The Department of Defense has planned a huge upgrade of millions of computers to the Windows 10 operating system. The Pentagon’s chief information officer Terry Halvorsen said that the Pentagon needed to rapidly improve its cybersecurity as well as meet the demands of its information technology by reducing its footprint.
PHYS.org reported that about four million users are slated for the upgrade, the single largest deployment of Windows 10 since its release six months ago. Patrick Moorhead, the president of Moor Insights & Strategy, an independent research firm, said that the implementation was pretty fast, especially for a government agency.
“The speed at which they’re doing the deployment is shocking to me. A year? That’s fast. The DoD is normally last to deploy something.”
Normally, when a government agency decides to implement a software upgrade, the agency waits until the vulnerabilities have been removed from the software first to prevent being hacked. Once the vulnerabilities have been spotted and the appropriate patches applied, the government will then upgrade. This hesitance has left government agencies with a patchwork of operating systems, including the older Windows XP and Windows 7.
— Microsoft News (@MSFTnews) February 19, 2016
Microsoft has received largely positive reviews since the release of Windows 10 and pointed to over 200 million computers and Xbox systems that had already upgraded to the system. Features like face scanning and an integrated fingerprint, as well as walling off the core operating system to prevent infection by malware, have been cited as some of the security features that Windows 10 offers.
For Microsoft, there’s hope that this move will inspire other large businesses to upgrade to the new operating system. It is unclear how much it will cost for the Department of Defense to upgrade, but they have planned to have the upgrades done within one year.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, when Microsoft initially offered Windows 10, the software was being downloaded to Windows 7 and 8.1 users’ computers without permission. Users still had a chance to stop the upgrades by changing the settings on their computers and deleting the software, which takes up about three to six GB in hard drive space. Microsoft has since changed the upgrade to an option instead of a requirement. For now, the upgrade is free, although Microsoft plans to charge for it in the future.
With cybersecurity in mind, DoD commences year-long Windows 10 deployment | https://t.co/JI6Tm8Rs5d
— SCMagazine (@SCMagazine) February 22, 2016
Venture Beat reported that Microsoft also released a new Windows 10 mobile version with improvements to the Cortana and Edge software. Cortana is a personal assistant software Microsoft added to the new version of Windows, and Edge is the new browser offered to replace Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The update to Cortana affects the music feature by adding a search icon in the top right corner, making it easier for users to search for music. Users can tap the button and listen and search for the music that is playing.
Word Flow is a feature that is part of the Edge browser and now works by allowing users to shape writing. Another important feature, InPrivate Tabs, which allows users to surf anonymously and allows users to surf more easily while using their cell phones. The button for the feature has now been moved next to the new tab button. The downloads feature has been improved, allowing users to more easily cancel downloads.
Microsoft continues to put out test builds of Windows 10 in order to improve the software as well as fix security issues for users. Although Microsoft has said that it plans to release the mobile version of Windows 10 during the first quarter, they are lagging behind, and mobile phone users may not receive the new system until a later date.
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