With the launch of Windows 10 due this week, Microsoft has promised to renew its focus on the enterprise and recover its credibility with businesses following the disaster of Windows 8.
Microsoft is positioning Windows 10 as more than just another OS update. It aims to usher in a 'new generation' of end-user computing with a unified experience across multiple device types - whether on a four inch smartphone or 80 inch conference room displays.
New features announced in recent months, such as the return of the Start menu, are likely to win over end-users, while security and management tools will chime with IT staff.
So should businesses get onboard when Windows 10 Enterprise launches on 1 August? Can Microsoft reach its goal of one billion Windows 10 devices in the next two to three years?
The operating system has been well-received, so far at least. A recent survey of IT execs revealed that 73 percent expect to deploy the software in the next two years.
"Windows was 7 about improving enterprise management and security," says Forrester Research analyst, David Johnson. "Windows 8 was about keeping Microsoft in the tablet game, and Windows 10 is about continuing the prominence of the Windows desktop in the enterprise. And I think it will succeed with that."
Yet Microsoft still faces a battle in wooing large businesses with Windows 10. Despite the new functionality and enhancements such as its universal apps, encouraging businesses to make the move in the first year of launch will be a challenge. While the Windows 10 consumer proposition is clear, "most CIOs will need more convincing before upgrading their organisations' PCs", write Gartner analysts Stephen Kleynhans and Michael Silver in a research note.
A lot has changed since the last time Microsoft gained a wide audience, with the launch of Windows 7 six years ago. Talk of the potential demise of Windows spread after Windows 8 failed to win over businesses. At the same time, the influx of mobile devices in business settings has opened the door for Apple and Google to push their way into the enterprise.
And for those that are keen on rolling out Windows 10, either now or in the future, they face a major project. There are a number of considerations - migrating thousands of PCs is a big deal for any large business, and will require significant planning and investment, something budget-sensitive companies will have at the front of their mind.
Why businesses should take Windows 10 seriously
First, let's take a look at why Microsoft 10 has been garnering admiring glances in the run-up to launch week...
Windows 10: It isn't Windows 8
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