This week, Redmond delivered the usual wealth of Windows 10 updates, as well as news on Windows 10 Mobile, critical Windows security fixes, and Cortana for Android. Windows 10 updates also came from Bank of America, which is looking towards an early adoption.
InformationWeek sat down with Bank of America CTO David Reilly to discuss his plans for Windows 10, his greatest security concerns, and the evolving relationship between business and IT. Reilly expressed enthusiasm for Windows 10 and is leaning toward an early upgrade for the bank.
"We're looking to adopt as early as we can," he said. Half of the bank's leadership team is already running the new OS, and Reilly is hoping a build can be created for Bank of America's environment by November.
[More news from Redmond: Microsoft, Docker Boost Container Partnership.]
Why so soon? An OS that works the same across tablets, desktops, smartphones, and laptops is essential for Bank of America employees, many of whom require multiple devices. Further, Reilly noted, the upgrade process for Windows 10 appears to be much smoother than the transition to Windows 7.
The most recent beta update of Cortana for Android enabled users to replace their old Google Now shortcut by holding down the home button to prompt Cortana. Microsoft's digital assistant uses Bing, so the feature could help Redmond take greater hold of a search market currently dominated by Google.
This week marked the launch of Windows 10 IoT Core, a trimmed down version of the OS designed for IoT devices like Raspberry Pi. The release is a Windows milestone, because devices that don't run on x86 processors can now run Windows 10.
Windows 10 also got a Patch Tuesday fix, which addressed four critical remote code execution vulnerabilities. Two bugs are located in Windows browsers (one in IE and another in Edge) and both allow remote code execution if a user visits a specially designed website.
A third bug is in Microsoft graphics components, and may allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially designed document or views a malicious webpage with embedded TrueType or OpenType fonts. The last vulnerability is in Microsoft Office: Hackers may attack through an untrusted Office file and perform remote code execution.
Finally, we got a mid-week Windows 10 Mobile update when Microsoft rolled out Build 10512 to the Fast ring of Windows Insiders. The build is buggy, but it packs a few new features. Officials promise we'll see more frequent mobile builds going forward.
On the Office front, Microsoft launched a preview of its Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android devices. The preview brings redesigned In-Call and In-Meeting experiences. There's a simple dashboard interface for quick access to upcoming appointments, recent phone calls, and chats, with an included "Quick Join" icon to jump into meetings.
Yammer and its mobile apps were also revamped for release this week. In addition to a new look, Yammer now includes a discovery feed for discussion updates, indicators to alert you of group activity in real time, more immersive group experience, and a group workflow feature for switching group views.
Mobile updates for Yammer include new photo-sharing and markup capabilities, integration with Dropbox and OneDrive, and the ability to search and invite coworkers via email.