Microsoft’s had a big year since last year’s Build conference, delivering Windows 10 across device types and form factors. Those year-old announcements were full of hope and promise, and just how successful Microsoft was at living up to that buzz is going to depend a lot on what you value about the Windows 10 ecosystem. At this year’s Build keynote, Microsoft may be putting smartphones on the back burner, but the company’s still got some exciting announcements about the future of its platform all the same, and the big news to emerge so far has been confirmation of this summer’s Windows Anniversary Update.
Previously referred to by the codename Redstone, the WAU is set to deliver a nice assortment of new features, ranging from native Ubuntu Linux binaries and the Bash shell, to a newly unified app store that will unite PC Windows and the Xbox.
One of the big new additions in the WAU will be a system called Windows Ink, embracing stylus support and giving the users of such accessories new ways to interact with apps. Ink will provide a place for accessing stylus-friendly apps, support interactive tools for allowing stylus input to create precision shapes, and offer intelligent text recognition with the help of Cortana – one demo had the system analyzing a written reminder note and successfully parsing the word “tomorrow” to clue Cortana in as to when to save the note on a user’s calendar.
While Ink will by stylus-friendly, such hardware is by no means required, and users will also be able to take advantage of it through standard touch input.
We’re still learning more about Microsoft’s plans for Windows 10 at Build 2016, so keep checking back for additional coverage.