Microsoft outlines IT tools in Windows 10 Creators Update

Because artistic types frequently work in an IT setting, after all.

windows 10 creators update 3d paint

With the forthcoming "Creators Update" to Windows, not to mention the sleek new Surface computers, it seems clear Microsoft is targeting the artistic community that Apple seems to be abandoning. But that doesn't mean the update to Windows is just for the artistically minded.

The update -- code-named "Redstone 2" -- will include features like new virtual and augmented reality features, game broadcasting, improvements to Continuum and more. Now Microsoft has outlined new features in the update that are aimed specifically at IT professionals in a blog post by Rob Lefferts, director of program management, Windows enterprise and security.

Enterprise deployment is getting a fair amount of attention. Enterprises will be able to deploy differential downloads, or essentially only downloading the changes made to existing builds so that file sizes are smaller and they can be ultimately installed more quickly. Lefferts said this could decrease the download size by about 35%, and the company is working to improve System Center Configuration Manager express updates to help reduce the monthly update size by up to 90%.

Microsoft will also introduce a tool that makes it easy to enable UEFI on devices that have older BIOS. Some Windows 10 security features like Device Guard require UEFI, but older PCs still use the antiquated BIOS system for hardware management. The Creators Update will feature a tool to automate what is normally a lot of manual work.

Windows 10 will also get a new mobile application management (MAM) capability that can run on Windows 10 devices for users who are part of an Azure Active Directory (AAD). This is designed to better support employees who engage in BYOD at work.

Microsoft is also enhancing its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection tool to detect threats that persist only in memory or to detect kernel level exploits. This will enable IT administrators to monitor loaded drivers and other in-memory activities, and to detect various patterns of injection, reflective loading and in-memory modifications, indicating potential kernel exploits.

Windows Defender ATP will also give IT administrators the tools to isolate machines, collect forensics, kill and clean running processes, and quarantine or block files with a single click in the Windows Security Center.

It doesn't matter what the version name is -- these are all welcomed additions to Windows 10 for IT managers. The Creators Update is scheduled for an early 2017 release, which some speculate to be around March or April. Insiders with access to very early builds have access to some of these features now if they're running Windows 10 Enterprise.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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