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After Windows 8 debacle, OEMs wax rhapsodic over Windows 10

Joab Jackson | July 30, 2015
After trying the patience of both consumers and the enterprise alike with Windows 8, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are hoping Windows 10 will reinvigorate the market for PCs, laptops and all-in-one devices.

Windows 10 has fairly modest requirements for hardware, meaning systems running Windows 8 or even Windows 7 in some cases could be upgraded to Windows 10. This is intentional on MIcrosoft's part, an effort to get as many people on Windows 10 as possible to both streamline the updating process and to make the company's cloud services available to as many people as possible.

On the consumer side, HP is releasing three new notebooks, three desktop editions and two all-in-one computers that all run Windows 10. For the enterprise, HP will be rolling out six laptops, four desktop computers and two all-in-ones between August and October.

Dell is also bullish about the success of Windows 10. On Wednesday, the company introduced 12 new models, offered in more than 70 configurations, running Windows 10.

Dell was able to leverage the new features of Windows 10, said Marissa Tarleton, Dell executive director for North American consumer and small business marketing.

In particular, the company worked to make the voice-aided Cortana feature as usable as possible. With Windows 10, users can ask the system to carry out tasks such as open a program or look something up on the Internet. Dell developed a set of voice recognition algorithms and audio software that can pick out a user's voice in a noisy environment.

Another feature that Dell took extra effort to support is the Hello authentication feature, which can log in a user by taking a photo of his or her face. The company integrated its own facial recognition software on top of Microsoft's to further aid the process of identifying a person.

System builders are also seeing opportunity in Windows 10. "We are more optimistic about the release of Windows 10 than we have been over any other desktop operating system," said Chris Woodin, director of Microsoft business development for business systems provider Softchoice.

Many enterprises have been holding off on upgrading their Windows 7 machines for Windows 8, so there is considerable pent-up demand for Windows 10, Woodin said.

Beyond the desktop replacements, Windows 10 also provides a good platform for Softchoice to build advanced features with on behalf of their customers.

At the World Wide Partner Conference earlier this month, Microsoft demonstrated how Cortana could be used to power business intelligence (BI) applications. Anyone, not just BI specialists, could ask a question about company data, and Cortana could return an answer.

This BI capability may not be something that Softchoice could offer this year. The Microsoft demo would still require considerable wiring to get into production use. But the company can start testing and building solutions with such capabilities for the years to come, Woodin said.

 

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