Windows 10 Anniversary Edition's Developer Mode Streamlines Settings

Power users, rejoice. Next month's Anniversary Edition update will gather advanced Windows settings in one place.

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Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft has added yet another developer-friendly feature to the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Edition.

On Aug. 2, the operating system update will bring the Bash Unix shell and support for Docker-compatible Hyper-V containers. Developers and power users may also notice an enhanced Developer Mode with new options available in Windows settings. The new Developer Mode exposes functionality that often takes digging through configuration menus or a Google search to unearth.

"Under Developer Mode in the Insiders' Builds, there is a nice collection of developer and power-user related settings brought together under one roof," Scott Hanselman, principal program manager of outreach and community for Microsoft .NET and Visual Studio, wrote in a July 20 blog posting. "What's great about this is that you already know these settings. As a developer, you likely install Windows and then immediately go around to Windows Explorer, the Registry, and a bunch of other places to tweak Windows to how you work as a developer."

Insiders' builds are early, pre-release versions of Windows 10 that Microsoft makes available to members of the Windows Insider program. These users get early access to new features before they are made generally available to the public in exchange for their feedback.

For example, in April, Microsoft released a Windows Insider preview build (14316) that included the highly anticipated Bash Unix shell. Build 14383, released earlier this month, contains a near-final version of the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, denoted by the noticeable lack of a desktop watermark.

Developer Mode now gathers common settings that IT professionals, power users, and of course developers typically change to tailor the operating system to their needs. Instead of picking through Windows 10's various software components, the new experience provides a centralized set of system dialogs. It provides one-stop access to options that enable file paths in the title bar and show system files in Windows Explorer, among other functionality. Similar options are available for PowerShell, Remote Desktop and Remote Diagnostics, said Hanselman.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has high hopes for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition.

After reporting the company's cloud-lifted fourth quarter fiscal 2016 earnings on July 19, CEO Satya Nadella said during an investor conference call that he expects the enhancements and features to "drive increased adoption of Windows 10, particularly in the enterprise, in the coming year. We already have strong traction with over 96 percent of our enterprise customers piloting Windows 10."

Currently, there are over 350 million devices running Windows 10, according to Microsoft. Adoption has been brisk—faster than any previous Windows release claims the company—but setbacks in Microsoft's ill-fated phone business are causing the company to fall behind in its aim to have the operating system running on a billion devices by mid-2018.

Nonetheless, Windows 10 has already made some serious inroads with Enterprise customers.

A recent study from Spiceworks revealed strong support for Windows 10 in enterprises. Satisfaction rates are high (85 percent of users are "generally satisfied"), and software bugs have been few and far between for early adopters.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...