Microsoft Drops New Windows 10 Build Bringing Skype Integration, Edge Improvements

Windows 10 Build

 

Microsoft detailed a number of statistics relating to the performance of apps on its Windows 10 platform, alongside a new build of the operating system for its testing community.

According to Microsoft, more than half of visits to the Windows Store now come from Windows 10 users. Given the relative youth and market share scale of Windows 10 compared to Windows 8.x, it’s an encouraging statistic.

Microsoft also stated that Windows 10 generates twice the engagement and four times the revenue on a per user basis compared to its predecessor. Like Amazon, Microsoft is not releasing precise statistics, but, instead, comparative metrics that appear encouraging; we can compare this to Amazon’s past announcements about how its new Kindle is the best-selling yet and so forth.

Still, even carefully selected positive data can be useful. The above is predicated on the recently released figure that there are 110 million devices running Windows 10 today, which is 11 percent of where Microsoft expects to be in a year or two.

More engagement and more revenue implies happier developers. Or at least more piqued developers, I’d wager.

Build 10565

Also out is a new build of Windows 10 — build 10565 — which is out now for those in the company’s testing community who have signed up to receive new code as quickly as possible.

The latest build includes improvements to Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, to help the service understand notes that were handwritten on a screen. Ink, in other words. Given Microsoft’s focus on pen-based input, the addition is sensible.

In Edge, Microsoft’s new browser that will eventually fully supplant Internet Explorer, a new tab preview option lets users hover over a browser tab to see a quick preview of its content. Yes, this echoes past work the company has done on the Start Bar.

Finally, among the most interesting additions is the integration of Skype’s various communications capabilities into Windows 10 itself; Skype proper isn’t going anywhere, but Microsoft wants to take its tools and bake them into the operating system itself. (The shiver up the back of your neck is the specter of antitrust past, naturally.)

The Skype integration was previously promised, and Microsoft promised similar functionality for the mobile-edition of Windows 10 as well.

Microsoft has had a decent few weeks. Its hardware event went well, Windows 10 has failed to flop, and the company’s update cadence has so far, at least, beaten my expectations.

Windows 10 – 10 Interesting Facts to know

Recently, Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Windows and Devices, shared some fun Windows 10 facts via Twitter. Check out the full list below!

  • As of August 26, 2015 More than 75 million devices are running Windows 10 (and growing each day, the most recent figure according to a few sources is 81 million now)
  • Windows 10 is running in 192 countries, virtually every country on the planet.
  • More than 90,000 unique PC or tablet models have upgraded to Windows 10
  • Even some devices manufactured in 2007 have upgraded to Windows 10
  • More than 122 years of gameplay have streamed from Xbox One to Windows 10 devices.
  • 10 million achievements unlocked: Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Minecraft: Windows 10    Edition Beta
  • In response to “tell me a joke”, Cortana has told over half a million jokes since launch.
  • Windows Store for Windows 10 has seen 6X more app downloads per device than Windows 8.
  • Over 2,000 organizations vying to win the global partner slot in #UpgradeYourWorld.

Windows 10 will use Virtualization for Extra Security.

Windows 10 features, security upgrades often miss the spotlight because of additions like Cortana for desktop, Microsoft Edge, and Universal Apps.

Although, we expect that as Microsoft is targeting a broad consumer audience with its new operating system, and many people don’t care or aren’t even aware about subliminal security details as the return of the Start menu. Security updates and enhancements are not of interest to everyone.

Yet there are users who have specific benchmarks on how their devices and data will be protected on Windows 10. This is an age of high security risk. No one knows when the attack may happen or what is at risk. The attackers these days are not after money but after DATA.

“The threats that we’re seeing are dramatically different from what we saw four years ago,” Chris Hallum, senior product manager for Windows business security, said in an interview with InformationWeek. “Organizations are still getting breached, even when they have the very best security solutions.”

