Since news of Mark and Citrix interrupted last week’s article on Windows 10, I figured I should still write something about it at some point.
Everyone knows that Microsoft has an alternating good/bad historical cycle for desktop OSes. Windows 2000 bad. XP good. Vista bad. 7 Good. 8 bad, etc. . . so it’s pretty obvious that Windows 10 will be “good” in the sense that it’s actually something you’ll deploy to your users in a major way.
Of course it feels like we just got done rolling out Windows 7, which, keep in mind, doesn’t hit end of extended support until 2020. So we have some time to figure out what to do with Windows 10.
That said, when it comes to the enterprise, there’s nothing about Windows 10 that jumps out and hits you in the face about how awesome Windows 10 is. Yeah, it includes a smattering of new tools and features that are supposedly enterprise-focused, but then again, so did Windows 8. (Workplace Join? Windows To Go? How much have those improved your life?)
All the consumer websites’ reviews of Windows 10 pretty much just talk about Cortana (Siri for Windows), Edge (Chrome for Windows), or notifications, virtual desktops, or built-in security (OS X for Windows). All that’s well and good, but what about Windows 10 in the enterprise?
First, Windows 10 is pretty similar on the inside to Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. Same hardware requirements. Same drivers, etc. So whatever you have that works or doesn’t work against Windows 7 will also work or not work in Windows 10.
Second, there’s a lot of noise about Microsoft’s new “Edge” browser (which still seems like a toy to me) and how it’s the future and everything. That’s all well and good, but remember that (a) IE 11 is still lurking in the background, ready to step in where the incomplete Edge fails, (b) iE 11 is the only browser (from Microsoft) that runs on Windows 10. (So if you absolutely need a prior browser from them, don’t go to Windows 10.)
Third, there’s a big focus from Microsoft on the MDM-side of things, and it appears that most of the “new” style of management can actually do everything it needs to manage that side of the computer. The problem is of course that there’s still the “desktop” side of Windows 10, and that will require SCCM-like management tools for years to come. So we're not throwing out SCCM yet.
To be clear I'm excited about Windows 10 even if I can't come up with a compelling reason to use it at work. What about you? What features of Windows 10 are you using? What are your upgrade plans? Are you excited about it?