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Why IT will love Windows 10

Rob Enderle | Oct. 7, 2014
Yes, the interface is a big improvement over Windows 8. The real appeal of Windows 10, though, might be the user and device management features that should have IT departments excited.

Windows 10 not only lets you live on the older, Windows 7-like interface if you'd like, it changes to touch mode only if you're using a touch device. When not in touch mode, the active tiles enhance the Start menu but don't replace it. Essentially, Windows 10 fuses Windows 7 and Windows 8.

This may seem minor, but it makes all the difference if you come from XP, Vista or Windows 7, turning what's now a horrid initial experience into one that's far more palatable.   If this was the only thing Microsoft did, I expect a lot of us would still be happy, given how annoying this transition to Windows 8 has been. (By the way: Once you use Windows 8 for a while, you learn how to live in the old interface. It isn't as bad, but the old interface doesn't work well with touch.)  

Windows 10 Appeals to IT With Modern Device Management
I spent some one-on-one time with Windows 10 at the teaser event and came away with some interesting IT-focused features that you should find interesting.

One, you can blend user and corporate apps and privileges in the same user instance. You can implement your own app store, tying users to their own domain identity for app and data access, and then give them a second instance in parallel using their Microsoft account for personal stuff. You have full control over the business side -- including the ability to wipe company data and apps from the machine -- while the user retains control over their personal stuff. This looks like a "have their cake and eat it, too" feature. I look forward to seeing it work.

By the way, with a vetted corporate app store and the right policies in place, you shouldn't need to image a PC ever again. That's something I know a lot of you have been longing for. It might also be wise to look at Microsoft's products in concert again, as opposed to separately. It's increasingly clear that Microsoft is creating familial relationships between products again, as opposed to the product silos that defined the last 15 years or so. That may change your approach to deployments going forward.

Windows 10 significantly improves biometrics, too, spanning the traditional fingerprint readers as well as both facial and iris recognition. Passwords aren't working; we need to aggressively move to something that's convenient and difficult to spoof, and Windows 10 appears to make this step.

Finally, modern device management -- which I expect to get confusing, given the acronym -- speaks to building a single dashboard for all of your user devices, be they PCs, tablets or phones. Don't expect Microsoft to be homogenous with this, given its past moves. This could be a decent alternative to the mess of tools you currently use.  


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