colleagues. The virtual assistant has been designed to be available and perform tasks even when the user's PC is locked.
The update will also bring UWP apps for Xbox, with Cortana support and background music to Xbox One. "Cortana can become your personal gaming assistant and help you find great new games, new challenges or tips and tricks," says Meyerson in a Windows blog post. With the Xbox Dev Mode also being a part of the update, every Xbox One can be converted into a developer kit.
The update will be available in the next few months, but Microsoft has yet to specify a date for the rollout.
In related news, Microsoft has begun shipping its much awaited HoloLens Development Edition to developers in the US and Canada.