During Microsoft’s BUILD 2016 conference the company announced that Windows 10 will receive a new upgrade later this year called the ‘Anniversary Update’.

While Microsoft didn’t disclose the exact date, Windows 10 will turn one on July 21 which is the rumoured date the new update will be made available.

According to Microsoft, some of the improvements and features coming with Windows 10 Anniversary Update will significantly enhance user experience across all devices and platforms. Microsoft is gearing up to deliver new features on the Start menu, Action Centre and Cortana.

Some of the new features and biggest changes include:

Changes to the Start Menu

Microsoft is altering the Start Menu yet again, this time by amending the navigation menu by adding a hamburger button to the top-left corner, and relocating the user profile button to the bottom of navigation column above the Power and Settings buttons.

The “All apps” button and list has been replaced with a single list view which includes the “Most used” and “All apps” items.

Chaseable Live Tiles

Live Tiles will include a new feature, which the company describes as “Chaseable Live Tiles” that allows users to click a story, picture, or content in the preview and open the app on that content, instead of just opening the app.

Taskbar Notification Badges

In the Anniversary Update, notification badges will appear on the taskbar.

The new feature will be available on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, making it easy for users to see their notifications at a glance, without opening the app. While this is an exciting new feature, it will be up to developers to add the functionality into their apps.

Action Centre

In the next major update of Windows 10, Microsoft is focusing on making Action Center more useful than ever before.

There will be a new updated user-interface with adaptive toast notifications to bring more engagement with large images and more content, and there will be widgets with richer information.

Action Centre will depend heavily on the cloud, meaning that your notifications will automatically sync across devices, even if you have an Android phone.

Microsoft is introducing “Notification Mirroring”, which will be the feature responsible for syncing your phone notifications across all your devices, even when you don’t have the same app installed on the rest of your devices.

The new feature has the ability to dismiss a notification across all of your devices universally, meaning you can dismiss a news alert on your PC and it will in turn remove the notification on your mobile.

Likewise, users too can opt in or out of the feature as well as mute notifications through settings in Cortana or within the app itself.


Users will now be able to use Cortana before logging into their account. The update will feature a new version of Cortana available on the lock screen which once enabled, will be able to perform tasks like make a note, set reminders and play music.

With the new update, Cortana will also be able to schedule appointments in Outlook and will be able to understand natural conversations and automatically include additional information into the conversation.

Windows Ink

One of the biggest improvements in Windows 10 Anniversary Update is the improvement in stylus support, which Microsoft now calls ‘Windows Ink’.

Windows Ink now includes Ink Workspace, which is the central hub to start using your Surface Pen or any other supported pen with features such as sticky notes, Sketchpad, Screen Sketch, and more.

With the Ink Workspace, users will be able to access and write messages on sticky notes, which Cortana can automatically translate and convert into reminders or calendar appointments.

Microsoft is also building a digital ruler that will allow users to draw lines with more precision.

Windows Hello

With the Anniversary update, Windows Hello enables users to unlock their PC by tapping their Windows Hello enabled phone. Beyond the hardware, Windows Hello will also give users instant access to paired apps and protected websites on Microsoft Edge – all while maintaining enterprise-level security.

Hayden McMaster