Windows 10 S was announced on May 2, 2017 at the MicrosoftEDU event, specifically targeted for the education market.
What Is Windows 10 S?
Windows 10 S is basically a locked-down version of Windows 10 Pro that has been streamlined for security and performance. The major difference between this new SKU of Windows 10 and others is that it is designed to run only those applications that can be procured from the Windows Store or those traditional desktop applications that developers have converted for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) using the Desktop Bridge tool (code-named Project Centennial).
Microsoft announced today the availability of Windows 10 S ISO files for developers to test via a MSDN subscription. If you don’t already have a subscription, one will cost you anywhere from $539 to $2,999 per year depending on the features desired. For more information, you can check out the details on the Visual Studio Pricing site.
Windows 10 S was first announced at the MicrosoftEDU event on May 2, 2017 with an emphasis on the education industry. I have written a blog post covering some details on this new OS, titled “Should You Care About Windows 10 S?” which you can check out.
It’s April 11, 2017 and Microsoft has officially announced the availability of Windows 10 Creators Update which is being rolled out gradually to Windows 10 users in the upcoming weeks. For a list of what’s new in Windows 10 Creators Update, check out the list on Microsoft’s blog.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Windows Insider program, where you have the opportunity to test new builds and provide feedback to Microsoft but now would like to get started with Windows 10 Creators Update build as quickly as possible, you have a couple of options:
March 30, 2017 brought us a brand new build of ConfigMgr Tech Preview (1703), which are now made available on a monthly basis. The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) team has been rapidly implementing new features and improving the product following the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and using feedback from the community on the Microsoft Connect site, as well as paying close attention to feature and enhancement requests on the ConfigMgr UserVoice forum.
This update has a number of new features (as listed in the Enterprise Mobility & Security blogpost) which include:
Windows Analytics Commercial ID and Windows telemetry levels – You can specify the Windows Analytics Commercial ID and configure telemetry, commercial data, and Internet Explorer data collection settings in Client Settings for use with Upgrade Analytics.
In-place UEFI conversion – You can customize a Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence to include the Windows 10 UEFI conversion tool.
Collapsible task sequence groups – Groups in the task sequence editor can be collapsed or expanded.
Azure Services wizard – The Azure Services wizard provides a common configuration for the cloud Azure services you use with ConfigMgr. This is done by using Azure web apps to provide the common subscription and configuration details that administrators would otherwise have to re-enter for each additional cloud Azure cloud service you use.
Direct links to applications in Software Center – You can now provide end users with a direct link to an application in Software Center. This means they no longer must open Software Center and search for an application before they can install it.
Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) enhancements – Support has been added to tag education vs business volume purchase program tokens, device licensing, and adding multiple volume purchase program tokens.
You can update to the 1703 Tech Preview release via the ConfigMgr console under the Updates & Servicing node. The baseline version of the Technical Preview branch will be updated to 1703 and available on the TechNet Evaluation Center.
Here’s my video tutorial which I did for version 1701. The steps are the same for 1703.
New Group Policy Templates, version 2.7 (.admx and .adml) for Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) are now available from Microsoft to manage policies across the enterprise for the following MDOP technologies:
March 26, 2017 marks the end of the line for the original Windows 10 release version 1507, which was released in July 2015. After this date, Windows 10 1507 will no longer be serviced as only two latest Current Branch for Business (CBB) releases are actively serviced. The following statement was posted in this Microsoft blogpost on January 19th:
With the availability of Windows 10, version 1607 to the VLSC on January 26th, the 60-day grace period for Windows 10, version 1507 will begin. That means, after March 26th, 2017, Windows 10, version 1507 will no longer be serviced as only the two most Current Branch for Business (CBB) versions are actively serviced.
1507: 15 = 2015 (year), 07 = July (month).
Serviced = Upgrades and Security Updates.
The following webpage provides a nice breakdown on the Windows 10 release information which helps you determine if your systems are up to date and running the latest feature upgrades and servicing updates. Basically, the N+2 equation is used, where N equals an earlier version, and 2 equals a +/- 60-day countdown, at which time (at the end of the 60 days) N drops off the supported list.
1607 = CBB
N = 1507 (July 2015)
N+1 = 1511 (November 2015)
N+2 = 1607 (July 2017)
Microsoft uses the VLSC availability date as the trigger for the 60-day countdown. Since, the availability of Windows 10 version 1607 to VLSC customers will be made on January 26, 2017, therefore, version 1507 support will end on March 26, 2017 which is two months from the January availability of version 1607 (CBB).
For the last 20 years, Microsoft has provided security bulletins as individual web pages which were available from the Microsoft Security Bulletin website, and January 10, 2017 was the last time this was made available. Going forward starting in February 2017, the new Security Update Guide portal will provide the security information via a dashboard. Knowledge Base (KB) number, CVE number, vulnerability, Windows version, or date of release can be searched on the online Security Update Guide (SUG) database.
According the the blogpost by the MSRC Team, using the new portal, you can:
Sort and filter security vulnerability and update content, for example, by CVE, KB number, product, or release date.
Filter out products that don’t apply to you, and drill down to more detailed security update information for products that do.
Leverage a new RESTful API to obtain Microsoft security update information. This eliminates the need for you to employ outdated methods like screen-scraping of security bulletin web pages to assemble working databases of necessary and actionable information.
I am truly honored and humbled to receive my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional [MVP] award on January 1, 2017 in the Windows and Devices for IT category. It was a surreal moment when I received the email (see below) from Microsoft informing me that I was awarded this prestigious recognition. Wow!
My heartfelt Thank you to the MVP Award team, to my MVP Lead Betsy Weber, to my IT Pro peers who recognized my work and efforts in the IT Pro community with the abundance of nominations, and to everyone who has supported and encouraged me to be a valuable influencer and a technical evangelist. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Here’s an overview of the MVP program:
If you know of any IT Professionals who work with Microsoft technologies and should be recognized for their skills, influence, and valuable assistance to the IT Pro community, or if you want to nominate yourself, you can provide nominations on the MVP website.
The best Christmas / New Year / Birthday present!
Finally, here’s my vlog message for my 1st MVP award –
I also talk about the MVP Award on the Harjit & Prayer Show:
In Windows 10, version 1607 aka the Anniversary Update, Microsoft added a new section to the Get Started app targeting enterprise IT professionals called “Tips for IT Administrators.” This is only available with the Enterprise edition of Windows 10 version 1607 or later.
This tool enables a Windows admin to quickly access step-by-step instructions on common enterprise IT tasks, for example:
Change the default browser
Create a private store
Work with Windows Update for Business
Links to deployment and management tools, including Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK)
To access Tips for IT Administrators:
Press the Windows logo key, search for Get Started, then press Enter
Go to Browse topics and select Tips for IT administrators
If you would like to see additional topics added to the Tips for IT Administrators section and have ideas or feedback for the Get Started app, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 have been released. The download is available here. You will find the following two download files available for version 1.2 corresponding to x86 or x64 Operating Systems:
See here if you would like to determine if a computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows OS.