On September 30th 2014, Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore of the Windows team unveiled Microsoft’s latest client offering, Windows 10. With 1.5 billion users currently working with Windows, todays announcement embarks on the next chapter of client computing on path towards ubiquitous computing.
What was also reviled was the importance of the IT Professional amidst this new client offering and how Windows 10 would further enable businesses of many sizes to be more productive. Microsoft put forth a great deal of effort to ensure IT Professionals were provided further control in regards to deployment and management. Furthermore Windows 10 empowers IT to further securely enable employees to access pertinent company information in a manner familiar to said employee. This is enabled via the following:
Enhanced Business Management
The ability to allow information to flow securely across a multitude of devices requires focus on other aspects of data access and not just device security. In the wake of this one platform offering, further attention is now focused on identity, applications and data. To address this, Microsoft’s existing management offerings, namely System Center Configuration Manger 2012 R2 and Windows Intune will further enhanced. Noted changes are as follows:
- System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 will be upgraded to enable IT Professionals with full support for client deployment, upgrade, and management of Windows 10.
- System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SP2, R2, and R3) will have an update to support only management of Windows 10
- Intune will receive updates to provide further granularity in regards to management of Windows 10
Further control around security and updates will be made available via said management offerings allowing IT professionals opt-in capabilities to roll out or deny said updates.
Advanced In-Place Upgrade
Microsoft has taking into consideration the downtime that occurs when deploying new client software. To address this, a reliable, rapid in-place upgrade process has been created and can be initiated using the management offerings listed above. Furthermore, newly available dynamic provisioning capabilities, will allow IT Professionals to configure off-the-shelf devices, without the need to reimage them.
App Store Control
Microsoft recently unified all app stores that enable Windows devices. Windows 10 will also utilise the very same app store and allow for volume app purchases based on organizational identity. Also added is the ability for businesses to reclaim or re-use licenses. Businesses will also be empowered to create their own customized store with the ability to manage store experiences including choice of Line of Business apps alongside existing Store apps.
The Windows 10 Technical Preview will be made available shortly for testing and will enable IT Professionals to provide voice to further influence Microsoft’s newest client offering’s development to better serve their organization's needs.