Rooting for Windows 10 in the Channel
With the formal launch of Windows 10 this week, one area that Microsoft partners are really hoping will be addressed is the viability of Microsoft in the mobile computing space.
As Apple and Google trounced Microsoft in the mobile space for years, solution providers have had to contend with having to first build solutions that run on multiple platforms—and, then, having to help customers manage and secure them.
At the end of the day, that level of complexity has only served to reduce the number of mobile computing projects that IT organizations are willing to tackle, said John Basso, co-founder and CIO at Amadeus Consulting, a solution provider that builds applications for enterprise IT organizations.
A little consolidation in a highly fragmented market segment might be a good thing for everyone concerned, Basso said. A big driver of that consolidation, he said, will be the concept of building a Microsoft Universal App Experience that enables applications to run on everything from a smartphone to the desktop.
Like most IT professionals Basso knows that Windows 10 won't be rolled out overnight to enterprises.
Recent research suggests it will likely take a year or more for Windows 10 to be rolled out in large numbers in traditional enterprise IT environments.
What's more, many IT organizations, for example, will not do upgrades in place as a matter of policy. Instead, they will wait for the arrival of next-generation PC systems based on sixth-generation Intel Core Skylake processors before beginning to upgrade.
However, as a "course correction" following an overly ambitious Windows 8 offering, the initial Windows 10 reception among Amadeus clients has been nothing but warm, Basso said.
Of course, there's never been a lot of warmth for either Apple or Google in the channel. Both companies have made some effort to reach out to partners, but neither focuses on channel partners nearly to the degree Microsoft does.
And while Microsoft is far from perfect in terms of how it engages partners, without Microsoft most of them would not exist. As such, the sooner Microsoft can become more successful in the mobile computing space, the happier more of those channel partners are likely to be.
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.