Microsoft has delivered its first major update to Windows 10 since the operating system launched this summer, claiming improvements in all aspects of the platform and user experience while adding business features that mean the platform is now ready for enterprise adoption.
Available now, the Windows 10 November Update, also known by the internal codename of Threshold 2, will be delivered as a download to those users already running Windows 10 based on their Windows Update settings.
Microsoft also made a pre-release version of the update available to testers on the Fast Ring of its Windows Insider programme last week as Windows 10 preview build 10586.
Included in the update are features to boost performance, with boot time now nearly 30 percent faster than Windows 7 on the same device, according to Microsoft. There are also improvements to Cortana and the Microsoft Edge browser, and enhancements to many of Windows 10's built-in apps, such as Mail, Calendar, Photos, Groove, Xbox, Store and OneNote.
However, for organisations, the most significant features are the arrival of some of the promised enterprise features Microsoft has been touting that will make Windows 10 a better fit into a corporate environment.
These include Windows Update for Business, Windows Store for Business, Azure Active Directory Join and support for mobile device management.
"With this free update we have reached the point in the platform's maturity where we can confidently recommend Windows 10 deployment to whole organisations," said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, writing on the Windows Experience blog.
Windows Update for Business gives companies more control over the way updates are delivered. It allows for maintenance windows, whereby administrators can specify periods when updates should or should not take place, plus administrators can choose to update devices in groups with staggered deployments.
In a similar vein, Windows Store for Business gives organisations more control over the apps users can install, which can be a mix of apps from the standard Windows Store and custom line of business apps.
Azure Active Directory Join enables self-provisioning of devices by users, as well as supporting single sign-on to company resources in the cloud and on-premise.
However, one feature still to come is Enterprise Data Protection, which is designed to protect corporate data on employee-owned devices through features such as defining specific applications that are allowed to access corporate data.
This is currently in testing with a number of enterprise customers, Microsoft said, but will be available to Windows Insiders to evaluate soon.
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