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As Windows 10 launches, Microsoft pushes for enterprise adoption

Blair Hanley Frank | July 30, 2015
Windows 10 was released to the public on Wednesday, and Microsoft is already encouraging enterprises to begin considering an update.

"Enterprises are lazy," Rana said. "More than that, [upgrading] costs money."

A Spiceworks survey of 500 IT professionals showed that 40 percent of those surveyed plan to upgrade their company to Windows 10 within the first year of its release, and nearly 75 percent plan to do so within 1-2 years after the operating system comes out. Of course, it remains to be seen whether companies will actually start moving in that amount of time, though there is some pressure on them to start moving with Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 in January 2020.

What's more, Windows 10's features may get businesses to upgrade sooner rather than later. George Bedar, LA Fitness's chief information officer, said in an email that the company never planned to upgrade to Windows 8 or 8.1, and this new release seems like it will be more appealing to the company's existing Windows 7 user base.

"We believe it is a great improvement over Windows 8.1 because it provides you some of the good features of 8.1 and still has the familiarity of Windows 7," he said.

LA Fitness doesn't have a specific rollout scheduled, but Bedar said he expects to deploy the OS across the business and begin a full deployment in about a year.

There are some organizations that are moving Windows 10 out to users as soon as possible. Marist College in New York plans to roll out the new operating system to around 500 faculty and staff desktops during its fall semester, with its fleet of more than 850 classroom and lab computers receiving the update by the summer of 2016. Dave Hughes, the school's client technologies manager, said Marist has aggressively adopted new versions of Windows in the past and the college considers it important to stay up to date.

"It's important to stay on top of technology, as our students will inevitably be bringing in the latest and greatest version of Windows," he said in an email. "They are our customers, and we need to be able to support them."

In the meantime, it's clear that businesses are at least evaluating the new operating system for potential deployment. Alkove said 30 percent of the 5 million people testing pre-release builds of Windows 10 through the Windows Insider Program are IT professionals. Sixty percent of the professionals surveyed by Spiceworks said they have already tested a preview version of Windows 10.

Moving forward, Alkove encouraged IT pros to join the Enterprise Insider Program to get a preview of enterprise features that will come to Windows 10 in the future. Starting Aug. 1, enterprise Software Assurance customers with active volume licensing agreements with Microsoft will be able to download the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10 from the Volume Licensing Service Center. With those downloads, they'll be able to upgrade devices and set up new ones.

 

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