It is a Windows 10 kind of day from the folks in Redmond.
First was the release of the Windows 10 based New Xbox One Experience that began its global roll out at 3 AM Eastern time today.
Next on the list is the November Update from Microsoft for Windows 10 on PCs and tablets which is the first major update to Windows 10 since it was released earlier this year on 29 July.
New features and enhancements in this release include:
- 30% faster boot to Windows 10 compared to same hardware with Windows 7.
- Cortana can now recognize inking, improved recognition of terms to help set reminders, and tracking leisure activities such as movie and event purchases. Of course, all of this only happens when you give Cortana implicit permission to see that info.
- Cortana is now available in Japan and Australia plus Canada and India in English.
- Microsoft Edge performance has been cranked up, tab previews are now available and syncing of Favorites and Reading List items between devices.
- General performance enhancements across the system.
One major feature that did not make it into the November Update was the highly requested extension support for Microsoft Edge. It is now expected that those will arrive sometime next year with the Redstone update for Windows 10.
As described by Microsoft Windows and Devices Chief Terry Myerson, this build has helped the company reach the point in the platform’s maturity where we can confidently recommend Windows 10 deployment to whole organizations.
The company is so focused on getting more organizations and Enterprise customers to upgrade that the vast majority of the November Update announcement article is focused on information that is important to those entities.
Getting Enterprise customers to uprgade to Windows 10 is a critical measurement for the success of Windows 10 as many organizations opted to stick with Windows 7 and skip the Windows 8/8.1 upgrade cycle.
According to Myerson, there are now 12 million business PCs running Windows 10 already in the first three and a half months of its availability and that is a positive momentum sign.
The November Update release also coincides with the availability of two important business related features for Windows 10 - both of which are being offered by Microsoft at no cost:
- Windows Update for Business provides IT controls over the deployment of updates within their organizations, while ensuring their devices are kept current and their security needs are met, at reduced management cost. Features include setting up device groups with staggered deployments and scaling deployments with network optimizations.
- Windows Store for Business provides IT a flexible way to find, acquire, manage and distribute apps to Windows 10 devices – both Windows Store apps and custom line of business apps. Organizations can choose their preferred distribution method by directly assigning apps, publishing apps to a private store, or connecting with management solutions.
The other big selling point for Windows 10 to enterprises is the security features that are built into the operating system:
- Credential Guard safeguards credentials inside a hardware-based virtualized environment and breaks the popular “pass the hash” used in many major breaches.
- Device Guard uses Trusted Boot to prevent intruders from installing malware, helping to keep company devices secure.
- Windows Hello*** enables people to say goodbye to passwords with enterprise-grade biometrics including fingerprint and facial recognition.
- Windows Defender, our free anti-malware service protecting almost 300 million Windows devices every day.
One more item they are including in today's update is the ability for enterprise customers to completely shut off the telemetry pipe back to Microsoft if they want to. While not recommended, and in my opinion, not a privacy issue, having an option is obviously very important towards corporate adoption of the new OS.
I have been running this Windows 10 build now for almost a week and it is very stable and a build I have been looking forward to installing on all of my Windows 10 (10240+) devices.
Will you upgrade as well?