Today’s attacks are more aggressive and targeted. Detection-based models for pinpointing malware are no longer enough. Most hackers use one of two avenues in a security breach: identity theft and increasingly advanced malware.

In Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft implemented security measures that now seem incremental in hindsight, said Hallum. The goals were to build taller and thicker “walls” for enhancing security, and to create more “speed bumps” to prevent attacks.

No one is 100% Safe. But with implementing processes of cyber security we can reduce the risk of being vulnerable.

Hackers began to adopt new capabilities faster than Microsoft was changing its features. As data breaches began to escalate rapidly, the team decided it was time to “fundamentally change the game with attackers,” Hallum explained.

“With Windows 10, we took the time to change the platform to make the interior hard as the exterior,” he continued. One of the biggest security updates in Windows 10 is the use of virtualization as a means of preventing identity theft and distribution of malware.

The Windows component that facilitates communication, also known as the local security authority (LSA), can give a hacker full authentication if successfully compromised. In Windows 10, the LSA is moved into a separate container that serves as a virtualization-based security (VBS) environment.

This way, even if the OS were compromised, an attacker wouldn’t be able to assume control of the authentication process.

Windows 10 UVES

LSA is the same service that interacts with derived credentials, which provide authentication across a network when you use single sign-on. “Attackers love to steal that content,” said Hallum, because once they’re inside, they can navigate the network without accessing the rest of your information.

With data protected inside the VBS container, Windows 10 marks the first version of Windows to leverage hardware to create an area of high isolation. This makes it impossible for hackers to steal derived credentials, Hallum explained.

Of course, this isn’t the only advanced protection we’ll see in Windows 10, but the hardware component does merit discussion. Microsoft has introduced a range of new security features, including additional authentication safeguards Windows Hello and Passport.

To further enhance enterprise security in Windows 10, Microsoft will administer OS updates through “Long Term Servicing Branches.” This will give businesses greater security and control over how they receive new features, and more flexibility in adopting innovation at their own pace.

A “Current Branch for Business” will accommodate enterprise customers who handle end-user devices that aren’t necessarily mission-critical. In addition to security updates, these customers will receive feature upgrades after compatibility has been ensured in the consumer market.

Microsoft Drops another Windows 10 Update

Since the launch of Windows 10 on July 29, 2015, Microsoft for the third time released the new set of updates for Windows 10.

Microsoft has begun the rollout of what it calls a cumulative update.  In case you haven’t installed the earlier updates, this updates gets you up and running with the latest version of Windows. On the other hand, if you have updated the prior updates, then only incremental patches will be installed.

Here’s Microsoft’s official words on the update:

Windows 10 updates are cumulative. Therefore, this package contains all previously released fixes. If you have previous updates installed, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer. 

Microsoft is making some big changes as to how it handles patching and updating with Windows 10. Those using Windows 10 Home must take all features, fixes and security updates from Microsoft as soon as the company makes them available via Windows Update. (There is a not so readily discoverable blocking tool meant to enable users to temporarily block drivers and patches.) Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education users have a bit more leeway in terms of when and how they get patches with features and fixes.

These update packages are more background fixes than new features.

Microsoft describes Windows 10 as a “universal” application architecture, which is an attempt to build a single operating system that can function on devices of any size, or input variety. Thus the released updates and patches will be made available for all devices.

Windows 10 Available on July 29

Microsoft shared the availability date for Windows 10. In fact, Microsoft thought they would let Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant, share the news. You can ask Cortana for the answer, or if you don’t have a Windows phone or a PC running the Windows10 Insider Preview handy – you can hear it for yourself here:

Through the feedback and testing of over four million Windows Insiders, Microsoft has made great progress on Windows 10 and Microsoft is nearly ready to deliver this free upgrade to all of our Windows customers*.

