Windows 10 Anniversary update on the way this summer

Tweaks and changes galore for first major Windows 10 patch

Microsoft kicked off today’s Build developer conference with a big reveal: a major update for Windows, that’ll be free for everyone running Windows 10.

That’s 270 million people, according to Microsoft. Must be all those five year old PCs, right Apple?

The Windows 10 Anniversary update will be the biggest update for the OS since it launched last year.

It’s going to add plenty of new features, including biometric password support for the Edge browser.

It finally lets Xbox One gamers turn their consoles into dev boxes, too, and will bring Cortana voice assistant, background music playback, and more. We'll have to wait until E3 in June for more details, though.

The big new addition is Windows Ink, which should make stylus and pen input that little bit better. Right now, that’s mostly good news for anyone with a Surface Pro tablet, but it looks so promising we’re betting a stylus will be a pretty common sight on laptops and tablets launching later this year. 

A new shortcut panel puts notes and drawing boards just a tap away, and you can jump into them from the lock screen for speedy scribbles. 

You get an onscreen ruler for sharper lines, and full support in Word for editing documents without a keyboard handy. 

It works with drawing apps like Adobe Illustrator too.

So when can you get hold of it?

Devs can download the software development kit today, but everyone else will have to wait until later.

Microsoft is promising to launch the update “this summer”. Windows 10 launched on 29 July 2015, so we’re expecting the Anniversary update to arrive around the same date.

If you’re a part of the Windows Insider preview program, though, you can get an early taste of what’s to come - a taster for Xbox dev mode will be available later today.