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When Windows 10 was released back in 2015, Microsoft asserted that it would be the last in the numbered Window product line. However, it now appears that the “next generation of Windows” will actually be a successor – not an update.
Microsoft has been talking about a major update that was coming to Windows for weeks now. After they scrapped Windows 10X and its new user interface with new assets, many users expected “Sun Valley ” to just be a UI overhaul. But, recent media releases by Microsoft hint at the highly anticipated “next generation” being Windows 11 rather than an update to Windows 10.
Hint 1: Microsoft Build
At Microsoft Build earlier this month, CEO Satya Nadella gave a date for an update on “the next generation of Windows” – June 24th. During his speech, the CEO teased that the announcement would relate to an update that rivals the release of Windows 10 as the most significant update in a decade. Since Windows 8 and Windows 10 have been released in this timeframe, it would make sense that a new Windows would be the only update that could compare.
Hint 2: Windows Logo and Startup Teases
Microsoft is well aware of the mystery surrounding their new update – so much so that they are stoking the fire. Windows recently put out an image (pictured above) that shows the Windows logo creating an “11”-shaped light on the ground as well as an 11-minute video that slows down all the Windows startup noises from throughout its history. The presence of “11” in both pieces of media is almost certainly hinting at Windows 11 – or they’re intentionally misleading us.
Hint 3: Windows 10 Has an End of Service Date
A piece of documentation from Microsoft’s official docs is now listing a “retirement date” which will signal the end of official support and updates for the operating system. The date – October 14, 2025 – is a little more than 10 years after Windows 10 was released, but is coming up quickly after 6 years of Windows 10. This could mean that another official operating system from Microsoft is coming to succeed it and minimize the need for support past 2025.
How Windows 365 Can Benefit Businesses
It’s no secret that Microsoft has been moving more towards digitizing many of their services. Xbox Cloud Gaming brings console gaming to a wider variety of users, lowering the barrier of entry and bringing the optimum experience to more devices. Now with the official upcoming release of Windows 365, Microsoft will again improve accessibility to one of their most popular services – Windows.
Windows 365 is the latest in cloud computing services (a development on their existing Azure) which allows anyone with app store or web browser access to be able to stream a full Windows 10/11 PC to their device. Laptops, tablets, phones, and even old PCs can act as a light client for the virtual PC (similar to a Virtual Machine), including Apple devices.
As a result, businesses all around the world can take advantage of the benefits provided by a consistent, cloud-accessible, and scalable solution for computing anywhere.
4 Major Benefits of Windows 365 for Business
Maintain a Uniform Experience Between Devices
One of the major problems resulting from the new hybrid workspaces that have developed as a result of COVID restrictions has been the inability to access work computers. Your company PC is likely to have all your work files, sufficient hardware, and the programs you need to do your job. But, you can’t always take your desktop home with you.
Windows 365 helps by creating a single virtual PC instance that maintains its state even when logged out. That means that if you leave something unfinished on your office PC, you can resume it directly from your laptop, tablet, or phone at home with the same resources available. No matter where it’s accessed from, Windows 365 provides a uniform experience to all devices.
Minimize Hardware Costs
Computer hardware advances quickly – and so do the expenses if you’re trying to stay up to date. All businesses need optimal performance from their hardware but it doesn’t make sense to replace computers regularly.
Windows 365 allows you to turn just about any device with a screen into a full-fledged Windows 10/11 PC. Old laptops, cell phones, and a variety of low-cost devices can act as mobile workstations without the investment it would take to achieve that performance with hardware.
On-Demand Performance Scaling
Do you ever wish you had more computer performance? Of course you do – and with Windows 365, you can get it with just a few clicks.
Businesses with Windows 365 accounts are able to assign resource plans to individual users that are part of their network. As long as a vacant subscription exists, administrators can change the plan tied to the user to something more powerful immediately. This unlocks more processing power and other resources, allowing for optimal performance when it is needed without hardware upgrades required.
