April 29, 2019

Windows 10, Feature release 19H1 (1903) and Windows 7

In Previous posts, we have discussed the challenges Organizations face by frequency Windows app (the “WaaS conundrum”), and RIMO3’’ unique Approach to it, through its ACTIV product.   ACTIV can automatically test in bulk large numbers of applications against a target Windows Build, identifying failures well before deployment, and allowing IT managers to focus on remediation rather than testing.

Under Microsoft’s Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS) schedule, the next feature update of Windows is called 1903 (indicating March 2019 – this is the standard Feature release description of ACTIV).   It is expected to be released in April or May.  Last year, for instance, it was released on 30th April 2018.  For more information on the contents of the new release see this  Link.

As part of the ACTIV support and Maintenance process, we at RIMO3 continually test and evaluate Microsoft’s Beta releases. We have recently released an update to ACTIV which has been fully tested against Several Beta versions of the up-coming 1903 release.

ACTIV now also supports Windows 7.  This is important, as over 50% of enterprise desktop users are using Window7 (link). With Windows 7 going out of support in January 2020, many organizations are likely to feel the pressure now. ACTIV can help with migration since applications can be tested against both Windows 7 and the target Windows 10 release, making it clear which applications need to be remediated ahead of any rollout, dramatically reducing both the effort and cost of migration.

A few upcoming features of ACTIV bear discussion.  One interesting feature in 1903 is Windows Sandbox: available only in Pro and Enterprise editions, it created an isolated environment on the user machine that allows to safely test untrusted applications.  More specifically, what it does is create a light-weight VM, which can be used for any purpose. We believe this feature will enhance performance as well as security, because, effectively any package can be run on a “pristine “environment now.  Although this can be done using AppV, or MSIX – now any application can take advantage of this feature.  We will be discussing MSIX in another Blog entry soon.

Another Interesting new feature is Reserved Storage. The objective of this feature is to allow users to make sure enough storage space is available for future upgrades.  This makes perfect sense of course, as WaaS makes updates far more frequent than in the past.