Windows 10 Enterprise Innovations

The upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, currently on the Insiders rings, doesn’t only bring new features for home users. The enterprise additions are also very nice. Next week is the RSA conference, and they will be talking in a lot more detail about the new additions. Windows Hello is being extended to on premise Active Directory domains, rather than just Azure AD.

With RSA so clearly on my mind, I am pleased to share six new security announcements that we will discuss in detail next week.

  1. NSA adds Windows 10 and Surface to list for classified use
  2. Enhanced security capabilities with Surface Enterprise Management Mode
  3. Extending device management in Windows 10
  4. New enhancements to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection
  5. The quest for No More Passwords with Windows Hello
  6. Turbo-charging your deployments with Windows Analytics
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Windows 10 Build 15031 Available

Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring can download build 15031 now. For those having issues downloading the update:

    • [UPDATED] IMPORTANT: You may see “Initializing…” when attempting to download this build and the download progress indicator shown when downloading this build may seem broken under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. It may look like you’re getting stuck at 0% or at other percentages. Ignore the indicator and be patient. The build should download fine, and the installation should kick off. See this forum post for more details.
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Insiders Creators Update Bug Bash

The February bug bash for the Creators Update has begun. This time, it lasts about a week, going until Sunday February 11th. Go try out some quests, file some feedback, upvote issues that you share with others, and have fun. This is for the most recent fast ring build of Windows 10.

Also, there is a couple live Beam webcasts which should be fun.

We have lots of opportunities for Windows Insiders to participate in this Bug Bash. We are planning two live Beam webcasts with Insiders and some special guests from the Windows Insider Program. Our first live webcast will be Tuesday, Feb 7th from 2-4pm Redmond time with guest appearances by Dona Sarkar and Bill Karagounis. Our second live webcast will be on Saturday, Feb 11th from 7-9pm with a guest appearance by Gabe Aul. During these webcasts, engineers from the Windows Engineering Team will be running through quests live on Beam and on their own PCs. You can get to the Beam webcast through this link.

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Windows Insiders Fast Ring Build 15019

The Windows Insiders team have released a new build for PC users of Windows 10 that are on the fast ring. This one has quite a few updates, but a big warning: some bugs will impact your gaming abilities! These are unrelated to the Game Mode, and it’s sad that these bugs surface when the Game Mode is released. However, I’m sure it will be a fixed issue next release (I hope!).

  • Game Mode: With Game Mode, it’s our goal to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. Our vision is that Game Mode optimizes your Windows 10 PC for an improvement in game performance. To enable Game Mode, go to Settings > Gaming > Game Mode toggle the feature on. Doing this will give you the ability to enable the feature for each UWP and Win32 title you play by pulling up the Game bar (Windows + G) and the clicking the Settings button. There you’ll be able to opt individual games into using Game Mode. (See below for an known issue regarding Game Mode in this build.)

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Build 15014 for PC & Mobile Insiders Fast Ring

Build 15014 for both PC and Mobile have been released to Fast Ring Windows 10 Insiders. A new e-book store is available, with Edge being the e-reader application. A lot of fixes and small additions this build!

 

After purchasing your e-books – you will find those in your Books library, which is a new hub entry in Microsoft Edge right next to your favorites, history, downloads and reading list. Windows Insiders in the US get to try out this experience today starting with this build and we expect to add more content over time.

  • Interactive reading experience: To navigate through an e-book, you can use the table of contents or seek bar at the bottom of the browser. You can search for words or phrases and ask Cortana to define specific words and view embedded video and audio content. And of course, pick up where you left of and leave bookmarks on the most interesting pages. You can even read your books when offline.
  • Learning tools: You can widen text spacing to improve reading fluency and benefit from typography tailored to reading efficiency.
  • Customize for you: Microsoft Edge is built for reading digital content on Windows 10 devices. You can make the reading experiences yours by changing the font and text size, themes, navigation control and more.
  • EPUB support: In addition to PDF files and books purchased via the Store – you can read any unprotected e-book in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge.
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Build 15007 for PC and Mobile

Users on the Fast Ring on Windows 10 Insiders can download build 15007 for both PC and mobile. Seems we just had a recent build come out…. I’m not complaining!

