As of October 17th, Microsoft has released its latest major update to Windows 10. Named the Fall Creators Update, this version brings a number of security enhancements, fixes, and new features. Since Windows 10 has been released, we have seen bi-annual major updates to the platform to meet the ever-changing technical landscape we live in. Since Windows 10 is an evolving platform, Microsoft has set guidelines for staying up to date, and will only support specific versions of Windows 10. The Fall Creators Update is nicknamed build 1709. At the present time, Microsoft will only support Windows 10 build 1607 (Anniversary Update) and newer. Users on Windows 10 1507 and 1511 need to update to the latest edition to continue to receive security and stability updates.

Plummer Slade’s patch management and monitoring service is able to detect which PCs on your network would require the update to 1709, as well as ensure those devices are patched. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over two hours depending on the speed and age of your PC. As your maintenance visit approaches over the next 90 days, Plummer Slade will be taking the time to apply the 1709 update to all of your PCs. Our goal is to apply the update the night before your maintenance visit.

The first time you log in the next day, you may see a message that Windows is getting ready. This is a normal process as the update applies the final touches to your PC. After this is complete you can use your PC as you normally would. A Plummer Slade technician will verify the settings on your PC and ensure the update completed successfully as they are onsite for the maintenance visit.

As with any update, there are several new features you can explore once the update is complete. The first major change is to the photos app. You can now add filters, text effects, video clips, and 3D objects to your pictures. The Fall Creators Update also brings some changes to Microsoft Edge. You can pin your favorite websites to your taskbar and have the website icon (like the Facebook symbol) appear as the shortcut. Full screen mode (F11) has also been enabled in Edge with the 1709 update.

From a security standpoint, Microsoft has made changes to how Windows can protect you from Ransomware. These changes take into effect recent outbreak such as WannaCry, Petya, and NotPetya. It is extremely important that all businesses stay up to date with security patches so that the risk of a cyber-event is limited. Recent events like the data breach at Equifax show what can happen when systems are left unpatched.

Users of Office 365 will enjoy a new feature of One Drive named OneDrive Files On-Demand. This allows OneDrive to not need to store its entire contents on your PC and only store frequently used files. Users can also choose which files they need available offline vs. online to control disk space usage. Desktop search will still be able to find any file in OneDrive, regardless if it is an online or offline file. Users will be able to quickly select to have a file store in either mode by toggling the OneDrive status for that file or folder. Previously, users would see a green check mark to indicate a file was up to date in One Drive. A new blue cloud has been added to indicate a file is available in online (requires internet access) mode.

If you have any questions about the latest version of Windows 10 or are interested in a new Windows 10 powered device by HP, please call Plummer Slade at 412-261-5600 or email office@plummerslade.com