Well, sort of. We just wanted to wake you up a bit. Microsoft are due to be releasing a big update of Windows 10 in the very near future and it’s a really important one. Prior to this update, there were a few security ‘holes’ in Windows 10 including flaws with Microsoft Edge and Internet explorer, which this update fixes making it an essential update.
But as well as multiple security fixes, there are lots of new features or tweaks to old ones to make the experience even better. We wanted to go through just some of the features you can expect.
Cortana – Virtual assistant Cortana will now focus on productivity, no longer supporting smart home skills such as controlling lights etc. You will be able to download and use Amazon Alexa on any Windows 10 PC, so if you are a smart home user, you’ll still be able to carry out those tasks from Windows, if that’s what you’re used to.
If you use Windows 10 virtual desktops as a way of organising your workstation, you can now rename them instead of just ‘Desktop 1, Desktop 2’ etc. You can access the Task View in order to create your desktops from the task bar, or by pressing the windows key + tab on your keyboard.
You will also gain more control over apps that restart on sign-in. Windows 10 automatically reopens many applications on PC restart, and the new update includes an option that lets you disable this much more easily.
The update also includes something that’s been tested for a while: built-in support for network cameras. These are IP-based cameras that send their video feeds over your local network and traditionally, needed third party software in order to view their feeds on Windows 10.
In task manager, disk types will be displayed as hard drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) to make it easier for users to tell what hardware is in their computer. For those not on support contracts with an IT provider, it will make it much easier for you to find this information when logging a ticket with your IT company.
The Windows search experience is improved – in order for search to work, Windows search indexer is running all the time in the background scanning PC files to create a database. Based on feedback from users that this has sometimes been causing performance issues, the 2020 update will see Microsoft detecting peak usage times – for example when there is already a lot running, or power saving mode is on, and the indexer will not run during those times.
Disk Cleanup won’t delete your downloads folder. Your downloads folder will no longer be on the list of things to clean, so inexperienced users won’t accidentally delete their downloads folder whilst trying to clean other things such as the recycle bin.
Microsoft Paint and WordPad are now optional features which can be deleted to free up a small amount of space if they are unused applications
As previously mentioned, this update fixes a number of known issues in Windows 10 which could compromise the security of your network. Although the update is still in the early stages so we recommend waiting until it becomes widely available and advertised, the update should be carried out as soon as possible.
In a move which sounds like something from the future, you can make your device password-less by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in. Enabling this function requires everyone using the PC to sign in with a PIN , face recognition or fingerprint unlock.
You will now be able to adjust the size and colour of Windows 10’s text cursor indicator – the little line that shows you where you’re typing providing greater accessibility to those who require visual aids. This can be accessed from Settings > Ease of Access > Text Cursor
The eye control feature which works with specific eye tracking devices has become more powerful in this update. Users can now perform a drag and drop action just by moving their eyes around.
In the update, the support is much-improved for non-English languages. The SwiftKey touch keyboard’s ‘typing intelligence’ now support 39 different languages which means more helpful autocorrect and keyboard text predictions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do I need it?
Even if reading the list of features you don’t think any of them will benefit you, there are important security fixes within the update that it’s important you have in order to protect your network from external threats.
When will the update be available?
Technically the update has already been released and is available for download. However, when Microsoft release an update it’s the beginning of the story – not the end. They are currently fixing any bugs and issues reported by those who download it early, before widely pushing it out for download.
How do I get it?
With this update you have two options. When prompted, you can do this yourself. We recommend ensuring that you have a backup of, at the very least, your most important data so you are able to restore if anything should go wrong
Or, for those clients running our advanced RMM, we will automatically manage and roll out this update to minimise disruption and potential issues.
Will it cause problems?
At the moment Microsoft are working on some reported issues such as deleted files or the occurrence of blue screen. However, if history is anything to go by there will no doubt be some compatibility or further issues when Microsoft start pushing it out for all.
We cannot overstate the importance of making sure you have a backup – even if it just includes your most important data for now, especially if you’re going to be installing the update yourself.
How can Prodigy help?
Using our advanced RMM tool allows us to set times to run ongoing updates, ensuring that updates are managed, applied, and installed whilst minimising disruption to your business.
As we’re in control of the updates for these clients, it also means that nothing will be installed before it’s been tested, released, and confirmed to be stable.
This RMM tool also has other benefits such as monitoring and remote access, allowing restricted access to use the remote tool via a web browser which allows you to remotely log in to your work machine. These are especially useful features for businesses who have home workers.
If you would like to know more about our IT support and the remote managing of updates, get in touch with us and a member of the team will be happy to help.
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