Build 2016: Windows 10 “Redstone” to be Branded as Anniversary Update

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Xbox One with 0

Build 2016: Windows 10 "Redstone" to be Branded as Anniversary Update

Microsoft revealed today during its Build 2016 keynote address that the second major Windows 10 milestone, codenamed “Redstone,” will be branded as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It will include major new features for PCs and Xbox One.

“We will be releasing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer, for free, to all Windows 10 customers,” Microsoft’s Terry Myerson said.

Time for a quick recap.

The original release of Windows 10 was, well, just Windows 10. Or version 10240. Then, the Windows 10 Fall (or November) Update arrived, bringing Windows 10 up to version 1511 (where 15 is for 2015 and 11 is for November), and retroactively reversioning the original release to 1507 because of its July 2015 release.

The Anniversary Update—so named because it will roughly coincide with the one year anniversary of the original release of Windows 10—was previously code-named Redstone. (A Redstone 2 milestone is now expected in early 2017.) I had assumed that it would be called Windows 10 1607 or similar. And really, it probably still will be called that.

Aside from the name, Microsoft also revealed a few features that will be coming in Redstone. (I can’t yet bring myself to use the term Anniversary Update.) They are:

Windows Hello support for apps and web sites. Microsoft is extending Windows Hello—which today is used for biometric-based device sign-in—to support Windows apps and Microsoft Edge “with supporting sites.”

Windows Ink. Described as “an all-new experience,” Windows Ink will enable you to write directly on your device as you do on paper, “creating sticky notes, drawing on a whiteboard, and easily sharing your analog thoughts in the digital world.” It is being integrated into Windows 10 apps such as Maps and Microsoft Edge, and with Microsoft Office 2016. Microsoft demonstrated how developers can incorporate Windows Ink into their own apps as well.

Cortana proactive suggestions. Cortana is learning to proactively make suggestions for you throughout the day, “like offering to buy you lunch or send a presentation on your behalf,” Microsoft says.

Cortana from the lock screen. In the Anniversary Update (choke, I’ll be OK), Cortana will now be available directly from the lock screen so you won’t need to sign-in to use this digital personal assistant.

Cortana Collection. With over 1,000 Cortana-connected apps now available, Microsoft will launch a new Cortana Collection in the Windows Store.

UWP apps and unified store on Xbox One. As expected, Microsoft will bring Universal Windows Platform apps to Xbox One through a newly unified Windows Store.

Cortana on Xbox One. I wasn’t sure of the timing on this one, but now we know: Cortana will also be coming to Xbox One with the Anniversary Update.

Background music on Xbox One. Answering a long-running complaint, Xbox One will gain the ability to play music in the background. This means you can start playing music in Groove or some other app, switch to the Dashboard or a new app, and keep the music going.

Xbox features for PCs. Microsoft says it is “continuing to deliver on top fan-requested features” like support for multiple GPUs and the ability to turn off v-sync.

This all looks great to me. Hopefully we’ll get a build with some of these features soon (and, on the Xbox One, a system update preview).


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