Microsoft made a series of Windows 10 announcements yesterday at the Microsoft Ignite conference and we’ll talk about them here today. Notable though among them is the new Windows 10 figures put out by the software giant.
In a post by Yusuf Mehdi who is the Corporate Vice President, Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, he said the number of devices running Windows 10 is now 400 million and this is up from the 300 million figure in May and another 200 million two months before that. You’ll recall that within 24 hours of public availability, Microsoft reported that a record 14 million devices running the operating system.
With that growth rate they had projected that the number would grow to 1 billion by 2018 but it now looks like even Microsoft is now doubting that it can achieve that goal in that set time frame.
It has nothing to do with the software really but more to do with the market outlook. In May, we analysed an IDC report on the PC market which showed that shipment was on the decline globally in light of economic and political challenges like the Brexit. The strength of the US dollar also played a major role in this. But by July, there was an improvement in PC shipments with the US leading other markets.
In light of the weak numbers, analysts believe that Windows 10 could salvage the trend as more people come to use and like it. Microsoft also ended free upgrades on the 29th of July which many believe could result in an uptick in the number of people buying new Windows 10 based PCs.
Other news in the post by Yusuf Mehdi bordered on security. They announced Windows Defender application guard for their browser Edge. In addition to security which they described as the best of all browsers running on Windows, Windows Defender Application Guard uses virtualization-based security technology to protect against advanced attacks coming from the Internet, helping to protect the enterprise’s devices, employees, data and even their corporate networks. This level of protection has never been more important, as the majority of attacks start in the browser. So in the event of an attack say on an enterprise network, Application Guard isolates the browser using a hardware-based container to prevent malicious code from impacting the device and moving across the enterprise network.
Even if the attacker succeed in loading malware to the network through an employee device, the malware is limited to that device and is unlikely to go beyond that to steal data. Upon exiting the Microsoft Edge browsing session, the malware is erased juts by simply restoring browser sessions.
With the introduction of Application Guard in Microsoft Edge, the browser according to them can be used for enterprise activity with little worry of external attacks.
The other thing they talked about at the conference was that Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Office 365 ATP services will now have something they call a mutual intelligence sharing. This would enable IT to investigate and respond to security threats across Windows 10 and Office 365 more efficiently. By combining the intelligence of WDATP and Office ATP, the Microsoft Security Graph, which analyzes over 300 billion authentications processed per month, 200 billion emails for malware and phishing, and one billion Windows device updates – gets even more robust.
From 2017, Office 356 ATP will be extended to Office tools and OneDrive for Business.
Finally, they say there has been a 33 percent overall reduction in the number of security issues by Windows 10 users and this is due to security measures the have taken in the past.