Microsoft has just released its latest and biggest cumulative update of Windows 10 for PC and mobile to its insider testers in ‘Fast Ring’ i.e. those insiders who receive and immediately install new features as soon as they are approved by Microsoft.
This has enabled us to get the first reports of from those technical few who have risked the possible bugs to let the rest of us know how the latest build of Windows 10 measures up. Reports from the public technical front line indicate that build 14328 also known as the Anniversary Update (due for general release in June) are positive and highlight a number of useful features and improvements.
Most of the latest improvements are likely to benefit PC users, especially those with tablets and surface devices. Here are a few examples of some features and improvements to look forward to.
Windows Ink is a system that allows you to use an active digital pen attached to your device that will allow you write notes on the screen in various apps e.g. Bing maps and Microsoft Edge, sketch and even annotate your screenshots. These Windows sticky notes are also integrated with Cortana (Microsoft’s talking virtual assistant).
This will allow you to take another step towards freedom from relying on lots of bits of paper for notes (that can easily be lost), and offer your business a handy and effective way to transfer paper tasks to your devices. The integration with Cortana will also enhance the experience.
The speaking personal assistant Cortana has been improved in several ways including:
The cross device syncing aspect means that you can be sure you’re up to date and get all the helpful reminders that you need. You can also get some helpful and practical business benefits out of features like getting notifications on your PC when your phone is low on battery, and sharing maps across all your devices when you look for directions on your device.
The Start Menu has been updated by merging ‘most used’ and ‘all apps’ lists into one single view, and there is a rail on left with a power button and quick access to things like Settings, File Explorer, and Profile menu. The taskbar has also been updated with many new features e.g. more badges and when you click the clock button, your daily events will be displayed.
New features and improvements like these could save your business time by reducing the amount of clicking and scrolling.
Other features / changes of note include an improved Action Centre and Notifications, a better lock screen (you can remove your email address from the sign-in screen, and have media controls for music when your computer is locked), and the ability to switch quickly between desktops in ‘Virtual Desktops’.
Savings in time, visual grouping and ease of use, better synchronisation across devices, pen-based systems for digital reminders and reminders from a talking virtual assistant could help with personal organising for you and your staff and help with cost savings. Both of these key benefits can ultimately contribute to speeding things up, better value creation, and sources of competitive advantage.