The biggest question mark surrounding the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been its release date—until now. Microsoft confirmed this morning that the update will hit Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones, and Xbox Ones on August 2. That date is just a few days after the actual anniversary of Windows 10's release, July 29 of last year.
In case you haven't been following the news, the Anniversary Update is bringing a whole slew of improvements to Microsoft's finest. Check out our previous coverage for details, but the short list includes extension support for Edge, huge revamps for Windows Ink and Windows Hello, and refinements to the Windows Store and Cortana. Myriad smaller improvements are coming too, like a dark theme for system dialogs and the ability to put clocks on every taskbar.
The Anniversary Update will also include the Windows Subsystem for Linux. This mind-bending feature allows Linux applications to run natively inside Windows, not unlike the "Windows on Windows" system that enables 32-bit applications to run seamlessly alongside 64-bit applications. So far the killer app for the new subsystem has been the bash shell, which should make Windows automation easier for sysadmins coming from GNU/Linux.
Xbox One owners will be able to say hello to Cortana after the update, but the real exciting news on that platform is the addition of the Windows Store. Not only will this move drastically increase the utility of Microsoft's game console, but it will also enable cross-play on supported titles. Microsoft didn't confirm that the mouse-and-keyboard support promised at E3 would be coming with this update, but it should be on the way soon.
Fortunately, Microsoft confirmed that the Anniversary Update will free to all Windows 10 users. If you aren't using Windows 10 yet, now is the time to make the jump. Free upgrades from Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 end on July 29. After that, it'll be $119 for the Home version and $199 for the Pro version.
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