Microsoft posts roadmap for coming Windows 10 business features

According to Microsoft's new Windows 10 business roadmap, new enhancements to Continuum, Passport authentication, file-level encryption and more are 'in development' and possibly coming soon.

Microsoft quietly published a Windows 10 Business roadmap over the weekend (thanks to the Walking Cat for the heads up) that consolidates some of its planned Windows 10 features, a number of which company officials mentioned at its Build developers conference.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Business roadmap doesn't specify which of these features will land in the Windows 10 Anniversary update, which is expected around July 2016. Instead, it lists a number of features "in public preview" -- which are the ones I'd expect to be in the Anniversary update -- plus some others that may or may not make it in time for this year's update. (Redstone 2, a k a the next "major" release of features for Windows 10 is now expected around Spring 2017, according to tipsters.)

On the "in public preview" list are Edge extensions, which Insiders are already testing, as well as Enterprise Data Protection and multifactor authentication for apps and sites using Hello and Passport. Microsoft officials talked up Enterprise Data Protection -- technology for providing file-level encryption for business data and apps in order to make data separation/containment and leak prevention better -- early last year, but the feature has been delayed at least twice.

Some of the more interesting features on the roadmap are enhancements to Continuum, Microsoft's technology that allows Windows Phones to connect to large screen montiors, mice and keyboards in order to work like PCs.

The roadmap lists the following features as being "in development":

  • Touch input will be supported when connecting a Continuum-compatible phone to a touch monitor
  • "Laptop" like accessory support (without CPU/OS) that can be compared with a Continuum-compatible phone
  • Projecting on PCS (connect to monitors and screens that are connected to Windows 10 PCs via Continuum)
  • PC to PC casting

In a "Continuum for Phone" session at Build 2016 on March 30, officials showed off some of these features, including the ability to project from a Continuum-enabled phone directly to a PC wirelessly, with no additional hardware required (Miracast needs to be enabled and wifi turned on); the ability to use a Continuum-enabled phone like a Windows 10 touchpad; the ability to use an Xbox controller with the Continuum dock; and the ability to use a laptop-like shell with a Continuum phone powering the device (similar to what HP is designing with the Elite x3).

Also on the "in development" list are Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (which officials have said internally could be available in the third quarter of 2016); the ability to use a phone (Windows Phone or Android phone) to unlock Windows PCs; the ability to use companion devices like the Microsoft Band 2, for Passport-based authentication; Cortana and Action Center integration; and support for picture-in-picture, allowing users to watch and/or listen to media content while focusing on other tasks.