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Windows and device group executive vice president Terry Myerson at Microsoft Build 2016

Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 is growing faster than any other version of Windows, now running on 270 million devices just 8 months after launch.

“Windows 10 is off to the fastest adoption of any release ever,” Windows chief Terry Myerson said at the Microsoft Build conference today. “We’re humbled by this response.”

Myerson also noted that hardware partners have launched more than 500 devices designed for Windows 10. But he also took some time to make a jab at Apple.

“On behalf of the entire Windows team, we’re happy to welcome all of these customers to Windows 10,” he said, “whether they have a new PC, a 5-year-old PC, or a brand new Mac.”

Myerson was returning a burn that Apple delivered on stage last week when introducing the iPhone SE and smaller iPad Pro.

“There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old,” Apple marketing head Phil Schiller said. “This is really sad.”

But Microsoft quickly followed that sick burn with the reveal of Windows Anniversary Update, a big update to Windows 10 coming for free this summer.

Users' drawings stick to 3D maps, so the lines move when rotating topographical maps
Users’ drawings stick to 3D maps, so the lines move when rotating topographical maps

Onstage, Microsoft’s Bryan Roper outlined one of the neatest features of the Anniversary Update: the move to put Windows Ink “front and center” in the operating system. That means there are more Ink tools, like a resizable ruler. Users can also start taking notes without unlocking their device, making it easy to jot down a quick note.

Ink is also more integrated. For example, Cortana will be able to read the notes you write (by hand) and use that info to set up reminders or find notes. Maps is also getting a neat feature that allows users to draw on topographical maps, with the Ink drawings getting mapped to the 3D space. So when users go into 3D mode, the lines they’ve drawn stick to the map.

Linux is also coming to Windows 10 in the Anniversary Update.

“The Bash shell is coming to Windows,” said Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo. “Yes, the real Bash is coming to Windows.”

The move is part of Microsoft’s goal to be a place to develop for any platform. Now, users will be able to write .sh scripts on Windows, something that was historically only available on OS X and Linux distribution systems.

The update is also coming to the Xbox One and will allow users to turn their console into a development unit. Cortana is also coming to Xbox One with the summer update, bringing Microsoft’s AI assistant to the big screen. The move comes after Apple and Amazon added their digital assistants to set-top boxes last year.

Developing story. Follow along with GeekWire’s live blog from the event.

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