If you’re like me, you were appalled with what Microsoft did with Windows 8.
The elimination of the Start Menu, a mainstay since the earliest days of Windows, in favor of a tablet-like, tiled interface that forced mobility onto users that weren’t actually on the go? No thanks. If I were Microsoft, I would have skipped right over the 9 and gone for the 10, too.
Which is why with the release of Windows 10 shortly upon us, I was intrigued to see if there really was a light at the end of the title, especially for enterprises reluctant to go beyond 7. And I couldn’t think of anyone better than our resident technology expert, Jim Rapoza, Senior Research Analyst of Information Technology here at Aberdeen, for some quick thoughts on the new OS.
Jim has been running the OS for several months now, so I sat down with him for his thoughts on whether this finally is the OS enterprises have been waiting for (and whether I can finally breathe easy again after 8).
TechPro: You’ve spent some time with Windows 10. What’s the one item IT managers should be most excited about (or disappointed in) in this iteration of the OS?
Jim Rapoza: Probably the biggest thing that IT should be excited about isn’t a new feature or capability at all. If everything goes according to plan, Windows 10 could be the last standalone new version of Windows. Microsoft has said the plan is to become more like mobile operating systems and have Windows become a system that is constantly growing and upgrading. Apple has already gone this way with the Mac, so it is pretty much the way things are going.
TechPro: For those reluctant IT managers electing not to push Windows 8 upon their users, will Windows 10 be THE upgrade they have been waiting for?
JR: I’m actually in the camp that, once it got to Windows 8.1, it wasn’t bad at all. I do think if you’re investing at all in new systems, though, moving to Windows 10 is a no-brainer.
TechPro: Are BYOD policies going to increase with tablets taking advantage of the enhanced mobile experience in Windows 10?
JR: It could actually go the other way. There has been some recent pushback on BYOD, with some organizations moving either to Choose Your Own Device or going completely back to company-provisioned devices. As Windows 10 blurs the lines between mobile and desktop, and especially tablet and laptop — the Surface and similar 2-in-1 devices are in this category — we could see this move away from BYOD accelerate, at least in some businesses.
TechPro: Is there any chance Edge (the IE successor) actually takes off, or should Microsoft quit it already with trying their hand at browsers?
JR: Edge is not bad at all — it’s easily the best Microsoft browser since the early days when they were competing with Netscape. It’s lightweight, and pretty much stays out of your way, which I appreciate in a browser. Pages look and respond the way they should — something you can’t always say with Internet Explorer (IE). And I like the integration with Cortana, which I find to be among the better virtual assistants out there.
I don’t think it will necessarily supplant Chrome and Firefox. However, it will no longer be the “don’t use for any reason, ever!” issue that IE had become. So becoming a perfectly acceptable browser alone would be a big step up for Edge.
For information on what to expect if you’re making the upgrade to 10 on older hardware, check out our free report, “Is Your Server Hardware Ready for a Windows Server Upgrade?”