This is a continuation of a post, Windows 10 Series: What You Need to Know.
IT admins always have a burning question when a new OS comes out: “How will this affect me and my end users?”
One of the most daunting things for admins revolves around updates to the OS. Windows Update for Business in Windows 10 should go a long way towards quelling some of those fears. It will allow for features like Distributions Rings, Maintenance Windows, and Peer to Peer Delivery.
Windows 10 for Pro and Enterprise is also working towards a shift that is currently taking place in the enterprise landscape. While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is still present and with us, the market is shifting rapidly due to security concerns and the cost of products. The new wave is called CYOD or Choose Your Own Device.
The Choose-Your-Own-Device model will allow a user with an Internet connection to choose whether this is a personal or business device. If it is designated a business device, the policies and restrictions from the main office will come down to the end user. Of course, the appropriate back end and server configurations will need to be set up first in order to make this a reality. This is but a brief glimpse into what the world of IT may look like going forward.
There are certain OS functionalities that IT admins really care about. Admins want to be familiar with the product to give end users a better understanding of how to use the OS and maximize user independence from the IT department. A few new features that might interest IT admins are: Taskview, virtual desktops, Aero Snap across monitors, command prompt and PowerShell copy and paste, StorageSense, and Battery Saver.
New Features IT Admins Will Like
Taskview is a button on the taskbar that allows you to see all applications that are open and running on your system and it allows quick switch between them all.
Virtual Desktops is a feature within the Taskview setting on the bottom right-hand side when everything that allows you to create a blank desktop on which to work.
Aero Snap will now support up to four separate views on a monitor. In the old version it would support two snapped windows to either side of the ends of your monitor displays.
Copy and paste hot keys and right click works now in Command Prompt and PowerShell. Also, you can change the opacity levels of the Shell you are working in if you need to see the information behind it.
StorageSense is a built-in function on the settings that allows you to see what data is taking up the most of your hard drive.
Battery Saver turns off data push from notifications and background processes to save battery power. Current Windows 10 operation has seen better efficiency than Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on the same laptop.
New Features End Users Will Like
There is some bleed over between things OS admins care about and what is important to the end user. These things will apply to workforce end users as well as home-based end users. The biggest features are the way notifications are handled in the action center, tablet mode, THE START MENU, Windows Explorer changes, Cortana, Microsoft Edge (Project Spartan), old Windows 8.1 Metro apps opening like normal Applications, and the Xbox App.
The notifications allow you to see not only important information about your system but also incoming messages, alerts, and quick shortcuts to quick system functions like VPN, wireless, and tablet mode.
Tablet mode for Windows 10, when turned on, automatically changes 2-in-1 devices to a mode that allows for more space between buttons to accommodate the use of fingers or a stylus on the touch screen.
The Start Menu is back in a big way! It is best seen as a hybrid of the best parts of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 into one interface. The Start Menu contains all applications like Windows 7 does, but also includes the right-click feature to get to admin tools. Windows Store apps are also integrated right into the Start Menu, creating one powerful view for the user.
Windows Explorer has evolved to allow for an area called Quick Access. The Quick Access section is a learning and evolving part of Windows Explorer that remembers files and locations that the user accesses frequently and then provides one concise place to find them.
Cortana is the personal digital assistant, directly integrated into Windows 10. Yes, it is a play on the artificial intelligence from Halo. Cortana has been a part of Windows Phone for over a year and will now be on Windows 10 as well. Cortana is able to keep track of as much or as little as the user allows.
Microsoft Edge, which was originally called Project Spartan, is the new internet browser from Microsoft. Microsoft Edge will allow end users the options to annotate webpages and save them for reading later. It will also allow for the removal of ads, pop ups, and videos that clutter up web pages.
Older Windows 8.1 apps will be usable in the Windows 10 environment. However, they thankfully no longer take you away from the desktop experience the way that old Windows 8.1 apps did. They now open like a standard Windows application would.
The Xbox app is a huge thing to the end user’s home-based environment. It will allow full integration with the Xbox One and allow for seamless transition from playing a game on an Xbox One to any Windows 10 device. This seamless transition is great, say, if someone else needs the TV. This is what people have been dreaming about for years.
This is an exciting time to delve into the Windows 10 product, and you can still become a member of the Windows 10 Insider Program. Microsoft is still looking for feedback and will need our input from this point forward. The success of the Insider Program will have implications for how the Windows OS is designed for the foreseeable future.