[Coming Soon] Download themes for your PC from the Windows Store (PC): In Build 15002, we introduced the new themes settings page in the Settings app. Soon, you’ll be able to go directly from the themes setting page directly to the Windows Store to download new themes for your PC! This isn’t working yet in today’s build and you’ll see a Store icon that does nothing at the bottom of the themes setting page. However, you can go to the Store page for themes here to try out downloading themes from the Store.

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New Build for Fast Ring – 15002

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Windows 10 has a new build for fast ring insiders. Quite a few updates to the browser Edge. Folders within the Start Menu tiles. Cortana, and a lot more. This is a good sized update!

Windows Theme Management in Settings: As we’ve mentioned in the past, one of our ongoing efforts is to consolidate Settings and Control panel, and we use your feedback to prioritize the convergence into Settings. We’re happy to unveil the next piece of this project: Management of themes has now moved out of Control panel and in to the Settings app. It can be found, along with all your other familiar personalization options, under Settings > Personalization. Pick one of your recent themes, or create and save custom new ones. How would you like to see Settings evolve next? Let us know in the Feedback Hub!

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CMD is not going anywhere

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Previous reports of the CMD.exe program being removed from Windows 10 and being replaced by Powershell are false. The command line is used my many many people, and is used by various scripts and is required for many things. Powershell does support a lot of the commands, but the cmd.exe is too widely used to be thrown away.

Glad to hear! I was really thrown for a loop on how that would work.

The Cmd shell remains an essential part of Windows, and is used daily by millions of businesses, developers, and IT Pro’s around the world.

In fact:

  • Much of the automated system that builds and tests Windows itself is a collection of many Cmd scripts that have been
    created over many years, without which we couldn’t build Windows itself!
  • Cmd is one of the most frequently run executables on Windows with a similar number of daily launches as File Explorer,
    Edge and Internet Explorer!
  • Many of our customers and partners are totally dependent on Cmd, and all it’s quirks, for their companies” existence!
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Microsoft MVP Reconnect Program

 

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For those Microsoft MVP’s from the past that are not current, there is a new program called the Reconnect program. The program is a nice way for Microsoft to recognize your contributions from the past, connect with other former MVP’s using their private Yammer groups, and get some new interactions with Microsoft.

Members of the MVP Reconnect program will also receive a nice MVP coin in a display holder.

 

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Being a former MVP myself for the time being, I really appreciate the time and effort Microsoft is putting into this program. I am finding a lot of other great former MVP’s, enjoyed the latest online Skype call, and love the interaction and communication with Microsoft.

The Yammer groups are fairly active, with a lot of good conversations going on. From the introduction posts to the sharing of knowledge of Microsoft products to random chit chat, it’s a nice place to visit other former MVP’s.

As this is a new program, it is still in the ‘beta’ phase. There is talk of other benefits that you may or may not receive in the future. However, as it currently stands – it’s a great program to be a part of. All former MVP’s that were in good standing are applicable to join. So, if you are a former MVP, I recommend signing up and at least introducing yourself in the Yammer groups!

There is a lot more information on the official Reconnect web page.

 

Who can join?

The program is open to all former MVPs, regardless of technical expertise or award category, with a minimum of 1 full MVP Award year. Members must be in good standing, meaning that they must have no Code of Conduct or NDA violations.

We believe that having a diverse population will increase the impact of networking and create unique opportunities that were not possible in the past!

Put simply, if you are a former MVP, we’d love for you to join!

Why should I join?

MVP Reconnect will be the official channel for you to stay connected to other community leaders and Microsoft. You will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive networking channel, events, and private discussions, as well as local and global offerings.

If your contributions to the technical community slow down temporarily, staying connected means that you maintain a good position for future recognition as an active MVP. If you have a long history with the MVP program, you’ll be able to share your experiences and coach others to take full advantage of all the opportunities that the MVP Award can provide.

This is not a program from Microsoft to the community; this is a program where Microsoft and the community contribute together to have a bigger impact! For this reason, we have decided to have a joint management approach and we are establishing an advisory board. Five to ten members will be part of this board and they will have the responsibility to represent the community and lead the constant evolution of the MVP Reconnect program. They will partner with Microsoft to define new features of the program, consolidate feedback, and evaluate cool new ideas for members. We will have periodic elections to select new board members. As part of a true community, you, through your advisory board representation, will be able to participate in driving new ideas, shaping the community structure, and building this program for the future.

After you are approved in the program, we will send you a small thank you gift to show our appreciation.

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