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Windows 10: Pros and cons for enterprise - why your business should move to Windows 10

Matthew Finnegan | July 29, 2015
Windows 10 launches this week - but can Microsoft learn from the mistakes of Windows 8?

A big draw for businesses from an end-user perspective is that Windows 10 attempts to right some of the wrongs of its predecessor.

This is most evident with the user interface. Microsoft has clearly gone back to the much-loved Windows 7 for inspiration. While there are some modern touches and nods to Windows 8, the desktop will be much more familiar to most users. Gone are the full-screen apps and touch-optimised 'Live Tiles' of Windows 8 - forced on users regardless of whether they were using a tablet or not - and instead we have the return of the Start button, plus resizable Windows Store apps which behave more like traditional Windows applications.

Microsoft appears to be doing a good job of targeting everyday use on desktops, as well as providing the same experience across multiple devices.

Although not a reason to upgrade in themselves, these features will be welcomed by users, while the familiarity will smooth the transition for IT support staff.

"Employee engagement is super-important to organisations: happy chickens lay more eggs," says Ovum analyst Richard Edwards. "Productivity is linked with how happy your employees are, and the end-user computing environment is an important factor in that."

Other features include a revamped Internet Explorer -- renamed Edge, an enhanced search function, while the Cortana personal assistant makes an appearance on the desktop for the first time.

Windows 10: Improved security and management

But the biggest news for IT staff are the improvements around security and management.

New identity management capabilities will be provided with Windows 10 offering Active Directory access via the Azure cloud. This will reduce reliance on additional passwords when moving between desktop accounts and cloud services such as Office 365 and the Windows Store.

Managing mobile will be easier too: with the universal app model, Microsoft wants to support Windows 10 being deployed on the variety of mobile devices.

With this in mind it has beefed up its mobile device management (MDM) capabilities, building on the bring your own device features of Windows 8 to also manage corporate-owned devices. It also means "supporting Enterprise Data Protection policies, support for managing multiple users, full control over the Windows Store, VPN configuration, full device wipe capabilities" according to Microsoft.

New features are likely to be announced in coming months too.

Security has also been high on the agenda. Forrester's David Johnson says: "Microsoft is fundamentally improving security at the OS and hardware level. It has done a really good job implementing all the security features that companies like Intel can provide."

For example, Windows Hello will offer biometric authentication, two-step authentication with Passport, while Device Guard will improve defences against Advanced Persistent Threats.


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