Microsoft

Microsoft announced a massive new build of Windows 10

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Written by Kamil Arli

Windows 10 Build 15002 has a lot to get excited about as it brings a combination of useful

On the surface, Microsoft MSFT +0.91% has started 2017 in style. Today it announced a massive new build of Windows 10 that is chock full of new features. But it has made a mess of the most important one…

FIRST THE GOOD NEWS

First the good news. Windows 10 Build 15002 has a lot to get excited about as it brings a combination of useful, timely and long overdue improvements that should please most users.

Windows 10 is about to get a lot better, and a lot more frustrating. Image credit: Microsoft

Windows 10 is about to get a lot better, and a lot more frustrating. Image credit: Microsoft

Highlights include:

  • Edge gets a new tab preview bar, the ability to set tabs aside, InPrivate browsing from the taskbar icon, tight integration with Microsoft Wallet and Flash relegated to ‘click to run status’
  • Start tiles can now be organised into folders just like Android or iOS
  • Windows 10 screenshot – lifted from OneNote 2016, this is now available from anywhere in the operating system
  • High DPI support for desktop apps and better icon scaling
  • Improved VPN access
  • Cortana has improved app command discovery, more reminder options and a new (sensible) Win+C shortcut key
  • Windows Ink gains partial ink stroke erasure and clear indication of which colour you’re using in the pen, pencil and highlighter
  • Windows Defender adds device performance and health scans as well as the ability to refresh Windows directly from Defender if it finds a serious problem
  • Braille support has been added
  • Updated device and display settings
  • A lower blue light feature for reduced eye strain when working at night
  • Support for metered Ethernet connections (and about time too)
  • Smart updates which detect what you’re doing – eg using a projector – so they won’t begin installations during this time

But the biggest addition has the biggest omission…

New Control, New Classification

Windows 10 Build 15002’s biggest and most eagerly awaited addition: the ability to delay the installation of updates for up to 35 days. This timescale isn’t as long as I and many others would want, but it’s an important first step and restores an element of something long lost in Windows 10: control.

BUT IT COMES WITH A CRAZY OMISSION

Microsoft is not giving this feature to Windows 10 Home users. That’s right, by far the largest group of Windows 10 users will not be getting by far the most requested feature. Instead only Professional, Education, and Enterprise versions will qualify.

My initial thought was this makes no sense, but when you think hard there actually is logic here and that logic is even more infuriating. Microsoft is deliberately treating everyday users as guinea pigs so Enterprise and the more expensive Professional and Education customers can wait and learn from any potential update misfortunes they endure.

Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions are being treated very differently from now on. Image credit: Microsoft

Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions are being treated very differently from now on. Image credit: Microsoft

Read More – Microsoft ‘Ends’ Windows 7 And Windows 8

Microsoft sends down bad drivers? Everyday users will let us know when their PCs crash. Broken bug fix? Everyday users will let us know when a key program in their daily lives won’t start.

Of course we should have seen this coming. After all this attitude has actually been there even before the release of Windows 10. Back in January 2015 Microsoft director of program management Jim Alkove wrote about the operating system in a little read blog post explaining:

“By the time Current branch for Business machines are updated, the changes will have been validated by millions of Insiders, consumers and customers’ internal test processes for several months, allowing updates to be deployed with this increased assurance of validation.”

Yes, this once again goes to show there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If consumers want a free Windows upgrade, they need to accept their role as bug testers for paying businesses. And if you think sticking to Windows 7 or Windows 8 will help you retain control, it won’t.

So much as I’m impressed by this major new Windows 10 update, it also infuriates. The term ‘patchocalypse’ has been coined for Microsoft’s approach to how it applies Windows updates these days. Leaving mainstream users out in the cold here means the term is going to get more popular…

About the author

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Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

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