Microsoft released Windows 10, their latest Windows operating system today, 29th July 2015.
Why Windows 10?
Early indications are that Windows 10 will be a significant improvement on Windows 7 and Windows 8 in terms of security, usability and performance.
Among the new features that make upgrading worthwhile are:
- Windows 10 feels familiar. The Start menu is back with space to pin your favourite apps. And simple navigation means you don't need to spend much time learning anything new. If you have a convertible tablet it will switch seamlessly from desktop to tablet view automatically.
- Windows 7 and 8 apps will still work but the new Universal Apps will too. These are ones developed for Windows 10 that will run on any version of Windows 10 from the Raspberry Pi to the Surface Hub to a Windows phone to the HoloLens and the Xbox, without the developer having to change anything.
- Windows 10 is easy to use and more intuitive than Windows 8; settings, folders and applications are much easier to find and tweak.
- Windows 10 supports more hardware than any previous version and is quicker to start, shutdown and resume. It will work with any machine which can run Windows 7 or 8.1.
- Among the many new security features is a facial recognition system called Windows Hello that you can use to login without having to type a username and password, if you have an Intel RealSense 3D camera in your computer (like the one in an Xbox Connect). A feature that will be of benefit to young children and those with special needs.
- Windows 10 includes Cortana which isn't just a voice activated assistant for phones, it's built into Windows 10 and is a powerful search engine that finds content for you from your data, apps, and the internet using natural language searches.
- Windows 10 includes Microsoft Edge which is the new browser that's lightweight and more standards compliant than before but will also suggest using Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) when it encounters a non-compliant page or app. IE11 will be included but Edge will be the new default browser and includes inking capabilities so you can mark-up and highlight web pages and save the annotations and screen grabs.
- Windows 10 includes updated built-in apps for maps, photos, music, movies and mail plus OneNote and Outlook for free.
- Windows 10 will be updated with new features for free via the new Windows Update.
- Windows 10 will be the best platform for Microsoft Office and Office 365.
What's the Education Edition?
If you have a new computer with Windows 10 Home Edition, or one which you have upgraded for free, you can then upgrade to the Windows 10 Education Edition for free using a key provided by your school, assuming they have the relevant OVS licence agreement. This upgrade unlocks additional features and capabilities found in the Education Edition.
The Education Edition is currently the same as the Enterprise Edition which includes features like;
- Domain join and group policy management capabilities
- Windows To Go Creator so, with the right type of USB stick, you can make bootable USB drives running Windows 10
- The ability to join an Azure Active Directory, like the one used for Office 365, to give single sign on
What's to come?
The current release of Windows 10 is largely regarded as the 'consumer' release of Windows 10. The full Enterprise release is expected in October 2015. Although nothing is certain we are expecting more news on:
- Expanded use of Cortana – the APIs for Cortana have been opened up meaning developers are busy tailoring their products to make the most use of Cortana's search and organisation capabilities. Imagine if you could get Cortana to remind students when their homework was due in!
- Bigger and better use of OneNote – There's much more to OneNote than an expanded notepad. Microsoft really see this product as a major step forward in collaboration. Visit www.onenoteforteachers.com for more information.
- Class Dashboard – Microsoft's new offering in the educational space, bringing together all of Microsoft's applications in one place and giving control to the teacher. For more information visit cd.microsoft.com
Windows 10 on a CC4 network
Work on Windows 10 client build pack for CC4 is well underway. Windows 10 will be available as a 64-bit upgrade or build and will be released free of charge to all CC4.5 customers. We will also look to release a Windows 10 build pack on CC4.3 networks which will be available as a chargeable option.
So far, there has been a lot of interest in Windows 10 and we will be looking for customers to field trial each of the offerings so, if you are interested in being a field trial candidate, please contact CC4@rm.com in the first instance and we will get back to you.
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