On January 21st, Microsoft announced its next and arguably last full version of Windows – Windows 10. For organizations currently operating on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade within the first year of launch. But why, exactly, is this the “last full version” of windows, you might ask?
Satya Nadella’s “Mobile First, Cloud First” vision is transitioning Microsoft’s industry-leading enterprise OS to follow the footsteps of the cloud’s greatest asset – Windows 10 will effectively become “Windows as a Service.”
Windows 10 will be more than a one-time upgrade; Microsoft will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device the OS resides on. IT may recoil at the thought of upgrading all enterprise devices simultaneously, significantly disrupting operational workflow. However, Windows 10 allows Administrators to determine the speed with which certain business segments adopt the latest updates, as well as which updates are relevant to specific users. This allows businesses to test drive certain updates as they function in the broader market before deploying it to mission critical systems.
The idea here is to provide a ubiquitous experience across all Windows devices, which includes phones, tablets, and the Xbox. To further establish this one-size-fits-all experience, Windows 10 will deliver one universal application platform that feels the same across all Windows device platforms. Add to that one security model, one deployment approach, and one management platform, and Windows 10 is truly embracing simplicity without compromising scalability.
Microsoft also unveiled some other interesting innovations accompanying its release of Windows 10. Below are 5 additional announcements positioned to improve the enterprise experience:
- Cortana will be available for the PC and tablet, previously available only on Windows Phones. Cortana will exist within all devices to be more of a companion as opposed to a voice who simply answers your questions. Over time, Cortana will provide relevant recommendations and fast access to information based on your browsing preferences, which can be controlled and limited by enabling certain advanced features.
- “Project Spartan” is the new web experience for Windows 10 that integrates with Cortana to help provide personal recommendations. Project Spartan allows users to annotate by keyboard or pen directly onto the webpage, as well as allow a “distraction-free reading view” by displaying the article on a simplified layout.
- New versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook built from the ground up to run universally across phone, tablet, and PC – all with a touch-first experience.
- Microsoft HoloLens unveiled as “the world’s first holographic computing platform.” The HoloLens is a headset that allows its user to view universal applications as a set of holograms.
- 85 inch touch-screen display for conference room collaboration.