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First look: Microsoft Windows 10

Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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By The Softcat News Team

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Last week Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 10 with the promise of the ‘best enterprise platform ever.’ This week, the Softcat presales team review some of the business focused features included in the new platform.

Microsoft says: Windows 10 helps keep customers more secure and up to date

Business customers will be able to opt-in to the fast-moving consumer update pace, or lock-down mission critical environments to receive only security and critical updates to their systems. And businesses will have an additional option for systems that aren’t mission critical, but need to keep pace with the latest innovations while having the benefit to install updates after they have been tested in the broad market.

Microsoft has also made progress in helping companies protect their business data. While BitLocker helps protects data as it resides on a device, once the data leaves the device it’s no longer protected. With Windows 10 we are able to provide an additional layer of protection using containers and data separation at the application and file level – enabling protection that follows the data wherever it goes.

Softcat says: Microsoft showing their enterprise awareness

Windows 10 is generally expected to be the next enterprise OS to be widely deployed after Windows 7. To this end, Microsoft has made efforts to make it as enterprise friendly as possible. The 2FA using the device as an authentication factor is a great feature, particularly for companies with large laptop and tablet estates, and the sandboxing and signing of applications give a more granular level of control to administrators to reduce the malware attack surface without limiting productivity. Naturally, it all integrates into AD and Azure AD.

Microsoft says: Windows 10 offers one converged Windows platform

Windows 10 delivers one universal app platform, one security model, and one deployment and management approach. With the convergence of our platforms, that unified experience scales across devices. From the small, thin and light – up to the largest and most powerful laptops, desktops and all-in-one PCs. 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.

Softcat says: Microsoft delivers on its ONE Microsoft approach

The ‘One Microsoft’ message really comes to fruition with Win 10, as the unified codebase is deployed across Lumia, Surface, Xbox, Portables and Desktop. From a technical perspective, this is very impressive, but also provides a consistent look and feel across all touch points. It should mean less user training and more consistent user experience no matter what the device profile.

Microsoft says: Windows 10 offers an improved browser for business

Windows 10 will feature “Project Spartan,” a new browser that consumers are going to love across all their Windows 10 devices—including the ones they bring to work. It’s built to put the web to work for you; it’s cleaner, smarter, and better at all the things you do online. Windows 10 also includes an improved version of Internet Explorer that’s great for large organizations. It’s more secure than ever, always up-to-date for modern sites, with Enterprise Mode compatibility for existing web apps.

Softcat says: Spartan marks a clean break from IE and a positive step for business users

Microsoft have steadily been revising IE to try and bring it up to date, but they remain a victim of their own success, hobbling their browser to ensure compatibility with the older IE6 standards. Now, much like their decision to split from the WinCE kernel in mobile, they’ve drawn a line in the sand. Spartan takes some cues from Win8’s popular Metro style IE and others from rival browsers. Under the hood there is a whole new structure, including the EDGE HTML engine, which should help to address HTML5 performance, a common criticism of IE. Given that Chrome eats more memory with each passing release, and Firefox tanks the CPU instead, Spartan is worth a serious look.

Microsoft says: Windows 10 features new Office for Windows 10

New Office universal apps on Windows 10 will deliver a touch-first experience across devices. With familiar features for Office, people can create and edit Word documents with ease. New inking features in PowerPoint lets users annotate slides in real time and the new touch-first controls in Excel are an easy and natural way to create and update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development and Microsoft have more to share in the coming months.

Softcat says: Touch-First, work second

We’re a bit sceptical about the whole ‘touch first’ thing, as we’re not sure how much heavy productivity is done with pure touch. However, with ultrabooks and convertibles becoming more and more popular, the use of touch to replace mouse input is something that needs to be designed for. Details are limited on this, but if office uses the clever ‘continuum’ functionality and moulds its ribbon and input features around the peripherals available. It sounds like it’s going to be another positive step for the venerable productivity suite.

Join the Windows Insider Program and download the Windows 10 Technical Preview for more information on Windows 10 for business.

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