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Partners Welcome Windows 10 'Refinement' In May 2020 Update

'These improvements are all evolutionary rather than revolutionary'--and that's a good thing, one solution provider told CRN.

Partners are applauding Microsoft's latest major version update for Windows 10 for serving as an evolutionary improvement to the operating system.

The Windows 10 May 2020 Update, also known as Windows 10 version 2004, debuted last week with updates both for users and for IT professionals and solution providers.

[Related: 5 Key Microsoft 365 Announcements At Build 2020]

"We see these enhancements as being a refinement in the way that Windows 10 has been marketed and built, broadly," said Reed Wiedower, CTO of Washington, D.C.-based New Signature, in an email to CRN. "In the past, each time a new version was released, Microsoft went to great lengths to describe all the new functionality as 'game changing.' Yet you can see, even from where the release was penned, that these improvements are all evolutionary rather than revolutionary."

And that’s a good thing, Wiedower said.

"Honestly, the renewed focus on productivity, of taking tasks that used to take 10 minutes, and making them take five minutes – that focus drives a kind of critical reaction to Microsoft that few can replicate," he said.

Miguel Zamarripa, CIO of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Simpleworks IT, said that Windows 10 version 2004 contains a "plethora" of helpful enhancements to increase both productivity and security.

In terms of user-facing updates with the new version of Windows 10, Microsoft disclosed a number of new features.

Naming of virtual desktops is also now enabled--rather than just having to name them as "Desktop 1" or "Desktop 2"--as is easier enablement of passwordless sign-in.

The Notepad text editor has also been updated to include wrap-around find/replace and quick text zooming, while the addition of an asterisk in the title bar now denotes unsaved changes.

One criticism of Microsoft in the past has been that while the company has built great software, it sometimes has failed over time to polish and improve what has already shipped.

The latest Windows 10 update, however, “is the inversion of that ethos. Tools like Notepad, virtual desktops, ease of access and language improvements aren’t super sexy. But they make the product much more mature," Wiedower said. "And that also leads to a diminution of ‘features’ that get clawed back over time – because there’s less ‘fluff’ that gets built."

For IT professionals and solution providers, Windows 10 version 2004 introduces enhancements around configuration, servicing and deployment.

One update is around controls for reserved storage--Version 2004 includes new commands and APIs for Deployment Image Servicing and Management--while other improved controls are available with the Windows Setup tool.

Zamarripa cited additional updates in the new version of Windows 10 that will benefit solution providers.

"We are looking forward to the increased ability from Microsoft Intune to control mobile devices that pose risks to our customer networks," Zamarripa said. "And the new PowerShell cmdlets will allow us greater visibility into bandwidth utilization on client connections [so] my engineers can adjust accordingly."

The available cmdlets--which are lightweight commands in Windows PowerShell--now include getting a view of peer-to-peer activity in real time and getting logs of activity such as total downloads.

On security, enhancements include easier enablement of Windows Hello in settings and the addition of a Windows Hello PIN for devices launched in Safe mode.

Those enhancements to Windows Hello and passwordless access to accounts "should see a boost in productivity for most users that have this feature enabled," Zamarripa said.

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