Waiting in Anticipation for Windows 10
With the Microsoft Worldwide Partner 2015 conference (July 12-16 in Orlando, Fla.) upon us, all eyes in the channel are turning to Windows 10, which is scheduled to begin shipping at the end of the month. Microsoft partners of all sizes are wondering to what degree Windows 10 will impact their business in 2015 versus 2016 and beyond.
A recent survey conducted by Adaptiva, a provider of Window migration tools, suggests that four in 10 organizations plan to make the move to Windows 10 in the next year. That may not seem like much, but given how conservative enterprise IT organizations tend to be when moving to Windows, it actually represents a major endorsement.
Marissa Tarleton, executive director for consumer and small business marketing in North America for Dell, said one of the primary reasons that enterprise IT organizations are embracing Windows 10 more aggressively than either Windows 8 or Windows 7 is that the overall security and manageability of the Window 10 environment across desktops and a variety of mobile devices is much better than in any other Windows environment. Windows 10 presents itself as a much more natural migration from Windows 7, which is now the dominant form of Windows installed in most business environments, she added.
It's too early to say exactly how fast corporate environments will adopt Window 10, or how quickly they will enhance Windows 10 once Microsoft begins delivering a regular cadence of updates in place of traditional upgrades. For its part, Microsoft is giving enterprise customers access to a Long-Term Servicing Branch option that gives them more control over exactly when Windows 10 updates are applied.
Of course, if Microsoft has its way, many solution providers will miss being called in to manage the Windows upgrade as the overall process becomes more automated. But like most things in IT these days, the user experience across the board is becoming more automated in order to reduce the total cost of operating the overall environment. As such, Windows is no exception.
While there are still going to be the usual assortment of Windows application compatibility issues to contend with, Microsoft partners have more to be enthusiastic about going to into a Microsoft partner conference than at any time in recent memory. How much of that translates into actual dollars in 2015 remains to be seen. But whatever does occur in 2015, it appears it will be only a small taste of what is shaping up be to a wave of mass migrations in 2016.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.