Windows 10 Creators Update to Include More Privacy Controls

Today’s topics include new updates to Windows 10 Creators that give users more data privacy control; Canonical favors GNOME over Ubuntu Unity Linux desktop; Google updates Kubernetes cloud container management capabilities; and Microsoft releases Office 365 security and data governance tools.

Microsoft promises to give users more control over their personal data and visibility into how it's used when the Windows 10 Creators Update arrives on April 11.

However, eager Windows 10 users can manually initiate the installation now if they don't wish to wait for the automatic Windows Update.

In light of recent controversies surrounding weak or absent enforcement of data privacy rules, how companies collect and use their customers' information has become a hot-button issue among consumers who are concerned about the privacy and security of their personal data.

Microsoft, no stranger to criticism about how it handles user privacy, is pledging more transparency about Windows 10 Creators Update's privacy settings. In addition to providing revised privacy controls, the operating system will be more forthcoming about how those controls affect a user's data.

The dream of a converged Ubuntu Linux desktop user interface environment is no more. For the last six years, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, had been pitching a convergence vision that included desktop, server, cloud and mobile footprints.

The cornerstone of that convergence dream was the Unity desktop environment, which first appeared in 2010. However, Mark Shuttleworth, the leader of Ubuntu and Canonical, wrote in a blog post on April 5 that the company will end its investment in Unity 8, the phone and convergence shell for Ubuntu.

"We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS," Shuttleworth noted.

Google has rolled out a series of updates that it says will make it easier for enterprises to set up and efficiently run container workloads on the company’s cloud platform.

Among them are new automated node management capabilities, general availability of Google’s Container Optimized OS and the release of Kubernetes 1.6, the latest version of the company's container cluster management technology.

The automated node management features are designed to help organizations ensure their container nodes are in good health and in the most current state, Google software engineer Maisem Ali wrote in a blog.

Up to now, administrators were responsible for ensuring the overall health of their container nodes and making sure the nodes were up-to-date, Ali said. A new Node Auto-Upgrade feature released this week eliminates this requirement.

Two security-enhancing products for Office 365 environments, Threat Intelligence and Advanced Data Governance, are now generally available from Microsoft.

Considering the wealth of sensitive and potentially valuable information contained in Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Access databases, Microsoft decided to focus some of its cyber-security efforts on customers that rely on its Office 365 software and services ecosystem to get work done.

To help its customers combat ransomware and other malware threats, Microsoft officially launched Office 365 Threat Intelligence this week, as well as Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which helps organizations find important data they need to retain and identify data they can safely eliminate.