An Update on Microsoft Windows II

 Sep 02, 2019

It's been a while since I've shared a blog on Windows 10, but with the significant changes Microsoft have been making to their systems and especially their training programmes, I thought it was the time to remind you all of what’s ahead – including what to consider if you’ve adopted or are considering Office 365

Since Windows 10 debuted, Microsoft have delivered seven major refreshes with May 2019 being the most recent major release.  Release order hasn’t had a great deal of regularity, but now (thankfully) we’re seeing some order back to the schedule. Here is what happens to be proposed for the immediate future.  

The next two Windows 10 updates code-named “19H2” and “20H1,” reflect Microsoft’s recent decision to split the major Windows 10 feature releases into two: a full-fledged update, with new features and a secondary patch update. As of July 2019, the upcoming 19H2 feature (proposed for September 2019) will focus on “quality enhancements,” while the “20H1” (proposed for April 2020) feature will return to more substantive improvements, to quote Mark Hachman of PCWorld. 

To avoid reinventing the wheel and guessing what will come in the final release, I share quickly Mark’s perspectives on what he sees with the release to date and my own further below 

  • A change to enable third-party digital assistants to voice-activate above the Lock screen 

  • A fix to reduce the inking latency based on device capabilities 

  • A new Terminal app and Windows Subsystem for Linux 

  • Emoji 12.0 is now fully supported 

  • Your Phone now supports Android notifications 

  • Windows Ink links to the Whiteboard app  

  • Add events right from the Windows Calendar flyout 

 

On another note – and of particular importance to support personnel – you may have noticed that Microsoft of late have started pushing through build 1803 to 1903 updates. They held off forcing an update to 1809 due to a number of driver issues, but now they are back on track, and this update process now follows their stated aim (according to the Windows Release Health blogs) to update “customers with devices that are at or nearing end of service and have not yet updated their device. Keeping these devices both supported and receiving monthly updates is critical to device security and ecosystem health.”. The following chart shows the current Microsoft approach to “end of life” updates, and exact dates can be found on the Windows lifecycle fact sheet

As we wait eagerly for the updates and to see what’s in the final release, there’s a new kid on the block in terms of training to consider. As you may have heard Microsoft have been undertaking a major revamp of their training and certifications program. So, what’s been the change? 

Well, over the past year, Microsoft began transitioning their official certifications and exams to reflect a role-based model. Microsoft had one main objective: to align technical certifications to the way the market recruits and showcases technical capabilities.  

In summary, new courseware and certification pathways have been released for Windows 10, Office 365 and Azure. All IT professionals are now recommended to now undertake these new modules so that they have the capabilities to support the modern and rapidly changing Microsoft ecosystem. 

Here’s the crux of it. 

If you’ve transitioned to Office 365, look into the latest training on Windows 10 to ensure you’re aware of and ready for the trouble shooting skills you’ll need to embrace when applying the upcoming releases. (We’ll obviously also share what we know about the release and how others’ have fared when applying releases in time to come) 

 

If you’re not yet on Office 365, start with the fundamentals and then head straight into managing and securing Office 365 on Windows 10 

 

If you’re all under control, we suggest you start to prepare now for the September 19H2 and April 20H1 releases. 

 

For notification, visit your Windows 10 Settings to view what’s new, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and I’ll share a further update once available. 

More to come closer to the release. 

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About the Author:

Gordon Cowser  

With over 22 years real world and training experience, Gordon is our most senior IT Infrastructure trainer. His expertise includes but is not limited to; Microsoft Server and Client OS, Messaging, Collaboration, Active Directory and Network Infrastructure. Gordon also specialises in SharePoint technologies training in both technical and end user aspects. With his extensive skill-set he brings a thorough mentoring capability to the classroom where he can advise on technical issues and challenges often beyond the scope of the course curriculum. A very approachable and experienced training professional, he has the ability to establish credibility fast with students at all levels.

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