Windows 10 offers ten more reasons to spark enterprise adoption

Kareem Anderson

Windows 10 offers ten more reasons to spark enterprise adoption

For the past few months, market share numbers have reflected an apathy on the enterprise-level towards Windows 8, a belated move away from Windows XP, and a resigned adoption of Windows 7 in the corporate world. As Windows 10 looms on the horizon, Microsoft has some hard selling to do in order to reignite interest and trust in their latest operating system from the corporate sector.

Much the presentation today given by Simon May, Technical Evangelist for Windows and Enterprise Mobility, was meant to address such a conversation. During a presentation titled Windows 10: Top Features at Microsoft’s Ignite conference, Simon went over ten key features of Windows 10 in regards to enterprise. Simon argued that the ten listed features not only help Windows 10 stand out from other OS options, but combined, makes the OS more secure than previous iterations.

The presentation was a bit unorthodox, as Simon didn’t bullet point buzz terms, but rather asked questions that resulted with the same answer each time, “Windows 10.” The questions were meant to demonstrate the ten key strengths, changes, adoptions and approaches Windows 10 has undergone to make it a more appealing OS for Enterprises, IT Pros, and employees alike.

Question: “What OS will feel familiar to your users no matter what size of the device they use?”

Answer: Windows 10

Simons argument is that Windows 10 was built to adjust to various screen sizes and device inputs while maintaining its core features. Rather than having to switch devices for input features or specific data, users will now be able to pick up a phone, tablet, PC, or slap their information on a Surface Hub, and in each instance the presentation and information is the same.

Question: “What OS offers a personal assistant for your organization?”

Answer: Windows 10

Once again, Simon makes a case that having Cortana built into Windows 10 will offer everyone from the CEO down to the mail room employee a quick and easy personal assistant experience. Simon goes into more detail about how Cortana is more than mere vocal feedback. Having access to geo-targeting through use on various devices allows the system to understand context. When and where locations are, and what specific references mean, will help the system better anticipate natural language use.

Image Credit: Channel 9

Question: “How do you make your standard operating environment more secure?”

Answer: Windows 10

Moving beyond employee benefits of Windows 10, Simon and the Windows team believe Windows 10 offers a more secure package than before. With Windows 10, IT Pros can prevent the execution of malicious attacks designed through executables. Using a signed and trusted credentials packaging, employees, will automatically be restricted from opening files and attempting to execute. Other benefits include protection against polymorphic viruses and attacks as well as protecting the Windows kernel by putting it in a VM. This time around the Windows 10 kernel is running inside of a Virtual Secure Mode (like hyper-V) and can only be accessed by certain pieces of code. Local Security Authority or (LAS) has also been put into a VSM in an attempt to protect against hatch attacks and the like. The biggest benefit to the enterprise is that IT Pros will have complete access to them.

Question: “What changes the identity model in your organization?”

Answer: Windows 10

Simon explains that Windows 10 will continue to use Azure Active Directory, but it has been beefed up. Two-factor authentication has been built into Windows 10. Employees and IT Pros will also be able to take advantage of Windows 10’s new Passport feature to limit the amount of times credentials have to be entered in new and existing devices for the enterprise.

Question: “What changes the way you deploy operating systems in your organization?”

Answer: Windows 10

With Windows 10, Simon believes that the level of difficulty becomes reduced when installing newer versions of the OS. The idea is that IT Pros will no longer need to worry about lengthy installs or being connected to a corporate network. Rather than changing the image, the distribution merely changes the SKU.

Question: “What happens when a user loses their PC?”

Answer: Windows 10 – (I’m not fully sure how this answers the question but oh well.)

Windows 10 will now make it even easier to remote wipe potentially lost or stolen devices. In Windows 10, IT Pros will also be given more granular tools when applying device wipes. Rather than an all-or-nothing approach other operating systems take, Windows 10 users will be able to wipe back to a particular state if need be. Also coming later down the pipeline will be the ability for IT to erase corporate-related information correctly. This option leaves the employees information intact in the event the devices is recovered.

Question: “What changes how you buy your devices?”

Answer: Windows 10

The argument here is that buying a Windows 10 enabled device will prompt users to use new built-in provisioning tools. The new tools will help IT deploy bundled MDM sources as one package that prevents unauthorized opening of specific programs or applications.

Question: “What changes the way you protect your data?”

Answer: Windows 10

Windows 10 will now have automatic Azure AD authentication encryption built into on the OS level. IT Pros can assign trusted sources, but out of the box most cloud sync applications will be restricted as to what access they have to encrypted files. Azure RMS adds another level of protection. The more nefarious employees who find ways around system level encryption will be met by data protection elsewhere. Windows 10 will also use EDP to help protect the users and devices by encrypting incoming information from identified sources by IT.

Question: “What changes the way you browse the web?”

Answer: Windows 10

The Edge browser brought up the rear of the presentation. Simon goes over the list of new Edge features and goes over a few, but nothing we have seen or reported for weeks.

  • Reading modes
  • Annotations
  • Reading Lists
  • Cortana integration

The overall theme of discussion for Windows 10 in enterprise is that Microsoft learned from user feedback. Enterprise user feedback evidently wanted an easy to use interface, with more security and that is exactly what Windows 10 is attempting to deliver for them. We’ll have to wait and see if the feedback has been adequately applied in Windows 10.