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In this article, we’ll take a look at the main features of the forthcoming Windows 10 May 2019 Update, together with security and compliance tools that have recently been made generally available for Microsoft 365.

Set to arrive in late May, the Microsoft’s Windows 10 May 2019 Update is the first major operating system update of 2019, following on from the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. This latest update includes many new features, fixes and enhancements.

First and foremost, Microsoft has been listening to customers and, as a result, has taken steps to make feature updates and monthly cumulative updates less disruptive for users.

In particular, there will be big changes to the way in which Windows 10 installs updates, giving the user much more control. Specifically, Windows 10 will no longer automatically install big updates like the May 2019 Update every six months without the user’s permission.

All Windows 10 users, Home edition users included, will be able to pause an update for up to 35 days (a pause action is in effect for seven days, but it can be renewed five times consecutively).

Microsoft is also adding a new ‘download and install now’ option to its Windows Update settings, for twice-yearly feature updates. This means that if customers use Windows Update to check for any kind of available update, they won’t automatically be pushed to do a feature update just by the virtue of checking. 

In addition, Microsoft will coordinate Windows updates and Microsoft Store updates to minimise user disruptions by installing them when machines are idle.

Other new developments include:

  • A built-in Windows sandbox that creates a temporary desktop environment to isolate a particular app to that sandbox. It is designed to be secure and disposable, so once you’ve finished running the app in this mode, the entire sandbox will be deleted. You don’t need to set up a virtual machine, but it will require virtualisation capabilities enabled in the BIOS. The sandbox is only available on the Professional, Enterprise and Education editions of Windows
  • The decoupling of Search and Cortana in the Windows 10 taskbar, allowing voice queries to be handled separately to text queries
  • A Light Desktop Theme, enabling the Start menu, taskbar, notifications and other interface elements to be light in colour, together with a new default desktop wallpaper that matches the new theme.

On the Microsoft 365 front, both the Microsoft 365 Security Center and Microsoft 365 Compliance Center are now generally available.

The Microsoft 365 Security Center portal is a tool for security administrators that can be used for monitoring and managing security across Microsoft identities, data, devices, apps and infrastructure (rather than specific products). Here, you can easily view the security health of your organisation, act to configure devices, users and apps, and get alerts for suspicious activity.

In addition, it is possible to protect data loss by adding labels to classify documents, email messages, documents and sites. You can also manage who in the organisation has access to the Microsoft 365 Security Center to view content and perform tasks, as well as assigning Microsoft 365 permissions in the Azure AD Portal.

The Microsoft 365 Compliance Center portal provides action items in its ‘Assess, Protect and Respond’ sections to help address compliance and privacy issues, using Microsoft’s Compliance Manager service for these assessments.

It also provides access to sensitivity and retention labels and policies, data loss prevention (DLP), data governance, eDiscovery, data subject requests (DSRs), case management and Cloud App Security.

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