Windows 10 Creators Update: Best New Features
Microsoft's Windows 10 Creators Update, won't be available to the general public until possibly sometime in February. But you can try out its new features such as the Unified Update Platform (UUP) through the Insider Program. The Creators Update will be available free to up to 400 million devices running Windows 10.
Here's what's included in the update:
Windows Defender Advanced Treat Protection (ATP) Service
ATIP is a service to help businesses detect and respond to advanced attacks, beyond what you get in Windows Defender. Creators Update beefs up those abilities by enabling sensors to detect threats that hang out in system memory or kernel-level exploits. IT admins can add their own alerts, and the remediation actions support will reduce response time. This will be part of the Windows 10 Enterprise version only.
Windows Upgrade Analytics
From within the Windows Analytics Dashboard, you'll get more telemetry on device-health of PCs. The Operations Management Suite will be integrated directly with the dashboard for a more secure way to analyze those insights.
Better Privacy Controls
Microsoft released a new web-based privacy dashboard, which lets you control and see Microsoft's activity such as location, search and browsing. When Creators launches you'll also be able to opt into one of two levels of data collection: Basic or Full. At Basic, Microsoft will not collect data about installed apps, error reports or whether Windows is running right.
A new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface conversion tool that will reduce the need for IT professionals to manually convert Windows 7 devices using legacy BIOSes. The tool will be integrated with other management tools such as System Center Configuration Manager.
Unified Update Platform (UUP)
The UUP reduces the size of update downloads across tablets, smartphones, PCs, IoT devices and Hololens through the use of differential download technologies. That means a differential download package will contain the changes that have been made since the last time the Windows device was updated. Microsoft says the technology can shrink the download file size by up to 35 percent.
MORE: Windows 10 for IT Pros: Tutorials, Tips & Tricks
The UUP also changes how a device checks for updates, allowing the Windows Update service to decide which updates are actually necessary. That means pushing fewer updates on a system. Microsoft says this is particularly important for mobile devices.
"It's important to note that with UUP, nothing will look or behave differently on the surface, UUP is all underlying platform and service optimization that happens behind the scenes," said Bill Karagounis, director of program management for Microsoft's Windows Insider Program and OS Fundamentals.
Virtual Machine Display Scaling
Hyper-V Virtual Machines aren't always scaled the way you might want. Creators Update brings a new Zoom option in the View menu, which allows you to override the default scaling and set it to 100, 125, 150 or 200. This also led to a fix a problem in which certain virtual machines wouldn't display the remote desktop connection bar after entering full-screen mode.
Container-Based Isolation in Edge
Microsoft built a new security feature into Edge browser, a container-based isolation technology codenamed Barcelona. Windows executives have named Barcelona the Windows Defender Application Guard, which will use virtualization-based security to isolate potentially malicious code into containers.
Workplace Augmented Reality
HoloLens keeps getting more interesting. The $5,000 headset will let you project 3D virtual objects into real-world space. That means being able to plan out a workspace before you buy the equipment or furniture. With Creators Update, Microsoft added a new Capture 3D tool, which lets you scan a 2D image of an object from your computer and project a 3D model in your physical space. The HoloLens is likely to be joined next year by $299 competitors from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo.
Registry Editor Enhancements
You can use shorthand notation for HKEY names in the address bar. For example, you can use “HKCR”, “HKCU”, “HKLM”, and “HKU” instead of typing or pasting the respective full name “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT”, “HKEY_CURRENT_USER”, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” or “HKEY_USERS” into the address bar.
Trackpad on Touchscreens
You can now send your tablet display to a second screen via a virtual touchpad. To activate it, you connect to a monitor, open Action Center and tap Project Quick Action. When you press and hold the taskbar you can then select Show Touchpad Button to bring up a black box on the bottom right corner. You can tweak the trackpad's settings in Settings > Devices > Touchpad.
New Display Settings
Windows 10 will now know when sunrise and sunset happens. And it will use that knowledge to automatically adjust the amount of blue light emitted at night. Microsoft is also simplifying the options to let users switch resolution easier and improve DPI.
Edge Browser Improvements
Thes include the addition of a tab preview bar that lets you glance at the rest of your tabs without leaving the page you're on. You'll also be ablet o save and restore whole sets of tabs. Microsoft will also now black untrusted Flash content by default.
3D in PowerPoint and Paint
Creators Update brings 3D capabilities to Microsoft PowerPoint and the venerable Paint program. Microsoft launched a new online database/community for 3D elements called Remix3D. From here you can find and share 3D creations, which Microsoft calls mixed reality. It could help you add some serious flair to your next business plan pitch to the executives.
Easier Team Collaboration
By pinning individual contacts to your taskbar, you can save yourself some clicks with the Creators Update. With one click you can decide to send text, email, or even share files with one person or your team. You can also relay messages from smartphones to desktops.
Windows Insiders accept some level of risk in trying out early builds of the operating system. So as the company ramps up to the official Creators Update rollout there will be minor fixes and tweaks. So the various improvements include changes to automatic brightness, log in failures, system crashes caused by ejecting SD cards. The company also rolled out a ton of improvements to Sticky Notes, including languages support and time recognition.