As its first birthday approaches, perhaps it’s time to seriously consider Windows 10?

Posted on Friday, June 03, 2016
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By Lee Latham
Microsoft Public Sector Sales Executive

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One year on and changes to Windows 10 Store may influence the OS edition you chose

We are steadily approaching the one-year anniversary of Microsoft's Windows 10, and already over 300 million devices are using it on a regular basis. Microsoft has offered users a free upgrade to Windows 10 for a whole year, however the opportunity to take advantage will shortly be coming to a close. From the 29th July 2016, the Windows 10 Professional edition will be chargeable, so if you're looking to make the move for personal or corporate devices, now is the time to do so.

Many corporate organisations are yet to get on board with Windows 10 and with the end of the gratis Professional upgrade looming, some will miss the chance to make the change for free.

Windows Store now mandatory with Professional

There is a small snag accompanying the fact that Windows 10 Professional will no longer be free. The function that enables administrators to remove or 'switch off' the Windows 10 Store on their users' devices is being disabled and the Store will soon become a mandatory feature. The Windows 10 Store empowers users by allowing them to download and install productivity enhancing and useful applications that could have a very positive influence on their work; this also opens up the possibility for unwanted distractions and, more importantly, potential issues from unauthorised software installations. Of course, in turn this is likely to create an additional administration burden for IT teams, through vetting applications manually or even remedying problems caused by unwelcomed application conflict

Why you'll love Windows 10 Enterprise

Conversely, the change to Professional does not apply to the Windows 10 Enterprise edition. Instead, this edition of the operating system includes the option to remove the Store feature so that it is no longer available to the user. 

While Windows 10 Enterprise does carry a price premium, Professional will also be chargeable shortly, so for a small increment you'll retain this attractive level of control as well as unlocking a vast array of valuable features and benefits including:

  • Enhanced end user manageability and productivity
  • Desktop encryption software
  • Central management capabilities
  • End user virtualisation for access and identity
  • Proactive maintenance and future-proofing due to the SANS Diagnostic and Recovery Tool (DART)

It's also the same cost to upgrade to Enterprise across any existing Windows OS, even to those who have already taken on the free Professional upgrade.

When should I be considering my upgrade?

There are three ways in which your Windows 10 operating system is typically upgraded, depending on who you are. This controls how you upgrade to the operating system and indeed feature adoption once you have Windows 10. The latter point is particularly important as the Windows product engineering and release cycle has been streamlined so that Microsoft can deliver the upgrades, features, experiences, and functionality customers want, more quickly.

  1. Current Branch (CB) Receive feature upgrades immediately after Microsoft makes them available publicly, so that users gain access to new features, experiences, and functionality as soon as possible. This is most relevant to personal users and public consumers on their own devices, wherein updates and upgrades are completed as the device reboots.
  2. Current Branch for Business (CBB) Defer receiving feature upgrades for a period of approximately four months after Microsoft makes them available publicly, to provide IT administrators with time to perform pre-deployment testing and provide feature upgrades releases with additional time-in-market to mature.
  3. Long-Term Service Branch (LTSB) Receive only servicing updates for the duration of the Windows 10 deployment in order to reduce the number of non-essential changes made to the device. This edition is suited most to enterprises who want maximum control over their environment.

Most organisations will have chosen to adopt either CBB or LTSB. If you're not clear on which upgrade path will be best suited to you then get in touch and one of our Microsoft experts will be ready to help.

Overcome the obstacles to upgrade

It's easy to put off upgrading however, because of perceived obstacles. We hear lots of reasons for putting off upgrade, but probably the most common is the reliance on legacy applications which are 'tied' to older generations of the Windows operating system. In reality it's more than possible to keep using these legacy applications, but have them running on a modern operating system like Windows 10 and even mobilise them across iOS and Android devices too. Talk to us, we'll show you how!

Today, the rapid development of Windows as a platform will inevitably mean organisations need to rethink their upgrade strategies. In the past, many enterprises managed their Windows deployments homogenously, performing large-scale upgrades periodically. However, the faster development cycles and feature-rich experiences offered across multiple devices make a strong case for upgrading to Windows 10 and then keeping a substantial portion of your device base up to date with the most current release of Windows.

Choosing the right software edition, adopting the best servicing option and building a plan for migration need not be a daunting prospect. Windows 10 has the potential to impact your business for the better and our highly experienced Microsoft Licensing Consultants will work with you to get the most out of the upgrade.

Find out more

To learn more about the Windows 10 upgrade or to find out further details about the Professional and Enterprise options, speak to your Account Manager or get in touch using the form below.

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