New Windows 10 Update Detailed, Makes All Xbox Ones a Dev Kit

Plus, Microsoft confirms the operating system has now reached 270 million installs.


[UPDATE] After the event ended, Microsoft further detailed its announcements.

First, the Xbox Store will be combined with the Windows Store with the Windows 10 Anniversary update this summer. "The store will work across all devices in the ecosystem and provide developers more choice in how and where they deliver their content and monetize their customers," Microsoft said. "New support will include features that game developers have come to expect and require from Xbox One into the Windows Store including support for bundles, season passes, preorders, and more."

The Anniversary update also allows for all Xbox One retail systems to work as devkits. This is possible through what Microsoft is calling "Xbox Dev Mode." It is launching later today, March 30, as part of a preview test, while it will be available for everyone this summer.

"Developers of all shapes and sizes will be able to use Xbox Dev Mode to build and test UWP apps and games on their retail Xbox One console," Microsoft said. "Because Dev Mode is in a preview environment today, we recommend only experienced developers engage with Dev Mode at this time."

You should also be aware that you'll need to join the Windows Insider Program and download the newest SDK Preview on a Windows 10 PC to use Xbox Dev Mode. Additionally, you'll be charged a one-time fee of $19 to create a personal account. Further, while a retail console is in Dev Mode, users cannot run existing Xbox One games or apps. You must disable Dev Mode and enter Retail Mode to do that.

More details on this are available here on Microsoft's website.

The original story is below.

Today at Microsoft's Build conference, the company announced the next major update for Windows 10 and confirmed that the operating system has reached 270 million installs. This is up from 200 million in January.

Windows executive Terry Myerson shared the news today, adding that people have spent a combined 75 billion hours using Windows 10 since its launch in summer 2015. He also said that Microsoft has been "humbled" by the response to Windows 10, adding that it is enjoying the fastest-ever adoption pace for any consumer or enterprise Windows operating system.

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The next Windows 10 update, meanwhile, is called "Anniversary," and it will be free for all Windows 10 users this summer across PC and Xbox One. The Xbox One is a Windows 10 device, as November 2015's New Xbox One Experience update introduced Windows 10 as the underlying operating system for the console.

When the Anniversary update arrives this summer on Xbox One, it will allow all consoles to act as development kits, Myerson confirmed. Microsoft has for a long time promised this feature is coming, but this is the first time we're hearing about a release window for it.

It remains to be seen how this will work. Xbox boss Phil Spencer is scheduled to speak at Build later this week, and this might be one of the topics he discusses.

On PC, the Anniversary update adds improved support for stylus pens and introduces a biometric sign-in option for the Edge browser. It also adds support for Microsoft's Hololens augmented reality headset.

For more on Microsoft's Build conference and today's announcements, check out GameSpot sister site CNET's coverage.

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