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Windows 10 'Anniversary Update' Rollout Begins

As expected, Microsoft on Tuesday began rolling out Windows 10's "Anniversary Update," the operating system's first major upgrade since its release last year.

The Anniversary Update is the equivalent of a first service pack for Windows 10, though it delivers a number of notable new features, including improved security, digital inking capabilities and a more prominent Cortana digital assistant.

Current Windows 10 users don't need to do anything in order to get the update, said Michael Fortin, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices group at Microsoft, in a blog post. Microsoft is pushing the update out automatically for PC users through the Windows Update process.

However, those who want to get the update right away can manually request the update, presuming they have administrative rights to do so. From the Start menu, simply go to Settings, Updates & Security, Windows Update. Then click Check for Updates. Users who manually push the update must make sure they're downloading Version 1607.

MSDN subscribers can access the update, as well. For Windows 10 Mobile users, the update will begin to be issued "in the coming weeks," Fortin said.

With the release of the Anniversary Update, Microsoft's next priority is presumably to get more apps on its Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which is critical to Windows 10's long-term success. To that end, Microsoft has also released the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK which it said includes more than 2,700 improvements to the UWP. The SDK aims to enable developers to build functionality into their apps around some of the core improvements in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, including Ink, Cortana and Windows Hello.

Microsoft said it is also opening Dev Center and the Windows Store, allowing developers to submit apps built for PCs, phones and HoloLens that target the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK. Microsoft will begin the process of accepting apps via its Desktop Bridge, code-named "Project Centennial," which is designed to let developers convert existing Windows apps to the UWP.

"While we build the pipeline into the Windows Store to publish these apps, our team will work directly with developers to get their converted apps and games into the Windows Store," said Kevin Gallo, general manager for Microsoft's developer division, in a separate post.

Developers can contact Microsoft here to submit an app using the Desktop Bridge to the Windows Store, he said.

Microsoft will also outline how developers submit Xbox apps targeting the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK into the Windows Store via the Dev Center, he added. "The Store is open for business and new innovations with Inking, Cortana and Edge will enable new experiences that simply aren't possible on other platforms," Gallo said.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.