Microsoft has revealed the first major update for Windows 10, rolling out a range of upgrades and improvements that should benefit both enterprise users and consumers alike.
The new release, which will be rolled out to customers later today via Windows Update, brings a “huge” number of performance upgrades as well as updates to the likes of Cortana and Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft says it has taken on feedback from millions of users in its Windows Insider program to develop the update as it looks to get Windows 10 running on one billion devices.
Microsoft has already signed up 12 million business-class PCs since Windows 10’s launch in July, half of which are from enterprise customers (a number Gartner says is set to rise by 50 millio units by 2017).
“We’ve been focused on working with businesses that are really adopting Windows 10,” he added, “and with what we’re delivering in this November update, Windows 10 is really ready for business.”
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First up for business and enterprise users are two new services that will help companies running Windows 10 to easily deploy and manage apps and updates for their PCs.
The new Windows Store for Business gives organisations a better way to discover, manage and distribute apps to their Windows 10 devices. Covering both native Windows Store apps and custom or third party software, the new marketplacecan also allow IT departments to define their preferred distribution method, whether by directly assigning apps, publishing apps to a private store, or connecting with management solutions.
As for upgrades, Windows Update for Business gives IT departments control over the deployment of updates within their organisations, while ensuring their devices are kept current and their security needs are met, at reduced management cost. The program can event set up specific groups of devices to allow for staggered deployments and scaling deployments.
Since Windows 10 has been designed for use across a full range of devices, the new update also includes improved mobile device management (MDM) capabilities, allowing organisations to run and manage BYOD schemes for their workers.
These devices will also soon be additional safeguarded by Microsoft’s enterprise data protection tool, which is being released to Windows Insider and will offer “the next level of security” according to Korst by separating and protecting corporate data from personal information.
Security is a big focus of the new update, which also offers several other improvements regarding identity protection (via face-recognition tool Windows Hello), Microsoft Passport (its password-storage tool) and Device Guard and Boot Secure, which protects the hardware itself.
“We want Windows 10 to be the most secure operating system, addressing today’s modern security threats,” says Korst.
The service also now works with a range of stylus devices to recognise text such as phone numbers, email addresses and even home addresses, and will be coming to a number of new countries (Japan, Australia, and Canada and India) for the first time featuring a range of localised custom options.
As for Microsoft Edge, it is getting tab previews for the first time, following the likes of Google Chrome, as part of a drive to offer improved performance and security, and will now also sync your Favourites and Reading list items across devices so you can easily get back to the content you’re interested in most.
It will now also work with Cortana will also now notify you of the best coupons from your favourite retailers when browsing sites, with brands such as Staples, Macys and Best Buy already signed up.
There is also now a coloured title bar for desktop apps, and improved context menus throughout Windows 10 to make apps larger and darker to fit the general theme.
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