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(Pocket-lint) - It's almost anniversary time.

During its annual Build developer conference last March, Microsoft demoed the first major update to Windows 10. The company branded the update "Anniversary Update" (because it marks the 1-year anniversary of Windows 10's release) and said it would arrive this summer.

It now looks like Microsoft is getting ready to announce an official release date for the software update. To get you ready, Pocket-lint has detailed everything you need to know about Windows 10 Anniversary Update, including when it's due, what it features, how much it costs, and everything else you need to know. Make sure you check back here for the latest information, as we plan to update this piece over time.

W10 Anniversary Update: What is it?

Just 8 months after Microsoft released Windows 10, it announced an "Anniversary Update" to the software that would rollout this summer. Windows 10 boasts over 300 millions users and has over 500 different device designs, and soon, it'll get loads of new features, Microsoft said, thanks to the upcoming update, which was previously dubbed Redstone.

The software is set to bring new features that focus on Windows Ink and improving stylus-use. It'll also bring extensions for Edge and upgrades for Hello and Cortona, among other things.

W10 Anniversary Update: What does it feature?

The Anniversary Update will bring a number of new features to Windows 10. Here's a list of some of the most noteworthy changes:

Windows Ink

We live in a world that is rapidly changing when it comes to technology. No sooner have you bought the latest smartphone, a newer, shinier and more advanced comes out.

Windows 10 will get a dedicated Ink apps workspace that is accessible from the desktop or lock screen. It will let you quickly access your "pen-friendly" apps. The whole idea behind this new feature and others is to better integrate Pen with everyday use of the device, including your fingers. That includes everything from using Pen with a ruler controlled by multi-touch or on a map in Bing to determine distances.

Giving more power to Pen, many apps across the platform will get new Windows Ink tools and capabilities - including the ability for users to edit documents in Word by crossing things out with Windows Ink, or using stencils in Adobe apps, letting you add perfect curves in designs.

Why you need LastPass to secure your digital life

Windows Hello

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The company confirmed that Windows Hello, a feature that enables you to sign into your device, will now allow users to unlock devices, apps, and protected sites in its Microsoft Edge browser without a password but rather a fingerprint. Microsoft said it is the "first and only browser to natively support biometrics, with supporting sites". It's not yet known which sites will support the update.


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Microsoft is also announcing that Cortana, its Siri-like assistant, is getting more features, such as the ability to make suggestions throughout the day, like offering to arrange transportation. Cortana will also be available on the lockscreen, so that you won't have to unlock yourPC to use the feature. Microsoft will even launch a Cortana Collection in the Windows Store to make easier to find apps that support Cortana.

The Anniversary Update is not only rolling out to PCs but also Xbox One, bringing a universal store, Cortana, and other much-requested features, according to Microsoft, such as background music on the console. It'll also come to Microsoft HoloLens, which has just begun shipping.

Microsoft Edge

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While Microsoft has already delivered on the promise to bring extension support for Microsoft Edge, there are other features that the company announced during its Build developer conference and the Microsoft Edge Web Summit. Microsoft is expected to ad Windows Hello biometric authentication, allowing you to sign-in to websites using your thumbprint or your face.

Microsoft Edge will also get web notifications in Action Center. You will also be able to better customise the main tab page, re-arrange top site tiles, and right-click on a website link to save the site for later viewing in Reading mode. Additionally, Microsoft said that it will include a native content translator in Edge, rather than have you manually install the Translator extension.

W10 Anniversary Update: When will it release?

The Anniversary Update's exact release date has been confirmed as 2 August.

On 28 June, Microsoft mistakenly announced its Anniversary Update would become available 2 August. Microsoft published a blog post early Tuesday to reveal the news, with the headline "Microsoft announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update available Aug. 2", but the full post was pulled down just moments later, leading many eagle-eye fans to believe the post must've been published by accident.

W10 Anniversary Update: How can you get it?

When it is ready, the Anniversary Update will be delivered via Windows Update. (For information about how Windows Update works, check out Microsoft's FAQ page that explains how to keep your PC up to date.) That means it will install automatically. There are no manual tasks involved.

But you'll have to be on Windows 10 to get the upgrade, so make sure you move to Windows 10 before 29 July, when the free upgrade offer ends.

W10 Anniversary Update: How much does it cost?

The Anniversary Update will be free to anyone with a device already running Windows 10. If you're updating from an older version of Windows, you'll have to pay $119 for a full install.

W10 Anniversary Update: What about beta-testing?

You can start testing some of the new Anniversary Update features, including the new dark theme and some tweaks, by updating your computer to the latest Windows 10 preview via the Fast ring of updates. You must be apart of Microsoft's Windows Insider program to get your hands on an Insider preview build, which is basically a beta.

To become a Windows Insider, all you need is a Microsoft account and a PC running Windows 10. If you have both those, you're able to join the Insider program whenever you're ready. Just go to Microsoft’s Windows Insider website, sign into your Microsoft account, and click Get Started. Read the Program Agreement, and join the program.

In Windows 10, open the Settings app, click Update & Security, then Windows Update. From there, select Advanced Options. Under the Get Insider Preview builds section, select Get started. One you've joined the Windows Insider program, you can choose from various levels (rings) of preview builds, ranging from most stable with few new features to least stable with many, rapid changes.

By default, you’re assigned to the Release Preview ring, but you can switch rings at any time. Simply go to the Windows Update menu in Windows Settings, then select Advanced Options, and adjust the slider.

W10 Anniversary Update: Want to know more?

Check out Microsoft's Anniversary Update page for more details about upcoming features.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Editing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 28 June 2016.