Microsoft Delivers Promised Business Features in Windows 10 Update
Windows Store for Business is also here, and it offers a version of the now familiar app store with applications from Microsoft and third parties that are intended for use in business and enterprise settings. In his blog post announcing the new upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson also provided insight into several other features important to business. One of those, mobile device management, might not be especially useful because it appears to only support Windows mobile devices, which don't have large installed bases so far. But some of the other changes could be very important indeed. One, an anti-breach feature called Credential Guard, prevents the hash passing frequently used in data breaches. This feature keeps credentials in a hardware-based virtual container that's supposed to thwart a number of breach attempts. A related feature called Device Guard uses a trusted boot process that is designed to prevent bad guys from installing malware that persists after a reboot. Myerson also pointed out that Windows Hello, which is a biometric identification feature, means users can do away with passwords.Myerson also announced that Microsoft will release a new enterprise data protection feature that separates corporate and consumer data. Enterprise data protection is currently in limited testing and will be released to a broader test regimen later. What may be the most welcome news for some IT shops that have been delaying a move to Windows 10 due to security concerns is that Microsoft is now allowing enterprise users to turn off all telemetry data if they choose. Myerson said that the company hopes these shops won't do this because they need the data to make Windows "more delightful." But for organizations where security is paramount, this change is critical. The November upgrade contains much more than what you'd normally find in a Windows Update. It effectively replaces your Windows 10 installation with a new one and in the process improves security and performance. The download is huge—about 3 gigabytes—and the process takes a little while. But when you're done, you seem to get a lot for your trouble. I'll detail the changes in a future column, but for most business and enterprise users, this new version of Windows 10 should be very welcome news. Maybe now is the time to make the move.
Larger IT environments may find the new Azure Active Directory Join useful for maintaining a single directory and giving users a single sign-on. AAD will also allow users to shift their system settings and data across all of their Windows 10 devices, according to Myerson.