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Windows 10's "Anniversary" Update Arrives in August, Here's What It Adds on Xbox One and PC

Xbox One gets Cortana support, background music, Play Anywhere, and more on August 2.


Microsoft announced today that the next major Windows 10 update, called Anniversary, will arrive on August 2. It introduces a number of new features and functionality across Xbox One and PC.

On Xbox One, the update adds Microsoft's new Play Anywhere feature. Announced at E3, this lets players who buy a digital game on Xbox One get a free copy of the Windows 10 version or vice versa. Microsoft said today that all games published by Microsoft Studios will support Play Anywhere. Additionally, the feature will be "easily accessible" on the Windows Store, Microsoft said.

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Also coming to Xbox One on August 2 with the Anniversary update is Microsoft's Siri-like digital assistant, Cortana, who gets her name from the Halo character. When the update arrives, you can speak to Cortana (using Kinect or a headset) to do things like turn your Xbox One on ("Hey Cortana, Xbox on") or to start a game or see what your friends are doing. Cortana support is already available on Xbox One for Preview Program members.

The Anniversary update also introduces language region independence on Xbox One, which will allow users to select any language they want, no matter where they live. Background music support is also coming with the update. These features were announced at E3.

During Microsoft's Build conference in March, where the Anniversary update was announced, the company also said it would introduce functionality that will allow for all Xbox One retail systems to work as devkits. This is possible through what Microsoft is calling "Xbox Dev Mode." A preview test is already available and the full release was pegged for the Anniversary update, though Microsoft made no mention of it in the announcement today.

As for new features for PC, the Anniversary update introduces improvements to the Edge internet browser, adds the Windows Ink pen overlay feature, and makes Windows 10 overall more secure. You can read GameSpot sister site CNET's full coverage for a deeper breakdown of what to expect from the Anniversary update.

In other Windows 10 news, you have until July 29 to claim your free upgrade. Not everyone has been happy with Microsoft's efforts to encourage them to upgrade. One woman was awarded $10,000 after suing Microsoft over an unwanted and unauthorized automatic upgrade.

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