Do Great Things with Windows 10

Microsoft designed Windows 10 to create a new generation of Windows for the 1.5 billion people using Windows today in 190 countries around the world. With Windows 10, Microsoft started delivering on their vision of more personal computing, defined by trust in how Microsoft protects and respects your personal information, mobility of the experience across your devices, and natural interactions with your Windows devices, including speech, touch, ink, and holograms. Microsoft designed Windows 10 to run our broadest device family ever, including Windows PCs, Windows tablets, Windows phones, Windows for the Internet of Things, Microsoft Surface Hub, Xbox One and Microsoft HoloLens—all working together to empower you to do great things.

Familiar, yet better than ever, Windows 10 brings back the Start menu you know and love. Windows 10 is faster than ever before, with quick startup and resume. And Windows 10 provides the most secure platform ever, including Windows Defender for free anti-malware protection, and being the only platform with a commitment to deliver free ongoing security updates for the supported lifetime of the device.

Windows 10 - Img 1

Microsoft has designed Windows 10 to help you be more productive and have more fun, with a range of innovations**:

Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant helps you get things done. Cortana learns your preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important reminders. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing. And the Cortana experience works not just on your PC, but can notify and help you on your smartphone too.

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Microsoft Edge, is an all-new browser designed to get things done online in new ways, with built-in commenting on the web – via typing or inking — sharing comments, and a reading view that makes reading web sites much faster and easier. With Cortana integrated, Microsoft Edge offers quick results and content based on your interests and preferences. Fast, streamlined and personal, you can focus on just the content that matters to you and actively engage with the web.

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Office on Windows: In addition to the Office 2016 full featured desktop suite, Windows 10 users will be able to experience new universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all available separately. These offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices to increase you productivity. Designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, you can easily create and edit Word documents, and deliver PowerPoint presentations while annotating on the fly. With new touch-first controls in Excel you can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. You will also be able to enjoy new versions of OneNote and Outlook, which are included with Windows 10 at no additional cost.

  • Xbox Live and the integrated Xbox App bring new game experiences to Windows 10. Xbox on Windows 10 brings the expansive Xbox Live gaming network to both Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Communicate with your friends on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One – while playing any PC game. You can capture, edit and share your greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices. You can play games on your PC, streamed directly from your Xbox One console to your Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within your home. Games developed for DirectX 12 in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability.
  • New Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People, Mail & Calendar apps have updated designs that look and feel familiar from app to app and device to device.  You can start something on one device and continue it on another since your content is stored on and synched through OneDrive.

Windows 10 - Img 4

  • Windows Continuum enables today’s best laptops and 2-in-1 devices to elegantly transform from one form factor to the other, enabling smooth transitions of your tablet into a PC, and back. And new Windows phones with Continuum can be connected to a monitor, mouse and physical keyboard to make your phone work like a PC.
  • Windows Hello, greets you by name and with a smile, letting you log in without a password and providing instant, more secure access to your Windows 10 devices. With Windows Hello, biometric authentication is easy with your face, iris, or finger, providing instant recognition.

Windows Store, with easy install and uninstall of trusted applications, supported by the broadest range of global payment methods.

Exclusive Features: Windows 10 Enterprise

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Microsoft has been working hard to get the thoughts of enterprise users as to which operating system they would consider upgrading to. Since the announcement of Windows 10, it was expected that Microsoft will provide some exclusive features to its enterprise users.

Windows 10 Enterprise will have advanced features designed to meet the demands of medium and large sized organizations. It will only be available through volume licensing. This will allow the users to take advantage of the latest innovations and security updates on an ongoing basis. Enterprise users with volume licensing contracts and Software Assurance will also have the ability to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits.

Windows 10 Enterprise will also provide upgrade flexibility to IT administrators. With Microsoft’s Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB), IT administrators can delay the deployment of new features and upgrades to protect their mission-critical devices and environment up to 10 years.

Windows 10 Enterprise will also take away the fees from some software add-ons. Enterprise users with Software Assurance will have free access to Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) which is currently a paid add-on for users. Users will also have access to ongoing exclusive Enterprise features.

As for the downgrade rights, Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the option of downgrading to Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 8.1 Enterprise.