Microsoft is in the last stages of finalizing the next major update for Windows 10, named the Windows 10 Creators Update, slated for release early this year.
The Windows Insider beta previews gave us a taste of the exciting features that this massive update will bring to Windows 10 - Microsoft Edge browser and Cortana improvements, Windows Ink expansion, Picture-in-Picture support, Start menu and graphical tweaks, among other things.
However, there's a last-minute option added to the latest Windows Insider Preview build that could prove useful in the fight against rogue software.
MSPoweruser spotted a brand new feature that will enable Windows 10 users to only allow apps downloaded from the official Windows Store to install. This setting is set to off by default, at least during the Insider Preview testing phase, but users can easily enable this restriction.
The new options for installing apps will be as follows:
- Allow apps from anywhere
- Prefer apps from the Store, but allow apps from anywhere
- Allow apps from the Store only
With these options, users can choose to completely block classic Win32 desktop applications from installing, have a warning dialog displayed when installing Win32 desktop applications or have no restrictions whatsoever.
This is similar to how macOS's security settings can prevent users from installing unsigned and non-Apple App Store applications.
This will certainly be a good way to streamline the Windows 10 experience for novice users but it could prevent traditional Win32 desktop applications like Google Chrome from installing. The upside is that by blocking non-Microsoft Store apps from installing, a machine is less likely to be hit by malware.
Microsoft is also reportedly testing a new "Windows 10 Cloud" version that will completely disallow the installation of classic Win32 desktop apps. This version is more of a streamlined edition of Windows 10 that can run on less powerful devices akin to Google's Chromebook line.
The Windows 10 Creators Update is expected to be released to the general public in April.
If you want to take advantage of these early sneak peeks of upcoming Windows 10 builds, you can sign up for Microsoft's Windows Insider Program.
Important: Be forewarned that Insider builds are beta versions of Windows 10 and can be unstable. We don't recommend installing them on your main computer. Also, make sure you have a complete backup of your machine before installing any Insider build.
To join the Windows Insider Program, make sure you already have a Microsoft Account then sign up for the program here.