Today is the day Microsoft has been building up to for months: The Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Starting today, Microsoft will be rolling out an update that piles on dozens of tweaks and major changes to the software. Here’s what you should keep an eye out for, and what to try once the update appears.
Cortana, named after the artificial intelligence Master Chief pals around with in the Halo franchise, is already on Windows 10; it’s essentially Siri for your desktop. The Anniversary Update, however, will enable Cortana to do a lot more. You can use it to perform simple tasks from the lock screen, ask it to remember key information like flight numbers and appointments, and have it push notifications from your phone to your desktop, provided you install the Cortana app.
Microsoft’s replacement for Internet Explorer is getting a much needed overhaul in the Anniversary Update. Edge will be getting extensions — finally — and it’s been tweaked to save even more power. There’s also a litany of under-the-hood improvements and subtle updates, including a setting that wipes your cache whenever you close the browser, making Edge more stable. In addition, Edge will get your web notifications in the Action Center, letting you stay on top of Twitter and Facebook while you work.
The Start Menu has undergone some subtle changes worth discussing. For example, all the power-related stuff is now hidden under one button, and instead of seeing a handful of apps, clicking Start will open an alphabetical list of apps and the usual collection of tiles next to them. Settings are also tucked off to the side, making them more accessible. The tiles will also be more intuitive, taking you, say, directly to a game’s home page in the Windows Store, instead of to a website.