Following the introduction of Microsoft’s latest Windows operating system last July, we showed you 3 Ways to Profit from Windows 10. Since then, adoption of Windows 10 has been brisk. According to Microsoft, it’s the most successful Windows introduction ever, and Windows 10 is on track to reach 1 billion active devices in the next few years.1
Now, Microsoft has announced an update to the popular Windows OS to be released on the first anniversary of the product’s introduction. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will arrive in July with some very useful enhancements, as well as a number of tweaks and refinements.
Since many users may not notice all of the changes, we’d like to point out those that could be most useful to increase data security, efficiency and personal productivity in a business environment.
Windows Hello Biometric Security Extended
Introduced last year with Windows 10, Windows Hello enables enterprise-grade security with biometric sign-in on your device. Acknowledging that people reuse the same passwords across dozens of sites and accounts, Microsoft has extended the easy-to-use Hello biometrics to Window apps and the Microsoft Edge browser with supporting websites.
Potential benefits include time saved searching for and entering complex site passwords and stronger security for app and website access. Biometrics aid in defeating cyber-criminals that often employ social engineering to obtain or guess passwords.
Apps to Connect
The Windows Store is growing rapidly, generating 4.5x more revenue per device in app sales with Windows 10 compared to Windows 8.1 Every business should know about these two apps that are coming with the Anniversary Update or sooner:
The Connect App – This clever new app displays your phone’s screen right inside a window on your Windows 10 PC desktop. Connect enables you to put your phone away when necessary, yet maintain access to its functionality wirelessly on your desktop.
You can also use Connect to wirelessly share your screen with other Windows 10 PCs using Miracast wireless monitor signals. Great for presentations.
Universal Skype App – Microsoft Skype is transitioning from the familiar desktop version to a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) adaptation of the popular messaging service. Expect to see it in the Anniversary Update or before to get a consistent, seamless Skype user experience across all devices.
Windows Ink Enhancements
Updates to Windows Ink are merging the digital and paper worlds. Enhancements include various new uses for the stylus that enable users to capture more of their creativity while saving time on common tasks.
New Ink capabilities include, understanding notes to auto-create Cortana reminders, sketching on a pad, annotating maps, editing Word documents and using virtual rulers to aid in drawing and lining up objects. Developers will be able to incorporate Windows Ink into their apps with as little as two lines of code!
Cortana Proactive Suggestions
Cortana is evolving to become more intelligent and more proactive. Deeper integration with Office and third party apps will enable Cortana to better understand the context of your work.
In the Anniversary Update, Cortana will be powerful enough to digest instructions like, “Send the latest version of the Wilson contract to Laird,” and to make suggestions at appropriate times of the day, like offering to buy you lunch or reschedule a meeting.
Cortana will also be available above the lock screen, providing more direct access to assistance with common tasks on all types of devices.
Virtual Desktop Pins
Windows 10 introduced virtual desktops that enable power users to quickly switch between their different worlds of work. The anniversary edition lets them pin an open app to all of them, providing quick access to programs that they always want to be visible.
Edge Browser Improvements
Microsoft is adding support for extensions to the Windows 10 Edge browser, opening up opportunities for often requested functionality like ad blockers. The new version of the browser will also intelligently pause peripheral webpage content like annoying Flash ads, improving the experience and laptop battery usage.
A number of other less prominent improvements will make life better in small ways for users and significant ways for developers:
- Battery/Power management enhancements and tools
- Action Center improvements
- A new Dark Theme
- Start Menu changes to display the All Apps list beneath Most Used Apps
- Developer improvements
- Ability to run native Bash on Windows 10
- Changes to allow Win32 and .NET developers to distribute their apps through the Windows Store and share more of their code across platforms
The changes announced for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update certainly move Microsoft closer to its vision of a single, seamless user experience across all devices, and frankly, add to the excitement of better computer/work/life integration. Windows 10A makes our workday more productive and smartphones and tablets more useful and easy to use.
Celebrate the Anniversary with eMazzanti
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be free to current Windows 10 users. Those who haven’t done so may want to upgrade to Windows 10 soon. The user experience of Windows 10 is closer to Windows 7 than the less-popular Windows 8, so the transition from one OS to the other should be easier on users.
Upgrading to a new operating system for dozens or hundreds of users in a business environment can cost both time and money. If you wish to upgrade to Windows 10, eMazzanti Technologies can help you minimize the potential risks and costs, such as down time and issues with compatibility and integrations.
At the same time, you may want to consider optimizing network security and performance and other revenue enhancing technology upgrades.
1Terry Myerson, Microsoft Windows Experience Blog, (March 30, 2016). Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings New Experiences and Developer Opportunity [Article] Retrieved from https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/03/30/windows-10-anniversary-update-brings-new-experiences-and-developer-opportunity/