Easy Onboarding of New Members
Whether you’re a growing startup or a seasonal business looking to bring in more help, onboarding with Windows 365 is as simple as ever.
To provide access to business files, resources, programs, and other important information, business owners can simply provide an account to the new employee on their network. They’ll immediately have access to a virtual business PC with everything they need – no dropbox, email attachments, or flash drives required.
How to Protect Your Windows PC from Ransomware Attacks
It is fair to say that Windows applications are installed in more than half of all PCs, which means that devices with this software may be at a greater risk of contracting a virus or becoming the target of a ransomware attack compared to their opponents. The good news is that Windows systems are equipped with internal safeguards that can help you steer away from ransomware threats.
Adhering to the below recommendations should be helpful in your efforts to protect your Windows PC from malicious activity:
- Staying up to Date: When updates become available the latest version should be downloaded. Restarting your computer at least one time a week ensures updates are consistently made.
- Security: Windows offers a security feature that must be turned on in order to work (or Windows Defender Security in older versions). Windows 10 adds an additional layer of protection specifically for your folders that can be found at the end of the following chain of settings: update & security>windows security>virus & threat protection>virus & threat protection settings>manage settings>controlled folder access.
- Back Up: Backing up your files is a wise move to make so that in the case a ransomware hacker gains unauthorized access you have an alternative method to reach your property.
- OneDrive: Storing your files in OneDrive provides automatic protection against ransomware because it has the ability to detect such dangers and also has recovery tools in place.
Ransomware attack susceptibility can also be majorly reduced by remaining vigilant about visiting unfamiliar websites, opening attachments/emails you were not expecting from someone or an organization that is not recognized, and clicking suspicious links on social media sites or other webpages. Furthermore, taking the time to self-educate on ransomware safety and performing backups on a daily basis are steps to take that may give you the upper hand if an unfortunate incident does affect you.
Sometimes leaning on external controls aside from the basics is necessary for sufficient protection against ransomware attacks, especially when highly important files and information are at stake.
Windows 11 May Be the Most Gaming-Friendly Operating System Ever
While gaming wasn’t the original focus for Windows, it has become a critical part of Microsoft’s ecosystem. Now with the impending release of Windows 11, Microsoft will finally be able to build an operating system with gaming in mind.
Despite claiming that Windows 10 was the last version of Windows to be released, Microsoft announced last week that it is officially releasing a successor – Windows 11. This allows them to make major changes to various aspects of the operating system that were not possible with Windows 10. Unsurprisingly, a number of these changes will directly benefit gamers on Windows 11 as the now gaming-heavy Windows continues to aggressively expand its Xbox ecosystem.
Gaming Upgrades for Windows 11
Just like new generations of consoles get better graphic capabilities, Windows 11 will too with Auto HDR – currently on Xbox Series X|S and Windows Insider builds.
Auto HDR is a feature that improves graphic quality in games that weren’t built with up-to-date graphics engines. It adds levels of brightness and renders shadows to produce a brighter, clearer, and more immersive visual experience that makes older games look new (without the need for a graphics mod).
Bottlenecking is a problem for a lot of gaming computers with an inferior processor, graphics card, or storage drive. When one part of the system can’t keep up, the performance slows down to the “weakest link”’s level which results in longer load times and heavy resource usage.
Fortunately, Windows 11’s new DirectStorage feature can help eliminate a potential processor bottleneck. With DirectStorage, NVMe SSDs can skip the processor and directly transfer data to be rendered by the graphics card. This can heavily reduce load times in certain hardware configurations which allows effective gaming and multitasking without overwhelming the processor with asset management.
Xbox App with Cloud Gaming and Game Pass Integration
Xbox Game Pass is the latest and greatest in gaming – and Microsoft knows it. In an effort to further push the subscription software to PC users, Windows 11 will include an integrated Xbox app that not only provides direct access to the Xbox Game Pass library of titles, but also includes app support for Xbox Cloud Gaming. This native app effectively becomes an Xbox interface that can search titles, stream games, and interact with the Xbox Network without the need for a secondary gaming console.