Windows 10’s latest update, Codenamed Redstone 4 (aka Windows version 1803 (Build 17134.1)), was released online for download on April 30th. Previously known as the Spring Creators Update, Windows 10 version 1803 began actively pushing out to PC’s through Windows Update on May 8th, 2018. Microsoft worked on the update for a year while the Windows Insider Group tested out the new features. Complaints from Surface Pro 2017 owners arose that the upgrade froze their machines. Surface Pro 2017 hardware with Intel SSD6 solid state drives were failing because, apparently, nobody at Microsoft tested them. And Microsoft Surface Studio all-in-ones experienced intermittent mouse and keyboard disconnects. Touching the screen would bring the mouse and keyboard back to life, but talk about an annoying failure!
But enough about failures. Let’s discuss what’s new in the update (and what’s been taken away). A list of IT Pro-specific features accompanies this release. Among these features is Windows AutoPilot (currently available for Surface, Lenovo and Dell, with more OEM partners to follow). This feature enables device locking during provisioning until policies and settings finish up. This ensures that by the time the user gets to the device, it is secured and configured.
Inherited Activation for Windows 10 Subscription Activations is a feature that allows virtual Windows 10 machines to inherit activation state from their Windows 10 host. Some new DISM command lines have also been added to manage feature updates. The ability to run custom scripts in Windows Setup—and the ability to pause and uninstall updates via Windows Update for Business and Intune—is a nice addition.
SetupDiag is a new command line tool used to help diagnose Windows Update failures (Hallelujah!) Speaking of Windows Updates, some of the work done during the offline phases of a Windows update has been moved to the online phase, resulting in a significant reduction of offline time when installing updates. Hybrid Azure Active Directory-joined authentication allows management through Intune and System Center Configuration Manager Policies.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) has added over 150 policies and settings. Also included is MDMWinsOverGP which enables an easier transition to cloud-based management. Support for Windows 10 Kiosk mode has been added, along with a new Kiosk Browser which uses Intune to deliver a reliable, tailored browsing experience for retail stores and retail signage. New features in Windows Defender Antivirus allow interoperability with Windows Defender ATP. New policies enhance cloud-based and emergency virus protection. Application Guard has added support for the Edge browser. Exploit Guard has added extended support for Microsoft Office applications and now also supports Windows Server. Officials at Microsoft state Office Insiders on the Fast Ring will be able to try out the new integration of single sign-on to devices running Windows 10 1803 and Office 365 (which will allow automatic sign on to the software across all their devices automatically).
You’ll also find new features like Timeline, Nearby Sharing, and Graphics settings along with more control over your privacy, including options to view and delete telemetry data and deny file access to apps.
With all these new features, we were bound to lose some older ones. So, what will we be losing with the new update? The Groove Pass, Microsoft’s music subscription service, will be removed. However, the updated Groove app can still be used to play the music on your PC or stream music from OneDrive.
The Control Panel is losing People, Conversations, and Language control. HomeGroup, a feature that helped share files and printers between PC’s, will also be gone. New Windows 10 features will be added to allow printer and file sharing though. There will no longer be a Software Restriction Policy through local group policy on the machine as Windows has moved to using AppLocker and Windows Defender Application Control.
Lastly, some have experienced issues downloading the new update. So, if you just can’t wait to download, be sure to keep this link to some common fixes at WindowsCentral.com close at hand. Or for more information on how Anexinet can help update your organization to Windows 10, version 1803, please reach out to us. We’d love to get you started.