The time for change was apparent. And not just the kind of changes Microsoft announced in August. Windows was due for something big, especially for businesses, where Microsoft promises to make things better in the Windows world.
Microsoft debuted Windows 10 yesterday, jumping from Windows 8.1 and skipping over the rumored release of Windows 9.
Why make such a jump? Who knows?
In reality, this may have been kinda like a step-back in time. Al Gillen, program vice president of servers and system software for the IDC, told CMSWire he was very happy to see in Windows 10 the integration between the modern UI and the Windows 7 shell.
"I think this was a reflection of the magnitude of change that is going into the produce," Gillen told CMSWire of the move to "10". "Microsoft also realizes that it needs to clearly differentiate from Windows 8."
That Big a Deal?
We admit we're having fun with the name change, but is the naming here that important? Gillen says no.
"In the end, it’s a name, so whatever Microsoft chooses to go with is what the product will be called," he added.
Gillen also noted that Microsoft has changed philosophies three times in the past 15 years: Windows 95/98/2000 (years), Windows XP, Vista (reflective of experience), Windows 7/8 (product version number).
Microsoft didn't give away all the goods of Windows 10 to enterprises. It plans a technical preview later in the month, according to a blog post from Jim Alkove, leader of the Windows enterprise program management team. He said the team expects more updates later as well.
"Windows 10 will be our greatest platform ever for organizations and their employees," Alkove promised. "There are several reasons that business customers in particular should take notice of Windows 10. It’s not just more familiar from a user experience standpoint."
Windows 10's business-geared features include enterprise-grade security, identity and information protection features.
"We’ve simplified management and deployment to help lower costs, including in-place upgrades from Windows 7 or 8 that are focused on making device wipe-and-reload scenarios obsolete," Alkove said.
Microsoft is also pushing a unified experience across devices. "Windows 10 even scales to industry and ruggedized devices, purpose-built industry solutions, small foot print devices (Internet of Things) and all the way up to 85” touch-screen conference room displays," Alkove said.
The Start menu experience of Windows 7 has been expanded, providing one-click access to the functions and files.
"Windows 10 enhances existing productivity features like Snap," Alkove said. "We also bridged the gap between the touch-optimized tablet experience and the mouse and keyboard experience by allowing modern apps to run in a window on the desktop – resulting in modern apps seamlessly co-existing in the desktop space alongside desktop apps."
So what has Windows' track record been for business use -- its strengths and weaknesses?
"Windows 7 has been well received by businesses," Gillen said. "Windows 8 was very much touch-oriented, so much so that it was arguably an over-rotation away from keyboard and mouse use paradigms. The company is finding a better balance with Windows 10."
For the corporate desktop, Microsoft has competitors, but they are all arguably small, even Apple, Gillen told CMSWire. Microsoft shipments are still in the 85-plus percent share of new PCs, he added.
"The company needs to leverage its strength in Windows desktops to help it compete in adjacent spaces like tablets," Gillen said.
So will they have success with businesses with Windows 10?
"It is early to predict," Gillen said, "but we see it as gaining far more adoption than Windows 8, which was mostly bypassed by businesses."