Microsoft opens Windows 10 hoping enterprise comes in

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Updated: November 23, 2015 11:51:27 AM

Microsoft announced its first major update to Windows 10 last week. The new update brings several bug fixes reported by users and testers alike.

Windows 10Microsoft says there are over 110 million active Windows 10 PCs and 12 million of those PCs are in the enterprise sector.

Microsoft announced its first major update to Windows 10 last week. The new update brings several bug fixes reported by users and testers alike. While the update is available to all Windows 10 users, the larger picture here is that Microsoft has sent out an update that focuses a bit on consumers and much more on enterprise.

For consumers, Microsoft wants Cortana to be everything. From texting your parents to calling an Uber, the Redmond-based software major wants its digital personal assistant to help users with day to day task. From opening the last office document to reminding about an upcoming flight, Cortana wants to help you and serve you. Also Cortana is now ready to explore new territories—India, Japan and Australia to be specific.

In India, Cortana now has the ability to decipher the local accent and speech patterns. Microsoft’s Vineet Durani said, “The problem with bringing Cortana to India is that we speak Hinglish and not English.” While Cortana can still not respond to Hinglish, it has definitely matured to understand our English accent.

While Cortana will serve as a distinguisher to Windows 10, it is still not everything—it is definitely not going to take Microsoft to billion users. To reach that magical mark, Microsoft needs its enterprise customers to make that upgrade.

While many use their Windows 10 PC to write or browse, for work they still fall back on a Windows 7 workhorse. Microsoft needs these PCs to upgrade and this first major update paves way for enterprise to even think about upgrading.

When Microsoft released Vista, it saw a huge number of PCs stuck on XP. When it announced Windows 8, those enterprise PCs lingered on Windows 7 and now with Windows 10, Microsoft can really bring the renaissance to
enterprise PC—seeing them boot to Windows 10.

Microsoft says there are over 110 million active Windows 10 PCs and 12 million of those PCs are in the enterprise sector. A Microsoft press statement said, “Windows 10 is compatible with the past while embracing our new way of working.” Note the word ‘past’. With the word past, Microsoft is sending a clear message that all older apps
(or custom enterprise apps) will seamlessly work with Windows 10 and enterprise customers can even use
existing codes to develop new Universal apps that can scale across devices and form factors.

Microsoft’s first major update brings some improvements that consumers may ignore, but enterprise will appreciate. With more and more enterprises embracing BYOD (bring your own device) culture, Microsoft is announcing a dedicated Windows Store and Update Centre for Business.

With Windows Update for Business, IT admins can now control deployment of software updates and make sure that all devices in the network are met with latest security updates. Microsoft says, enterprise can even deploy new
updates in a closed form and then scale the deployment with their own network optimisations. Microsoft had also earlier announced Windows 10 Enterprise Insider Preview which would have been a good learning point for IT administrators.

Microsoft has also announced Windows Store for Business which allows a flexible way to distribute apps. IT
admins can use Windows Store for Business to distribute custom apps and even Windows Store apps. Organisations can directly assign apps or publish apps to a private store. Just like VPN, Microsoft is leveraging a whole new method of deployment for its enterprise customers.

Microsoft wants enterprise to build new apps, but not at the expense of sticking to their older machines. With Microsoft under Satya Nadella, the intention is very clear—buy our Office 365 subscription and take other small offerings like Skype for Business free. The point is to engage enterprise users to its services and eventually to the biggest service of all, Windows 10.

If you are wondering what is the overall sentiment with enterprise users for Windows 10 then it seems to be positive for now. While Microsoft doesn’t directly sell any hardware, its OEMs partners say enterprise customers are excited about new possibilities.

During a recent product launch, Hewlett-Packard’s Ketan Patel said, “We are seeing very good response from our enterprise customers.

They are slowly and gradually making the upgrade. With our PCs compatible with Windows 10 and more personal computers launched with Windows 10, this is an interesting time for the new operating system.”

Further to give some perspective to enterprise customers, Microsoft has released a video showing Virgin
Atlantic building a Universal Windows app which helps them serve its customers better. Every enterprise wants to do just that—serve their customers better and faster.

The momentum is very much in favour of Windows 10 and Microsoft’s own statement says conglomerates like Nestle, Daimler, KPMG and PGA Tour are making move to Windows 10 through the Enterprise Insider programme.

Also worth noting is that Microsoft is still the force behind NFL in USA and definitely the only place where Surface tablets can be found in plenty. Microsoft is taking the lead by reaching out to enterprise and helping them switch and if things go well, it surely can reach that 1 billion devices mark in the next two or three years.

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