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- Two update modes
- In-place upgrade
- Unified app store
- Volume app purchases
- Modern app windows
- Start menu
- Snap enhancements
- Multiple desktops
- New task view button
- Search with web
- Recent files
- Built-in, multi-factor authentication
- BitLocker containers
- VPN improvements
- Built-in mobile device management (MDM)
- Personal and business data separation
- Windows Insider Program
- Windows 10 release date
- Windows 10 pricing
- More features to come
- Further reading
Let me just make one personal comment. Naming the Windows 8 successor not Windows 9, but Windows 10, is courageous. It is also justified because the next Windows version indeed passes a threshold.
I have criticized Microsoft before about their odd version naming after the release of Windows 8.1. If it is really true that Windows 10 is the last major version, someone at Microsoft must have noticed that the new cloud-driven computing paradigm also requires a new way of versioning for on-premises products. I think an even more courageous and appropriate name would have been “Windows” without any version number. Azure and Office 365 also don’t have a version number and are continuously updated.
Two update modes ^
Businesses can choose between two update modes. They can opt-in to receive feature updates at the same speed as the consumer version of Windows, or they can lock down their Windows installation and only receive security updates. Admins will also be able to choose the update mode for different user groups. It is interesting to note that critical and security updates will be delivered on a monthly basis.
In-place upgrade ^
It appears this feature is related to the two update modes and the threshold thing. If Windows 10 is the last major Windows release, a new upgrade process is required that allows admins to keep devices up to date.
Unified app store ^
Microsoft will unify the app stores for Windows and Windows Phone. The new cross-platform development paradigm will allow developers to offer their apps on all types of Windows devices.
Volume app purchases ^
The unified app store will support volume app purchases. Admins will be able to create customized stores for their users.
Modern app windows ^
Windows Store apps will behave like desktop applications—that is, they will run in a window with a title bar that can be dragged and resized.
Start menu ^
The new Start menu looks a lot like the old one in Windows 7 (my biggest disappointment).
Snap enhancements ^
The new quadrant layout allows you to “snap” four apps (not just two, like now). Windows will make suggestions on filling available space with apps.
Multiple desktops ^
Linux users have been used to working with multiple desktops for ages. Now, Windows users no longer have to rely on third-party desktop managers, which were often somewhat unreliable.
New task view button ^
The taskbar has a new task view button that allows you to switch between open files and desktops.
Search with web ^
Windows search includes search results from the web.
Recent files ^
File Explorer can display recently opened files and frequently visited folders.
Built-in, multi-factor authentication ^
No specific information is available about this new feature except that smartcards and token-based systems will be supported.
BitLocker containers ^
BitLocker will support containers that allow you to move encrypted data between different devices. Perhaps this feature will work like TrueCrypt containers. BitLocker will also support “data separation at the application and file level.” This sounds interesting, but I admit I have no clue what this is supposed to mean. Let me know if you do.
VPN improvements ^
No specific information is available at this point. I will keep you up to date as I learn more.
Built-in mobile device management (MDM) ^
Microsoft says that built-in MDM will be enhanced. We will see what these enhancements will bring.
Personal and business data separation ^
Windows 10 will be able to distinguish between personal data and business data. Admins can remotely erase business data without touching personal data.
Windows Insider Program ^
IT pros who want to test the Windows 10 preview can now download Microsoft’s latest OS from the Windows Insider Program page.
Windows 10 release date ^
There are rumors that the release date of the final version will be mid-2015.
Windows 10 pricing ^
At the time of this writing, Microsoft didn’t announce any Windows 10 pricing. Some bloggers spread the rumor that the upgrade will be free. That doesn’t sound very likely to me.
More features to come ^
Notice that this list is, of course, not complete because Microsoft is planning to add new features until the final release of Windows 10. If you want to see what the preview version looks like, you should watch Joe Belfiore’s presentation.
Further reading ^
- Announcing Windows 10
- Introducing Windows 10 for Business
- Windows Insider Program
- Windows 10 for the Enterprise
- Windows 10's Fast-paced Updating Feature Will Be Opt-in