On Microsoft's blog, they announced that RS3 (Redstone 3) aka Fall Creators Update is coming October 17th 2017.
"Create and play this holiday with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update coming Oct. 17"
It offers the following new features
Windows Inking keeps getting better, letting you ink directly onto PDF’s, making it easier and faster to comment and share with others, improving on what you could do with pen and paper alone. Smart Ink applies artificial intelligence to inking automatically making the squares you draw more perfect, or turning boxes into a table for you with no extra work. And you know how sometimes you can’t find your keys, wallet, and phone, sometimes it’s hard to find your pen to do the inking. Windows Find my Pen fixes that in the Fall Creators Update.
Photos and Videos
We have reimagined our Photos Application to deliver remixed experiences for telling your stories with photos, videos, music, 3D, and even inking.
OneDrive Files On-Demand
You can save all of your creations in OneDrive Files On-Demand, accessing your cloud files like any of your other files on your PC, without using up your local storage space.
The fuel that often inspires creativity is play. With the Fall Creators Update, we’ve updated Game Mode, which allows your games to use the full processing power of your device as if it was an Xbox game console, right from a new button on the Game bar. And to take advantage of this power, we have a fantastic lineup of Xbox Play Anywhere games coming including, Cuphead, Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. And, if you love these Xbox play anywhere games, coming on November 7 you can play them on the most powerful console on the planet, Xbox One X.
While you create and play, our goal is to keep you safe and secure. With the Fall Creators Update, Windows Defender is smarter and defends better than ever before. With behind the scenes cloud intelligence that enables new defenses against ransomware and exploits. I can’t talk about security without talking about Windows 10 S. Introduced last May, Windows 10 S is specifically designed for simplicity and security, with significant breakthroughs in battery life and performance. It’s off to a great start, with some of our highest customer satisfaction results yet.
This is the core of Fall Creators Update, it’s all about unleashing your creativity and having some fun while at the same time keeping you safe and secure.
I also want to share some exciting new technology that speaks to our mission at Microsoft to create products which are inclusive by design. With the Fall Creators Update, we are making Windows more accessible for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts the brain’s ability to control your muscles. The one muscle it doesn’t impact, are the eyes. A new feature Eye Control implements incredible eye tracking technology that lets you type, and operate a mouse just using your eyes, this is life changing technology for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease. This is real advancement in accessibility that we are introducing to the world with the Fall Creators Update.
Windows Mixed Reality
Lastly, with the Fall Creators Update, we are enabling you to immerse yourself in a new reality, the world of Windows Mixed Reality. By combining our physical and digital worlds, we believe mixed reality is the next step in the evolution of human computing. For the first time, we are talking about a mixed reality system that fully immerses you in the experience not limited to a mobile device screen size. One that is easy to setup, not requiring you to mount cameras around the room, just put the headset on your head, plug it into your PC and get started, leaving your hands free to interact with the mixed world. It’s available from a wide range of partners around the world, like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo with headsets starting as low as $299.
I am thrilled to announce that Windows Mixed Reality headsets will start to become available on October 17 when the Fall Creators Update ships.
And if you find yourself without a headset, we will also deliver mixed reality experiences through the PC. With Mixed Reality Viewer, you can see 3D objects – either from the Remix3D.com community or your own creation from Paint 3D – mixed into your actual surroundings through your PC’s camera – and snapped and shared – for powerful ways to tell your story.
Microsoft has changed Windows As A Service and this was explained in a blog post by Michael Niehaus.
As we announced back in April, Microsoft is aligning our servicing models with twice-per-year feature update releases targeting March and September, and 18-month servicing timelines for each release. While the first fully-aligned release will occur later this year with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release and a corresponding Office 365 ProPlus release, we got a head start with the Windows 10 1703 release (a.k.a. Creators Update): It marks the first of our semi-annual releases, each of which will be serviced for 18 months.
As part of the alignment with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, we are also adopting common terminology to make it as easy as possible to understand the servicing process. The two most important terms to understand:
Semi-Annual Channel. These are the twice-per-year feature update releases, targeting March and September, designed for the broad population of general-purpose PCs used throughout organizations. Each of these releases will be serviced for 18 months from the date of release. (The Semi-Annual Channel replaces the Current Branch [CB] and Current Branch for Business [CBB] concepts.)
Long-Term Servicing Channel. These are less frequent releases, expected every 2-3 years (with the next one expected in 2019), designed for special-purpose PCs such as those used in point-of-sale systems or controlling factory or medical equipment. Each of these releases will be serviced for 10 years from the date of release. (The Long-Term Servicing Channel replaces the Long-Term Servicing Branch [LTSB].)
With each Semi-Annual Channel release, we begin deploying right away to targeted consumer devices and gradually ramp up to full deployment based on the telemetry that we receive. As John Cable discussed on the Windows Experience blog, we recommend that enterprises follow the same approach. Start with targeted deployments to validate that apps, devices and infrastructure used by the organization works well with the new release. When that validation is complete, begin broadly deploying.
