Paul Thurrott (http://www.thurrott.com) just reported that Microsoft has updated the shipping versions of Windows 10 again this month. It’s another Cumulative Update so you’ll need to reboot your machine after the update gets installed. With all the Bad Guy activity going on, it’s not really surprising to me. While it’s a pain in the rear to have to reboot so often, I take solace in the fact that Microsoft is ACTIVELY trying to keep the OS patched.
Mary Jo Foley at All About Microsoft reports that Microsoft will be releasing Service Pack 1 (oops — I meant Anniversary Update) on August 2nd just a few short days after the one year release date anniversary of Windows 10 and the end of the free upgrade offer.
Ms. Foley spoke with Terry Myerson (Windows and devices group executive vice president) last week and reports that there will be “…six major buckets of new features…”
Myerson, with whom I spoke last week about the coming update, said there are six major buckets of new features coming in the Anniversary Update. The six: More enterprise security features; Edge browser improvements, including extension support; Windows Ink for better pen use; new Cortana enhancements; and cross-device gaming support.
There will apparently be two new Enterprise features with this update.
The other major, brand-new enterprise security feature which will ship as part of the Anniversary Update is the Windows 10 Defender Advanced Threat Protection threat-intelligence and attack detection service. Sources had told me Microsoft was aiming to make this service available some time in the third calendar quarter of 2016. Extensive testing — by 300 enterprises and with 700,000 endpoints — resulted in the service being ready to roll with the Anniversary Update, Myerson said.
And one more fun promotion from Microsoft for students.
Microsoft has announced that they will discontinue patches and security updates for everything but the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE 11). They’ve created a new browser (Edge) and they intend to use it. Edge only works with Windows 10, but IE 11 works with Windows 7, 8.1, & 10. I have run into an issue with the IE11 upgrade on a couple of machines whose graphics drivers would not permit the install. The manufacturer had no updated drivers so there was no way to upgrade the browser. Hopefully the graphics drivers will get a refresh and IE11 will be allowed to install — otherwise that’s going to be *very* frustrating for a lot of people.
You’ll still be allowed to use the older version of IE, it’s just not going to get any patches to try to keep the bad guys out and you’re going to be nagged every time you do Windows Updates.
Brad Sams at Petri.com has a look at what’s likely on the plate for Microsoft in 2016. Some highlights:
HoloLens will likely finally get released to developers this spring (I’ve heard the developer kits will be going for $3000+!) It will be interesting to hear what the capabilities and possibilities are with the release of the kits
The non-pro Surface will likely get a refresh
Possibly a new “flagship” phone (maybe a “Surface” phone?) but honestly, in the US without the support of carriers the subject is moot. I know AT&T is carrying the current lineup of Win10 phones, but in my area my choices are US Cellular or Verizon. Since Microsoft and Verizon apparently aren’t on speaking terms, that leaves a lot of us out in the cold. Then there’s the App problem. It’s too bad because I *ADORED* my 8.1 Windows phone and the integration it afforded.
A possible Xbox Slim? Something to compete with Apple TV. If they do, I’d make sure it can connect to any Xbox360 or Xbox One to extend their capabilities. It would leave Apple TV in the dust.
Surface Pro and Surface Book Upgrades. How about you just fix the ones you already shipped? I LOVE my original Surface Pro. I was excited about jumping to a Surface Pro 4. After hearing about the driver and sleep issues, I’m glad I didn’t. Come on Microsoft — premium hardware at premium pricing should come running perfectly out of the box.
Win10 should get two “feature packs” (what’s wrong with calling them service packs?!?) this year and the new Windows Server 2016 should be released.
The Cloud will continue to be a focus for the company.
Here’s hoping better communication is also part of their plan. Microsoft builds awesome products. They’re just really bad at telling anyone about it.