Microsoft's enterprise customers will be gaining the ability to further customize the Windows 10 operating system when they setup new PCs for employees in the next big update for the operating system.
Windows 10 test build 17110 for members of the company's Windows Insider early-access and feedback program, now allows users to add their own scripts to the setup process that accompanies each feature update, revealed Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider program, and senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc at Microsoft, in a Feb. 27 announcement. It administrators can use the customer scripts to tailor their companies' Windows environments and manage the settings for specific applications.
"In RS4, we are adding a new feature that will enable your enterprise to run your own custom actions/scripts synchronously with setup. Setup will execute custom actions during two update phases controlled by using preinstall.cmd or precommit.cmd," they explained.
RS4 refers to Redstone 4, the codename for the next major Windows 10 feature update expected sometime this spring in keeping with the predictable semi-annual release schedule that Microsoft has adopted not only for the Windows desktop operating system, but also for Windows Server, Office and System Center. Using preinstall.cmd executes custom actions before system and device compatibility scans and precommit.cmd runs them before a PC reboots into an offline state, added the Microsoft executives.
The updated Windows setup experience for administrators will also migrate scripts for future updates. Should a custom script introduce errors or fail, a failure.cmd script can undo the actions of previous scripts or be used to perform other custom operations, added Sarkar and LeBlanc.
Microsoft's coders also tackled a couple of show-stopping bugs in the latest preview build.
They include an issue that caused unusually high CPU utilization in "a small number of PCs" and another problem that caused a "green screen of death"—a version of the infamous "blue screen of death" error screen specifically for Windows Insiders–when users tore off a tab in the Edge web browser, an action that can be used to open a tab in its own window.
Windows 10 IoT Coming to NXP SoCs
Microsoft also announced new supported hardware for versions of the operating system used in embedded and IoT (Internet of Things) implementations.
During the Embedded World Conference in Germany, the software giant revealed on Feb. 27 that Windows 10 IoT Core now supports select i.MX SoCs (system-on-chip) from semiconductor company NXP. The system software and hardware combination can help alleviate some of the security concerns surrounding the IoT, according to David Lemson, director of Windows 10 IoT at Microsoft.
"Windows 10 IoT Core uses a unique capability of the NXP i.MX 6 and i.MX 7 to enable trusted I/O which can ensure that malicious applications or rogue actors are unable to tamper with the physical control of a device even if they infiltrate the operating system software," blogged Lemson.
Windows 10 IoT Core on NXP i.MX chips is available in a private beta program. Lemson also revealed that the upcoming fall 2018 releases of Windows 10 IoT Core and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise will ship with 10 years of support from Microsoft.