Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals

Microsoft has extended the Windows Insider program to include IT Professionals. There is a distinct line with consumer level products and focus and the enterprise, IT Professional, focus. Many IT Pro’s are currently Windows Insiders and some run their newer builds within a domain (mostly in a lab setting, but some do in production as well). As long as you accept that the Insiders rings are capable of breaking things, it’s a good way to stay ahead of the curve and learn the newer features that will impact your job in the near future.

The Windows Insider Program recognizes IT Professionals as a critical asset to any organization. From managing complex environments that incorporate Microsoft systems, to managing how they integrate with other applications inside their organization, IT Professionals understand ‘mission critical’ and know how to think through and resolve deployment issues. They are the front-line IT heroes of any organization. But we don’t have to tell you this.

In the coming months, we’ll be adding additional features to the existing Windows Insider Program to better support you in your job. Incorporating the Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals into your deployment plans enables you to prepare your organization for Windows 10, to deploy new services and tools more quickly, to secure your applications, to increase productivity giving you confidence in the stability of your environment.

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February Patch Tuesday Delayed

Microsoft has delayed it’s patches for this months Patch Tuesday due to a last minute issue. There are no estimated times for when they will be resolved and released. This was the first month with Microsoft’s new process without the bulletin summary as was done in the past.

Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.

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Server 2016 Virtual Labs

For those IT Pro’s that would like to get some hands on with Server 2016 in a sandboxed environment, Microsoft has some Server 2016 Virtual Labs to try out. There are a few nice setup’s you can play with, learning about new features. Nice to check out for some hands on with the product and the technologies.

When you sign in with your Microsoft account you’ll be able to access any of the individual labs in a private, sandboxed environment. It all adds up to about 6 hours of content, and you can come back later if you need to.

Check out each of these 60-minute experiences:

  • Breach resistant security and Shielded VMs
  • Storage Spaces Direct
  • Nano Server
  • Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers
  • Failover clustering and rolling cluster upgrades
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Windows 10 Enterprise Innovations

The upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, currently on the Insiders rings, doesn’t only bring new features for home users. The enterprise additions are also very nice. Next week is the RSA conference, and they will be talking in a lot more detail about the new additions. Windows Hello is being extended to on premise Active Directory domains, rather than just Azure AD.

With RSA so clearly on my mind, I am pleased to share six new security announcements that we will discuss in detail next week.

  1. NSA adds Windows 10 and Surface to list for classified use
  2. Enhanced security capabilities with Surface Enterprise Management Mode
  3. Extending device management in Windows 10
  4. New enhancements to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection
  5. The quest for No More Passwords with Windows Hello
  6. Turbo-charging your deployments with Windows Analytics
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Windows 10 Build 15031 Available

Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring can download build 15031 now. For those having issues downloading the update:

    • [UPDATED] IMPORTANT: You may see “Initializing…” when attempting to download this build and the download progress indicator shown when downloading this build may seem broken under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. It may look like you’re getting stuck at 0% or at other percentages. Ignore the indicator and be patient. The build should download fine, and the installation should kick off. See this forum post for more details.
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Insiders Creators Update Bug Bash

The February bug bash for the Creators Update has begun. This time, it lasts about a week, going until Sunday February 11th. Go try out some quests, file some feedback, upvote issues that you share with others, and have fun. This is for the most recent fast ring build of Windows 10.

Also, there is a couple live Beam webcasts which should be fun.

We have lots of opportunities for Windows Insiders to participate in this Bug Bash. We are planning two live Beam webcasts with Insiders and some special guests from the Windows Insider Program. Our first live webcast will be Tuesday, Feb 7th from 2-4pm Redmond time with guest appearances by Dona Sarkar and Bill Karagounis. Our second live webcast will be on Saturday, Feb 11th from 7-9pm with a guest appearance by Gabe Aul. During these webcasts, engineers from the Windows Engineering Team will be running through quests live on Beam and on their own PCs. You can get to the Beam webcast through this link.

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Windows Insiders Fast Ring Build 15019

The Windows Insiders team have released a new build for PC users of Windows 10 that are on the fast ring. This one has quite a few updates, but a big warning: some bugs will impact your gaming abilities! These are unrelated to the Game Mode, and it’s sad that these bugs surface when the Game Mode is released. However, I’m sure it will be a fixed issue next release (I hope!).

  • Game Mode: With Game Mode, it’s our goal to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. Our vision is that Game Mode optimizes your Windows 10 PC for an improvement in game performance. To enable Game Mode, go to Settings > Gaming > Game Mode toggle the feature on. Doing this will give you the ability to enable the feature for each UWP and Win32 title you play by pulling up the Game bar (Windows + G) and the clicking the Settings button. There you’ll be able to opt individual games into using Game Mode. (See below for an known issue regarding Game Mode in this build.)

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Build 15014 for PC & Mobile Insiders Fast Ring

Build 15014 for both PC and Mobile have been released to Fast Ring Windows 10 Insiders. A new e-book store is available, with Edge being the e-reader application. A lot of fixes and small additions this build!

 

After purchasing your e-books – you will find those in your Books library, which is a new hub entry in Microsoft Edge right next to your favorites, history, downloads and reading list. Windows Insiders in the US get to try out this experience today starting with this build and we expect to add more content over time.

  • Interactive reading experience: To navigate through an e-book, you can use the table of contents or seek bar at the bottom of the browser. You can search for words or phrases and ask Cortana to define specific words and view embedded video and audio content. And of course, pick up where you left of and leave bookmarks on the most interesting pages. You can even read your books when offline.
  • Learning tools: You can widen text spacing to improve reading fluency and benefit from typography tailored to reading efficiency.
  • Customize for you: Microsoft Edge is built for reading digital content on Windows 10 devices. You can make the reading experiences yours by changing the font and text size, themes, navigation control and more.
  • EPUB support: In addition to PDF files and books purchased via the Store – you can read any unprotected e-book in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge.
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