10 things you should know about the Windows 10 Anniversary update – Now Available!

Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) is now available!

  1. Bash is now on Windows! I wrote on Bash coming to Windows in a previous blog post and now that the Anniversary update is here, Bash is now ready for everyone to use. I’ll be publishing a post later this week for 10 must know commands for anyone wanting to get started using Bash, but for now, I just want to clarify one thing. First, this is more than just Bash running on Windows 10, this is the full Ubuntu user space; this is native Ubuntu binaries running directly in Windows. If you run the command, ‘lsb_release -a’ from the bash shell, you’ll see a print out like this:

Go head and play around with it and let me know what you think! 2. Windows Ink Aside from Bash now natively running in Windows 10, Windows Ink might very well be one of my new favorite features to come in the Anniversary update. If you look in the bottom right hand corner of your taskbar, you will now see a pen icon which, when clicked, brings up the Windows Ink Workspace featuring pen options for sticky notes, sketch pad, screen sketch, and more. I have used sticky notes since Windows Vista, but this new and improved version brings features like Cortana integration, which allows for hand written notes to be turned into reminders.

Tip: You will want to make sure you have enabled insights so Cortana can access your notes. Again, play around with it and let me know your thoughts! 3. Virtual Desktops This new feature was also pretty exciting for me because I was an avid Mac user for years. I still admittedly use a Mac, though not as often as I once did since I got a Surface Book. One of my favorite features in OS X was Spaces, a tweak allowing a user to setup multiple virtual desktops for different applications to be launched; you could also pin specific applications to certain desktops. Windows 10 allowed PCs to do that too, but the Anniversary update now allows you to pin your apps to all your open desktops! Simply click the windows key and tab at the same time to see current applications open in your current desktop, and click the “+” in the bottom right hand corner of the screen to launch a new desktop. Right click on any open application and choose to show this window (or all windows) on all desktops. Tip: If you’re using a Surface Book, you can use a 4-finger swipe to quickly shuffle between desktops. 4. Microsoft Edge Extension Support Microsoft Edge now has Extension Support so you can use extensions such as Adblock Plus, OneNote Web Clipper, Evernote Web Clipper, etc. I know this has been a long awaited feature for many power users, so needless to say, this was also a pleasant surprise for me.

5. Windows Dark Theme This is a minor addition, but one that I really like because I tend to make everything on my desktop “dark” since it’s how I’ve used all my systems over the years (Mac, Linux, etc.) If you go to Settings > Personalization > Colors you should now see an option for “Choose your app mode” with options for ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’. 6. Cortana Cortana is now a whole lot smarter and can understand a great deal more. You can now ask her questions like, “What toy store did I visit during last year’s Build conference?” or more ambiguous things like, “Send Jessica that Word document I worked on yesterday morning.” You can even access Cortana from the lockscreen now. If you use a Windows 10 Mobile phone, or even an Android, Cortana can now read notifications and low-battery warnings from your device and send them to your PC. You can even respond to texts via Cortana and more. Play around with the new features and let me know your thoughts! 7. Connect There is now a new app called, “Connect,” which will allow you to connect your Windows 10 Mobile phone to your computer to utilize the Continuum feature built into Windows 10 Mobile. You will be able to see your phone’s Continuum desktop from the desktop of your PC. You can even use Miracast enabled PCs to beam displays over to other Miracast enabled PCs running Windows 10, without any additional docks, adapters, cables, etc. 8. Xbox Play Anywhere Now, I’m not a gamer, but I have a lot of friends who are so I can appreicate the cool factor of this new feature. Now, if you buy an app once, you can play it on your Windows 10 PC and/or your Xbox One without missing a beat. All your saves occur in the cloud so you can pick up where you left off in your game, regardless of which device you’re on. 9. Action Center Updates You can see some minor improvements to notifications in your Action Center such as the ability to set priority notifications, which means apps you care about most will appear at the top of your Action Center feed. You can even control limits for how many notifications you want per app (the default is set to three). 10. Taskbar Updates Along with updates to the Action Center, you now have a notification icon in the taskbar indicating how many unread notifications / unattended tasks you have. Along with notification updates, you now also have some taskbar calendar updates to highlight! The taskbar calendar now ties into your main calendar app so you can see all your appointments / tasks for the day. And, one more bonus feature, if you are someone who uses multiple monitors, you will now be able to see the time and date on all your monitors, not just your primary one.

If you’re not using the latest update, what are you waiting for? To get started, head on over to Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates to download the Windows 10 Anniversary update and then let me know what you think!