Windows 10 anniversary update 2016

Windows 10  version 1607 — Anniversary Update

The second major update for Windows 10, known as the Anniversary Update, will begin rolling out today.  You may get it today, but it will certainly be pushed out to your computer in the days and weeks ahead.    (For those of you keeping score at home, Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015.  The first major update came in November 2015).   We are living in the W A A S era.  This means Windows as a Service.  Windows is not a stationary, static operating system.  It is a service that will be constantly updated, primarily with security and stability improvements and from time to time with feature enhancements.   Being a Windows 10 user is synonymous with getting these updates.   Customers with the “Pro” version of Windows (including most customers who let me order their computers) can delay the major updates for short periods of time.  More often than not this is not necessary, especially for consumers.   Ultimately, the updates to Windows whether minor and ongoing or major (after several months) are a necessary part of our Windows 10 experience.  Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows for a long time.  You will get the updates for free for as long as you own your computer. 

So aside from the security and stability enhancements, which you can’t see, I am sure you have a major question.  What are some of the improvements that I can see?      I have had the chance to test out the final pre-release (or beta) version of today’s anniversary update.  I have the following to report.

1.  Microsoft Edge (the Internet Explorer replacement) is a fully baked browser and worthy of your use.  

For years I have recommended, Firefox or Google Chrome.  Nearly all of you use one of those two as your primary browser. Keep doing so.   A small portion of my Windows clients REGULARLY use BOTH browsers.  Of course, you don’t have to regularly use both browsers.  Keep in mind, I tell you to open your secondary browser at least once a month.  That will ensure that it gets the needed updates.  For those of you who forget to occasionally use your secondary browser, your life just got a lot easier.

You can use Microsoft Edge as your secondary browser!   Edge now supports the Ad Block Plus extension.  Edge also supports my favorite password manager — Last Pass.  Microsoft Edge will get regularly updated Microsoft.  You don’t have to worry about keeping it updated.

2.  Improved notifications

You will see an improved notifications section in the Anniversary Update.   Look to the right of your lock in the system tray (lower right hand corner).  You will see an icon that looks like a chat bubble  or a “white box with a tail” depending on how you interpret it.  You should click on it and check your notifications every day.  Make it a routine habit.   You will get valuable notifications from applications you regularly use like Outlook for e-mail.  You will also get warning messages if things start going wrong.    Make Notifications part of your Windows routine.

3. No updates during work hours. 

I really like this feature.  As you can probably tell by now, Windows 10 is an update-centric operating system.  The updates are unavoidable.  However, no one will want updates that require a restart during work hours.  In the Start Menu go to  (PC) Settings >> Updates & security options >> Change active hours, you will the have the opportunity to define and adjust work hours.  During those work hours,  no updates will be installed that will cause the computer to restart.  By default, it is set to 8 AM to 5 PM. 

4.   Your Microsoft Account has value

Nearly all of you have a Microsoft account at this point.  It might be your @gmail address,  It could be your Yahoo address, or maybe even your Comcast address.  Some of you may use the @outlook or @hotmail address for your personal e-mail account.  Windows 10 gives you the option to log in with the password for your Microsoft account.   I think its a good idea at this point.  No, Microsoft is not recording everything you are doing on the computer.  What they are saving its settings and preferences, so that when you move to your next computer later on — it’s much easier to transfer everything.    If presented with the option to log in using your Microsoft account — do it.    If not given this option, do it anyway.   Go to the Start Menu, Settings, Accounts.  There you will have the option to sign in with a Microsoft account and even set a PIN number to simplify the sign in to your Windows 10 PC. 

5.  The Windows Store is here to stay

Microsoft really flubbed the their app Store in Windows 8.  I remember that the upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 had to be accomplished through the Store.  It was a nightmare.  However, the Store is going to be an ever relevant part of Windows going forward.   If you don’t know it already the classic Microsoft Solitaire can be found in the Store. Try searching for it in your Start Menu first. It may be installed.   There are Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps in the store.  The official Fitbit app is in the Store.   The best way to watch Netflix on Windows is through the app in the Store.    On our iPhones, we use an app store.  On our Android devices, we use an app store.   On the Mac, there is the App Store.  While not every Windows program in the world is or will ever be in the Store, its worth checking out.   It’s where we are heading. 

So to wrap things up, let’s celebrate Windows 10’s Anniversary together.   You will get your update soon enough.