Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update has a slew of great new features. If you want a summary, you can just read Microsoft’s press release … or can you!? When a big company such as Microsoft releases a major product, they typically choose a subset of features to highlight for publicity. So the first wave of news only covers a handful of features.

IT professionals don’t care that much about press releases. They don’t even call it Anniversary Update! True techies call it 1607, in accordance with Microsoft’s new rapid release numbering scheme. These folks are just as interested in small-but-powerful additions as they are in headline-grabbing features. So here is a top ten list of Windows 10 newness that didn’t make major headlines, in no particular order.

1. Linux Subsystem with bash!

Now you can run a Linux subsystem for Windows with bash! Microsoft has created the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) so you can run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows right next to your familiar Windows desktop and apps. For the what, how, and why in technical detail, visit this excellent TechNet FAQ:

Though if you just want the quick “how to enable it right now,” you might prefer this from Reddit:

2. Remoting Support for BITS

PowerShell Magazine reports that cmdlets in the BITS module are now supported when invoked via PowerShell remoting. Details at:

3. Manage Windows 10 Start and Taskbar Layout

With the Education and Enterprise editions of 1607, organizations can deploy a customized Start and taskbar configuration. This is great for shared devices (education) and devices that need to be locked down by IT. Choose what devices are pinned, remove defaults, and more. Details from TechNet at:

4. Easily Switch between Audio Inputs

Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter. Now it’s super easy to change from one audio input to another. Here’s an animated GIF from Larry Hryb’s twitter (@majornelson) showing you how:

5. Windows Upgrade Analytics

Some enterprises wanted more information about systems in order to help them conduct discovery and rationalization. For example, Windows Upgrade Analytics will look for applications and drivers that could present a problem, and test them for potential compatibility issues. The idea is to give businesses an easier way to plan and manage the upgrade process end-to-end and adopt new Windows releases more quickly. Get more info from TechNet at:

6. Credential Guard and Device Guard Setup

Previously, administrators had to install the Hyper-V User Isolation Mode in order to use Device Guard and Credential Guard. However, User Isolation Mode is included with 1607 so there is no need to install it.

7. Group Policy Updates

Not everybody considers group policy changes headline news, but if you work in systems administration it matters! A bunch of changes are given to us from, “where smart group policy admins come to get smarter.” Get your 1607 group policy on in this blog post summarizing what’s new:

And if that’s not enough GP for you, Phil Wilcock from 2pint drills down on “New Group Policy Options for the Delivery Optimization Service in Windows 10 Anniversary Edition” here:

8. A New Shared PC Mode

To reduce management and maintenance of shared PCs, the shared PC mode has been added to Windows 10 Pro, Pro Education, Education, and Enterprise. Only one user at a time can log in, and users are signed in a standard (not admin) users. There’s more to it, of course. Get details from TechNet at:

9. Redesigned Emoji!

Let’s not lose sight of the important things. In 1607, every emoji has been redesigned. They also support Unicode 9 as well as 52,000 family combinations. Here are Ninja cat, Astro Cat, and Hacker Cat.

See them all at:

10. Remote Connections to Remote Azure AD-joined PCs

Windows 10 has always been able to connect to PCs that are joined to AD. What’s new is, now you can even connect to remote PCs joined to Azure AD. For all the doubly remote details, see this TechNet article:

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