Windows 10 Business Roadmap Offers Look at Future Features
While it emerged without much fanfare, an outline of planned and possible features for the business version of Windows 10 was released by Microsoft over the weekend. The roadmap for Windows 10 Business promises to bring in some new features planned for Windows 10.
Although it was released in November, Windows 10 version 1511 feature update (build 10586) was only declared ready for organizations to begin deploying broadly this weekend. Microsoft said that each new Windows 10 feature update is referred to as Current Branch (CB), and is sent to organizations in pilot form.
After feedback is received from organizations, OEMs and other Microsoft partners testing the update, it then gets added to the Current Branch for Business (CBB) and is readied for wide deployment.
Microsoft will be publishing updated media for Windows 10 1511 in the coming weeks via channels including Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, and Windows Server Update Services, as well as on the Volume Licensing Service Center and MSDN.
Microsoft hasn’t said exactly which Windows 10 Business features will end up in the Windows 10 Anniversary update, which is expected in July. But the company did list some features said to be in public preview that could be part of that update. Microsoft also noted some other features not in public preview that most likely will not be ready by July.
Steve Kleynhans, vice president of Mobile and Client Computing Group, Gartner Inc., told us that the so-called Anniversary update will be one that garners the most interest from organizations.
"Most enterprises will end up doing production deployments some time shortly after the release of the Anniversary update to the CBB, and they will have to decide whether to start deployments with 1511 and switch over later in 2017, or start with the Anniversary update out of the gate," said Kleynhans. "I suspect most will go with the Anniversary update right from the outset. We expect it to arrive in CB in July, and hit CBB in November."
Included in the public preview are extensions for Windows 10’s Edge Web browser, along with Enterprise Data Protection and multifactor authentication for apps and sites that use the Hello sign-in app and the Passport authentication technology. Enterprise Data Protection provides file-level encryption for business data and apps to enhance data separation and containment to better prevent leaks. It was first announced in early 2015, but has been delayed.
Among the other enhancements that Microsoft said are on the way are the ability to cast between two PCs and improvements to Continuum, which connects Windows Phones to monitors, mice and keyboards, enabling the phones to work like PCs.
Other features under development include the ability to project from a Continuum-enabled phone directly to a PC wirelessly; the ability to use a Windows or Android phone to unlock Windows PCs; enabling companion devices such as the Microsoft Band 2 to execute Passport-based authentication; and support for picture-in-picture, which lets users watch or listen to media content while working on something unrelated.
Image Credit: Microsoft.
Image credit: Product shot by Microsoft; Artist's concept.