Microsoft released a big update for its Windows 10 operating system yesterday. The latest version of the OS, build 15063.447, doesn't include any new features or patch any security vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, the update brings a large number of improvements and bug fixes to Windows 10.
The company also announced that it's testing a new update framework for its Windows Insider program in advance of the fall update for its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) product. That update is expected in September or October, while Windows Insiders can expect to get their hands on the update in the next few weeks.
Lots of Changes, Lots of Fixes
The update Microsoft released this week, labeled KB4022716, follows shortly after a June 13 cumulative update for the shipping version of Windows 10. The new update addresses a large number of issues across the operating system, including problems printing frames in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, reliability issues with Windows Search, and functionality loss on some third-party network adapters.
Those may not sound like big changes individually, but on its support page Microsoft listed 39 such fixes it described as “key” that are included in the upgrade. The update will be downloaded and installed automatically through the Windows Update tool, so users should be prepared for some downtime while their PCs do serious reboots as they digest the large files.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's new update framework is geared toward members of the Insider program who are part of the Slow ring. The new process will mimic the way Microsoft staggers its Windows updates to consumers to better address bugs afflicting specific devices and systems configurations.
New Security Tools Come Autumn
In the new framework, members of the Slow ring will receive fewer, but more stable, system updates relative to members of the Fast ring. That is a change from Microsoft’s previous approach toward the Insider program, which released new updates to all participants at once.
When the Fall Creators Update is released, Slow ring members will be able to download it immediately if they so choose, or they can wait until the company offers a build designed specifically for their devices.
The fall update looks to be another significant upgrade for the OS. In addition to expanding Windows Defender ATP, it will also likely include a new tool called Windows Defender Exploit Guard that will enable companies to better control how code runs on their machines and networks.
The new tool will also include some old features such as vulnerability mitigation capabilities that were previously offered in the Enhanced Migration Experience Toolkit. The fall update will also include a new set of defense capabilities, including a broader library of indicators of attack such as dynamic script-based attacks, network explorations, and keylogging.