Windows 10 Anniversary Update review

WINDOWS 10 HAS RECEIVED ITS THIRD major update since launching in 2015, but for reasons we can’t really figure out except for the date, this so-called Anniversary one is making more headlines than most.

To sum it up, Windows 10 Anniversary Update fixes a few things everybody complained about, and adds one or two things a lot of folk are probably going to hate and a few meaningless toys to keep Valley-fabulous shareholders happy.

Microsoft has made Edge a bit less terrible to use by allowing browser extensions and one or two other fiddles, while Windows 10’s UI has been made a little more sensible and things have happened to Cortana that might enrage the masses.

So, what’s good in Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Quite a lot of new features are good to decent, and here’s a rundown. 

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft’s home grown browser is still unlikeable in many ways, mostly owing to the fact it’s ‘there’ and the default browser for anybody who installs Windows 10.

Our resounding argument is that it doesn’t perform very well at all on low- to medium-spec PCs with 8GB of RAM, which is going to be a lot of consumers. Microsoft says the battery drain on Edge is now “70 per cent less”, but as we’ve tested Anniversary Update only on a brand new (ish) Surface Book we don’t use every day, we couldn’t corroborate this.

Anyway, perhaps more importantly, Microsoft Edge now supports browser extensions, making it at least a potential contender for the Chromes and Firefoxes of this world.

They’re purchased from the Windows Store – so far all are free – but there’s only 13 at the moment. More will be rolled out “slowly”. It’s all fairly basic for now, and ad blockers and password managers are among the usual Evernote and Amazon Assistant-type stuff. Anyway, they work.

Microsoft Edge browser extensions

You can also now pin browser tabs – fascinating stuff, right? – but it’s a feature that feels more conspicuous by its ludicrous, year-long absence than anything we should be singing Microsoft’s praises for providing now.

Windows Hello
Call us Luddites, but we don’t really see the need. Anyway, it’s Microsoft’s biometric log-in system that scans your face or, worse, fingerprint to get into your computer. Some apps and websites support it too, which is great if you don’t mind the risk of having your face peeled off and used to book a holiday.

Update when the hell you want
You can finally stop Windows Update doing updates whenever it likes, or simply having to tell it to get lost and do it all much later, whereupon it would just do it at another highly inconvenient time.

‘Active hours’ can now be set to stop Windows attempting to restart your system when you’re working. It’s very good.

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