Windows 10 1703 is ready for that broad deployment, based on feedback that we’ve received from organizations, ISVs, partners, OEMs, and consumers that have already done it. As a convenience to help organizations that haven’t yet begun this broad deployment, we are updating the Windows 10 1703 packages and ISOs on the Volume License Servicing Center, MSDN, Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, and Windows Server Update Services, integrating the July cumulative update into the original Windows 10 1703 packages.
For more information on the common terminology, see the as well as the corresponding Office 365 ProPlus servicing guidance. Today we have also made available a new Microsoft Mechanics video to help explain the servicing process:
And here's the video explaining the changes:
Microsoft is excited to release Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16251 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring! The same build will be available for Insiders who opted in to Skip Ahead. We are also releasing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 15235 to Insiders in the Fast ring. We won’t have a new Windows Server Insider Preview build for Windows Insiders this week.
What’s New in Build 16251 For PC
Windows lets you link your phone and PC
You may remember at Build Microsoft talked about PCs and phones working better together. With Build 16251, they are introducing the first set of features that enable “linking” your phone to your PC. This build’s scenario is focused on cross-device web-browsing. Today, we’re asking for you Windows Insiders to help us test this experience out using your Android phones. Support for iPhone is coming very soon, stay tuned.
To get started, after installing today’s new build on your PC, go to Settings > Phone and link your phone. Having you link your phone ensures that your sessions from your phone are continued only on to the PC that you’ve chosen. After adding your phone to be linked, you will receive an SMS from us directing you to install a test application called “Microsoft Apps” for Android that completes the link between your phone and PC and enables one of our first cross device browsing scenarios.
After you’ve linked your phone, just go to your phone and start browsing the web. When you are at a website you want to view on your PC, simply invoke the native share experience on your phone and share the website to the “Continue on PC” option. You might need to click the “…” or more to add this test app to your share menu.
Once invoked, it will first ask you to sign in with your Microsoft Account. It is important you use the same account you are using on your PC. Next it will ask you if you want to “Continue now” or “Continue later”. If you choose “Continue now”, the website will magically open on the linked PC. If you choose to “Continue later”, the website will show up under Action Center for you to get to later when you’re ready. Try it out and let us to know of any issues you run into!
read the full announcement here > https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/07/26/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-16251-pc-build-15235-mobile/
The return of EternalBlue
On June 27th 2017, another RansomWare attack took hold targeting the same eternal blue (SMBv1) vulnerabilities as WannaCry before it. This attack however doesn't reach out to the internet like WannaCry did, it's an internal network attack.
However, this attack seems to have deliberately targeted businesses in Ukraine, and as the email address used for encryption keys was disabled almost immediately, there's no point in anyone paying ransom if their files are encrypted as they'd never get a reply (with the decryption info).
Patch Patch Patch
If you haven't done it already (and if you have not, why not especially after WannaCry), head over to this Technet link and apply the patches, do it.
Stopping the damage
That said, a security researcher found a way of stopping the ransomware from encrypting machines affected by placing a read-only file called Perfc in the Windows directory, eg:
The presence of that file will be enough to stop the contents of the hard disc from being encrypted by this malware, however the reason this malware spread in the first place is down to vulnerabilities (unpatched) in the operating system. Those vulnerabilities include two from the leaked NSA exploits, so if you've patched your operating systems against those known vulnerabilities you should be safe.
Protection against this new ransomware attack
Microsoft have advised the following to keep you protected against this (and similar) RansomWare attacks:
"We recommend customers that have not yet installed security update MS17-010 to do so as soon as possible. Until you can apply the patch, we also recommend two possible workarounds to reduce the attack surface:
Disable SMBv1 with the steps documented at Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2696547 and as recommended previously
Consider adding a rule on your router or firewall to block incoming SMB traffic on port 445
As the threat targets ports 139 and 445, you customers can block any traffic on those ports to prevent propagation either into or out of machines in the network. You can also disable remote WMI and file sharing. These may have large impacts on the capability of your network, but may be suggested for a very short time period while you assess the impact and apply definition updates.
Windows Defender Antivirus detects this threat as Ransom:Win32/Petya as of the 184.108.40.206 update. Windows Defender Antivirus uses cloud-based protection, helping to protect you from the latest threats.
For enterprises, use Device Guard to lock down devices and provide kernel-level virtualization-based security, allowing only trusted applications to run, effectively preventing malware from running.
Monitor networks with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which alerts security operations teams about suspicious activities. Download this playbook to see how you can leverage Windows Defender ATP to detect, investigate, and mitigate ransomware in networks: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection – Ransomware response playbook."
Microsoft issued a “highly unusual” patch for Windows XP last month to help prevent the spread of the massive WannaCry malware. At least 75,000 computers in 99 countries were affected by the malware which encrypts a computer and demands a $300 ransom before unlocking it. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, but the software giant is now taking the unprecedented move of including it in the company’s Patch Tuesday round of security updates today.
“In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyberattacks by government organizations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors, or other copycat organizations,” says Adrienne Hall, general manager of crisis management at Microsoft. “To address this risk, today we are providing additional security updates along with our regular Update Tuesday service. These security updates are being made available to all customers, including those using older versions of Windows.”
read the story @ TheVerge