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One of the most important features of Microsoft Windows 10, going back to when it was first released back in 2015, is that Microsoft promises to continue pushing out major feature updates every 6 months or so. This appears to be the case as over the last few years the operating system has seen some very interesting updates, features and add-ons. This article will explore each of the most recent updates and what they mean for the information technology professional.

1709:

The Fall Creators Update, or update 1709, introduced Windows Autopilot. Windows Autopilot streamlines the Windows client deployment process. It is used by creating a settings and configuration profile. When a new computer is deployed with Windows 10 on the domain, Autopilot allows the IT professional to automate the Windows setup process. New and expanded Windows analytics tools allow mre clarity and control over operating system functionality, such as driver compatibility, post upgrade health reports, and advanced report filtering capabilities. Device Health is a new device analytics app that, among other things, identified which apps and drivers crash frequently. Microsoft with 1709 also released new Windows Security baselines, which are recommended default security settings.

1803:

S mode is a feature in this version of Windows update that removes a large deal of functionality from the operating system, essentially “locking” it, preventing users from negatively affecting performance. In S mode, users can only download and install approved apps form the Microsoft Store. Windows Kiosk deployment allows IT pros to set up windows-based kisosks much more easily. Windows 10 subsrictopn activation now allows a virtualized machine to inherit activation from the host operating system. DISM commands have been added to the command line to help manage update deployments. These commands are as follows:

DISM /Online /Initiate-OSUninstall

– Initiates a OS uninstall to take the computer back to the previous installation of windows.

DISM /Online /Remove-OSUninstall

– Removes the OS uninstall capability from the computer.

DISM /Online /Get-OSUninstallWindow

– Displays the number of days after upgrade during which uninstall can be performed.

DISM /Online /Set-OSUninstallWindow

– Sets the number of days after upgrade during which uninstall can be performed.

Another command line update is the SetupDiag tool which will troubleshoot why an update failed to install. There is now a significant reduction in offline time when installing new updates. In feedback and settings, you can now delete any diagnostic data you have sent to Microsoft. New security baselines for 1803 have been published.

1809:

Windows Autopilot Self Deploying Mode is an incredibly useful feature that allows a PC technician to deploy a new Windows machine without have to touch anything. It configures and installs Windows according to your organization’s pre-defined settings. This streamlines the deployment process and lifts the burden from the techs who would have to do this manually, especially those that work for large companies that would have to deploy a lot of computers at once. SetupDiag received an update, 1.4. It’s a tool designed to help troubleshoot why a Windows 10 update fails. There are numerous new security features in Windows 1809. Controlled folder access will block unauthorized apps form making changes to important folders such as MY Documents or My Pictures. The operating system will now detect if your local system time is not properly synced with Windows servers and will offer to re-enable this sync. There’s a new page in the Security section called Security Providers that lists all of your security programs in one place to allow you to manage all of these apps from a central location. Windows Defender Active Guard has a new graphical user interface that allows standalone users to install and configure their WDAG setting without needing to mess with the registry. Microsoft Edge has now group policy options, including the ability to enable or disable things like full screen mode, favorites bar, and printing. Setting up a windows device ot work as a Kiosk now has a nifty setup Wizard which will help streamline that process. The Registry Editor now has a dropdown display that helps complete entries as you type. The Your Phone app is a big feature for home users. Your phone can now sync to your Windows Desktop PC to share photos and even enable text messaging from your desktop.