Microsoft Windows 10 Users: Get Ready for Another Update

Just when you thought you were in the clear for updating to Windows 10, Microsoft is back with another gift.

When launching Windows 10 as a free upgrade last year, the software maker began an ambitious push to upgrade Windows 7 and 8.1 users with the goal of getting 1 billion devices refreshed in the coming years. One year later, Microsoft has made headway, with the company reporting 350 million devices have been upgraded.

PC users who still haven’t upgraded may have noticed from those frequent alerts, Microsoft really, really wants everyone to do it.

The upgrade will stop being free after July 29. For those who already have Windows 10, the software maker announced this morning a “Windows 10 Anniversary Update” will be available beginning Aug. 2, bringing with it new productivity and security features. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Ask Cortana to Remember Your Frequent Flyer Number

Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana, will be available on the lock screen so users can interact with her without having to unlock their device. One handy life hack mentioned by Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi in a blog post this morning: Cortana will remember your frequent flyer number and repeat it on command.

Power Efficiency

By consuming less memory and “minimizing the impact of background activity and peripheral content,” Mehdi said the upgrade will be even more power efficient.

Log Into More Sites Using Biometric Sign-In

Windows Hello, a feature launched with the upgrade last year, lets users on supported devices log onto their computer simply by looking at it. The anniversary upgrade is taking that biometric sign-on, allowing users to get into supported websites without a password and only a stare. Microsoft hasn’t said which websites will be supported yet, but the company envisions a future where people could use it for everyday tasks, such as online shopping.

Windows Defender

The free anti-malware service will now let you schedule periodic scans of your PC and provide new notifications when threats are detected.

Windows Ink

Your Windows 10 device can be turned into a (very expensive) piece of paper with Microsoft Ink. (Sorry, an old PC won’t work.) Take notes, edit a story or draw a picture on supported devices using a stylus.

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