Windows 10 Anniversary Update

A new major update of Windows 10 has just been released and it’s referred to as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update since it was released 1 year from Windows 10’s original release. It’s also known as version 1607, however.

By the way, do you know which version of Windows 10 you have? Do you care? Well, if you do care, here’s how to find out.
All you have to do is click on the start button, type: winver   and then hit enter.

Now you probably would like to know what changes are part of this new version of Windows 10. And you are also wondering if you should install it. Here is some information on some of the more major changes.

Microsoft Edge
This is Microsoft new browser that was introduced with Windows 10. However, Edge has caused a lot of problems because it didn’t work right with a lot of websites. Internet Explorer was still available  with Windows 10, although hidden. If we set up your Windows 10 for you, we probably hid Edge and brought Internet Explorer back. With this new update, Microsoft has improved Edge and expanded it’s functionality some more. But it’s still not a full featured web browser. So, for now, we don’t recommend using it as your primary web browser. We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Action Center
It seems like every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of Windows, the action center is always one of the things massively changed. And Windows 10 was no exception to that. With this new update to Windows 10, Microsoft has once again changed the action center, but not massively. The action center icon has been moved to the far left of the taskbar where the date and time used to be. The date and time have moved one position over to the left. The action center is more configurable now too. You can specify which apps will put notifications on the action center and which one’s won’t.

Dark Theme for Metro/Modern/Universal apps
As you probably know, there are two types of Apps that can run in Windows 10. The traditional desktop apps and then the newer apps that also work on touchscreen devices like tablets and phones. Microsoft has changed the name of these apps several times. First it was Metro apps. Then Modern apps. Now they call them Universal apps. Whatever you call them, they work much better in Windows 10 than they did in Windows 8. These newer apps usually have a white background but with this new update, you now have the ability to select a “dark” theme for these apps making the background black.

Start Menu
Most of our customers who have Windows 10 had us configure Windows 10 to work more like Windows 7. If we did this for you, then the change to the standard Windows 10 start menu won’t mean anything to you since your start menu has been replaced. If you do use Windows 10 in it’s native form, hower, then you’ll want to read this. The Windows 10 Start Menu has been massively reorganized. The color blocks on the right side of the start menu haven’t changed. But the rest of it has. Before, you had to click on All Apps to see the list of apps. Now, the list of apps is always shown on the left column. Just to the left of that are symbols for the user (used to be at the top of the start menu), Settings, and power (shutdown, restart, etc.).

Calendar
Windows 10 has always had a calendar app, but now it’s more integrated into Windows. Before if you clicked on the date and time display in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, it would show you a calendar, but not your calendar. Now it will actually show your calendar (if you have one) with your appointments.

Windows Hello
You probably never heard of Windows Hello. It allows you to login to Windows using bio-metric methods. It’s not new to Windows 10, but it’s been improved. If your laptop has a fingerprint reader, that uses Windows Hello unless you have some other third party software. If you have a web cam on your computer, you can use Windows Hello to recognize your face when you sit down at  your computer and automatically unlock your computer for you.

Cortana Improvements
Very few of our customers use Cortana. Cortana is to Windows was Siri is to Apple. Except Siri doesn’t exist on apple computers. Only on their phones and tablets. You can type a question to Cortana or, if you have a microphone, you can ask Cortana questions. With this new update, Cortana is now a lot smarter. One of the things Cortana can do now is link to your phone. Once you set up the link, Cortana on your computer can give you the same notifications that your phone would give you. This is nice for people who don’t have their phone on them all of the time. But if you always have your phone on you, this doesn’t do anything but give you duplicate notifications.

Windows Update
Some of the nicest changes in this new version are in Windows Update. With Windows 10, Microsoft turned Windows Update into a dictator of sorts giving you little control over when updates were installed and how. With this new update, you can now specify “Active Hours”. These are hours when you are normally using your computer and you don’t want Windows 10 to install update. For example, you can set your active hours to 8am – 10pm so that it won’t update Windows during those hours and will only do it outside those hours. There is also now an option to tell Windows to automatically sign in to Windows after it reboots during an update so it can fully finish updating. Before if it rebooted during the night and you have a Windows password, when you logged in, it continued installing the update, delaying your computer use.

Should I install this new update?
Yes. But not right away. Your computer will eventually install it automatically. If you really want it now, go into settings, Update & Security, and click the “Check for updates” button. Even if you do this,  you may not get the update right away.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need help.

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