It's a tradition. Another Windows release, another non-reviewer's review by yours truly. (I call my reviews "non-reviewer" ones because unlike some of my colleagues, I don't do many and definitely don't do them as thoroughly, with all the speeds and feeds.)
I've had a chance to use the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update preview (the Pro version) for the past few days. I am one of the few dedicated Microsoft watchers who haven't been installing and running the 25 interim test builds of this Windows 10 release over the past few months. I've only been using the November update (Build 1511) on my Acer S7 and other loaner devices since it was made available last fall. So the Anniversary Update is completely brand-new to me.
Microsoft doesn't want us to call the build we've been testing "RTM" (release to manufacturing) because Windows 10 is a continually updated service. Company officials want us to say we're using the latest preview release.
However, Build 14393, which testers got last week and which I installed on a couple of devices last week, is effectively the "Release to Mainstream" version of Windows 10 1607. (Hat tip to Ali Robertson for the idea of what to rename RTM.) The Windows 10 Anniversary Update version that Microsoft will begin rolling out to users on August 2 is going to be this code base plus updates that Microsoft makes between last week and next Monday.
This release is the second major feature update to Windows 10 since Microsoft initially introduced the operating system on July 29, 2015. (The first was the Fall 1511 update.) Microsoft isn't keen on us using the old "service/feature pack" nomenclature, either, but Windows 10 Anniversary Update is basically the equivalent of Windows 10 Feature Pack 2. This is a rollup of performance, reliability, bug fixes and new feature updates for Windows 10 that Microsoft has developed since last fall.
From a consumer standpoint, there are a few main features in this release that existing Windows 10 users will notice...