Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Early Reactions

By Joshua Osborne

Director of Client Services - Microsoft, NPI

September 08, 2016

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Artwork Courtesy of Krakowiak

Microsoft recently released a major update to Windows 10 – dubbed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (side note: Happy 2nd birthday, W10). There are an estimated 350 million Windows 10 users worldwide. So, whether you are using it as a personal consumer, an enterprise or both, this update will have a broad impact – some good and some not.

First, the good…

Most notably, there are updates to security features like Windows ‘Hello’ for apps and websites and Windows Defender. Enterprise customers now have access to two new security features: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) and Windows Information Protection, known formerly as enterprise data protection. Windows Information Protection will help separate personal and business organizational data and provide more powerful protection of corporate data, wherever it may go.

Windows Ink is another nice feature, which - if you’re pen user - can help in various capacities such as note taking, stickies and working with key apps. There are also several updates to Cortana and Microsoft Edge. Users of one or both will enjoy the additional access and features that improve usability. You can read more about the update here on Microsoft’s blog.

Despite these new features, the update hasn’t been without criticism. Forbes’ contributor Gordon Kelly reports:

“Windows 10 is in a dangerous moment. It has missed sales expectations, is no longer free and now the troubled ‘Anniversary Update’ – the biggest upgrade Windows 10 has received to date – is causing new problems…

Discovered by Microsoft-centric blog Thurrott, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been found to break “millions” of web cameras for upgraders. The bug affects web cameras of all brands and is even breaking Skype – Microsoft’s own audio and video chat service.

As Thurrott writer Brad Sams notes, of particular concern is a Microsoft support thread where it is clear that customers of substantial enterprise clients are being hit hard.”

So, what’s the verdict? Windows 10 continues to be one of Microsoft’s recent successes (despite missing sales expectations), and the vendor’s commitment to delivering robust feature updates bears this out. But upgrade challenges do exist – such as the bug described above, and the ability to turn certain feature updates off or on.

Overall, customer responses have skewed towards positive. That’s good news for Microsoft and for the enterprises that have gotten on board with Microsoft’s transformation over the last several years. The pressure is on to demonstrate the success of not just Windows 10, but the vendor’s new upgrade strategy.