Following a spate of rumours, Microsoft has finally rolled out its first major update to Windows 10 which it is referring to as "November update", codenamed Threshold 2. The rollout starts alongside the release of Windows for Xbox One.
Bearing version 1511 (build 10586), the latest release bundles a bunch of improvements and security features. If you are already running Windows 10, then the November update will be available via Windows Update if you have enabled the feature. If you are on Windows 7 or 8.1, the November update will come as part of Windows 10 upgrade, which you can get via Microsoft's free upgrade service.
You should notice performance improvements in every task, with Windows 10 boot timing is 30% faster than Windows 7.
Cortana: With this update, Cortana is now available in Japan, Australia, Canada and India (in English) incorporating features customised for each region. Among other noteworthy changes, Cortana can now recognise your phone number, email and even physical address to help you set reminders. It can also keep track of your events, movie bookings and option to book Uber.
Microsoft Edge: You should also notice improvements in terms of performance and security in the Microsoft Edge browser, which allows you to hover over open tabs and get a preview of the content of the websites. Besides, the Edge can sync your Favourites and reading list items allowing you to easily get back to frequently used content.
Another notable change is Microsoft Edge and Cortana integration. Using the Edge when you shop, Cortana will notify you the best coupons from Staples, Macys and Best Buy. Microsoft has also added improvements for other apps such as Mail, Calendar, Photos, Groove, Xbox, Store, OneNote and Solitaire. With Windows 10 already running on more than 110 million systems including 12 million business PCs, through the update Microsoft promises to meet the demands of enterprise PCs.
Windows 10 for Business
Microsoft has also introduced two new services specially designed for IT, Windows Update for Business and Windows Store for Business. Windows Update for Business provides IT controls over the deployment of updates whereas Windows Store for Business provides IT a way to distribute apps to Windows 10 devices. The organisation can choose its desired distribution method by assigning apps, publishing apps to private store or connecting management solutions.
Windows 10 security features
While industry experts believe that there will be more than two million malware apps by the end of this year, Microsoft claims to have strengthened Windows 10 by introducing a few security features including Windows Hello. Microsoft's biometric authentication allows you to unlock your Windows 10 devices using your face, iris or fingerprint. Other security features are Credential guards, device guards and Windows defender, the free anti-malware that provides protection for 300 million units.
Enterprise data protection
The company also promises to make the enterprise data protection feature available. It will protect corporate data by separating corporate data from consumer data. The latest release enables enterprise users to turn off telemetry data. However, Microsoft recommends that users not disable it as this provides a secure and reliable personalised experience.
Windows 10 Mobile
Alongside the availability of the November update, Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 for phones will arrive soon, but no date for the rollout is mentioned.
"Today, we reach our next milestone as the first major update to Windows 10 is now available for PCs and tablets. With this update, there are improvements in all aspects of the platform and experience, including thousands of partners updating their device drivers and applications for great Windows 10 compatibility. Windows 10 also starts rolling out to Xbox One today and select mobile phones soon," said Terry Myerson, executive vice-president of the Windows and Devices Group.