Members of the Windows Insider early-access program can finally take one of the most highly anticipated features to be included in this summer's Windows 10 Anniversary Update: Hyper-V Containers.
"You can now use Docker natively on Windows 10 with Hyper-V Containers, to build, ship and run containers utilizing the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 Nano Server container OS image," Dona Sarkar, the new head of the Windows Insider program, announced in a June 8 blog post. Introduced in April 2015 alongside Hyper-V Containers, Nano Server is a container-friendly, lightweight version of Windows Server that has been stripped down to its barest essentials.
"A new version of the Docker engine for Windows has also been made available that extends the support of containers while also improving the DockerFile syntax and getting started experience for users," continued Sarkar. The features are available as part of Windows 10 Insider preview build 14361.
Enterprises and software startups alike are flocking to Docker and other DevOps-enabling application container platforms. The technology's inherent flexibility and agility empower organizations to quickly build, update and manage applications at scale.
Not only is Microsoft bullish on containers, the venture capital (VC) community is, too.
Last month, three container vendors, CoreOS, Rancher Labs and Weaveworks, raked in a combined $63 million in new funding. Tallying up the investments that those firms have attracted to date, plus the hefty $150 million raised by Docker Inc., VCs have poured nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($248 million) into container startups.
"Investors are interested in containers because they represent the future of all computing although it's still relatively early days for the technology," noted eWEEK's Sean Michael Kerner in his recent analysis of VC investments in container vendors. "Rather than the legacy approach of monolithic stacks on which applications run, the container revolution offers the opportunity for a microservices future in which application development, deployment and management is more agile and inherently more secure."
Containers aside, Windows 10 preview build 14361 offers several enhancements aimed at the typical user. Microsoft has made improvements to Windows Ink, the intelligent digital inking technology that allows users to interact with Windows 10 and compatible apps with a stylus. On Surface Books, for example, the Windows Ink ruler now spans the entire display when it is turned diagonally.
Users of the Microsoft Edge can now download the LastPass browser add-on, a free password management tool. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Edge extensions will be made available through the Windows Store app marketplace in a bid to improve security and simplify the add-on search and installation process for users.
The operating system's updated Settings app features improvements to its navigation, along with a smattering of design tweaks for a more polished look. The new Blu-ray icon is more consistent with other drive icons, and the new networking icon in the Quick Action bar does away with the generic "globe" visual of the past.