Microsoft combined the old Service Packs and New Windows Versions (95, 2000, XP, 7, 8…) model, into a new process that provides new features in full versions of Windows released several times each year under the Windows 10 banner. Microsoft released “RTM” Windows 10 in July 2015, then build 1511 in November (get the code.. 15 like 2015 and 11 like November). The new 1607 build has been branded Windows 10 Anniversary Edition Update (codenamed Redstone) because it falls on the one year anniversary of Windows 10 original release.
I have been running nearly every beta build of Windows 10 since its release including about 20 new builds this year, leading up to the general release of Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and these are the 10 things you need to know about it:
- It is FREE for anyone with a licensed copy of Windows 10. The free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8, DID expire on July 29, 2016. It will download automatically through Windows Update in the first few weeks of August 2016.
- There are NO BIG INTERFACE CHANGES. This is important. Windows 10 reintroduced the START button that had been removed in Windows 8. Windows 10 Anniversary Edition provides some minor visual differences to the START button but that is all.
- Windows Defender Antivirus can be used even if you have a different Antivirus program. There is a new PERIODIC SCANNING feature in Defender that will automatically turn itself on and run a quick scan. This can be disabled but I can’t think of why you would want to do that. Defender is a solid AV solution that provides good protection to most non-torrenting, cautions users.
- Microsoft Edge Browser is ALMOST ready for prime time now. They have worked hard on the new browser and in addition to a myriad of small enhancements and bug fixes, it now support Extensions (plugins). The minor feature I like best is the DARK THEME. Just click the settings ellipse (3 dots) at the top right of Edge, select SETTINGS and change the THEME.
- Xbox Play Anywhere allows you to buy a game in the Microsoft Store and play it on your Xbox One or your Windows 10 PC. Microsoft says “Every new title published from Microsoft Studios that we showed onstage at E3 this year will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.”
- There are some App changes:
- Universal Apps can automatically be launched from websites. For instance, if you surf to the TripAdvisor site (using Edge) the TripAdvisor app will launch. You can control this through SETTINGS > SYSTEM > APPS FOR WEBSITES
- You can RESET YOUR APPS back to factory settings using SETTINGS > APPS AND FEAUTRES
- The Skype “Modern App” and “Desktop App” have been killed in favour of a new “Universal App” that functions on Windows 10 Phones, Tablets and PC’s.
- Wi-Fi Sense Password Sharing is gone. This feature allowed your Windows 10 PC to share Wi-Fi passwords with your Outlook.com, Facebook and Skype contacts automatically. It was controversial, not well understand and seldom used so Microsoft killed it.
- Emoji’s are getting a complete overhaul to support multiple skin tones and new standard emoji’s.
- Linux Command Line has been added. This is a full Ubuntu Bash Shell and comes with the WINDOWS SUBSYSTEM FOR LINUX Feature. If you want this just click START and type ADD FEATURES and then find WINDOWS SUBSYSTEM FOR LINUX in the list. See THIS post for more details.
- Corporate customers (with Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education):
- Using WSUS (and I think SCCM) for updates will NEED to read THIS article about KB315706.
- have access to the new Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) feature which is what will eventually replace / augment Microsoft’s Office365 cloud based Intune Antivirus. AV looks at known problems and tries to block them. WDATP looks at behaviours and “…detects, investigates, and responds to advanced malicious attacks on networks by providing a more comprehensive threat intelligence and attack detection…”. I have been registered as a WDATP admin beta tester for a few months but found no problems if note on my systems (which is a good thing).
- have “Containers” for virtualization are available in Pro and Enterprise builds
- will be annoyed by popular GPO’s no longer functioning “…include the ability to disable the lock screen, tips, and ‘Microsoft consumer experience’ that downloads apps like Candy Crush Saga…”
- will be annoyed to find App-V and UE-V have been removed from Windows 10 Professional. Enterprise or Education are required for Application virtualization and User Environment Virtualization
- will be happy there is a new GPO named ENABLE NTFS LONG PATHS that removes the 260 character NTFS path limit
- Upgrading from Win 10 Pro to Enterprise only requires a new product key and will not even need a reboot!
- Windows 10 Enterprise will be available on Office365 E3 plan for an additional USD$7 per month
- For the Education market:
- there is a TAKE A TEST app that temporarily locks down the PC so students can send digital tests without access to COPY/PASTE or the Internet on any browser.
- teachers can use the SETUP SCHOOL PC app to set PC for education needs without the help of their schools IT staff
- see THIS site for all the details on the EDUCATION options including Inking, Essay Sharing and more.
- The Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) now has a QR code on it so you can use your cell phone to receive more information about the problem that caused the crash.
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