The day we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. That's right, after months of build-up, it's Windows 10 launch day!
Microsoft's new and improved operating system has generated a huge amount of excitement in recent weeks, garnering a generally positive reaction from those who tried out the pre-release builds, with a new start menu, Cortana integration and Microsoft Edge taking centre stage.
But what does the release mean for the industry, the enterprise and for consumers? Several industry professionals have been on hand to offer their thoughts on Windows 10.
Shaun Ward, Practice Lead for Business Productivity, Trustmarque
“Windows 10 will significantly reduce the compatibility issues that we saw when users migrated from Windows 7 to 8, because it has been designed with a common underlying architecture across all devices. As such, applications will no longer need to be developed specifically for different platforms – saving considerable time and resources.
"With Microsoft Edge, businesses will also have increased security, through what Microsoft are touting as the most secure browser available. As a converged platform, Windows 10 is designed to reduce the management burden for IT departments – and from the demonstrations that we’ve given, the reactions have been very positive.
"The most anticipated feature by far is the return of the ‘Start’ menu. After the intense dislike of the Windows 8 ‘tile’ option, this is welcome news. Microsoft has clearly been listening to user feedback and addressed areas that businesses, IT departments and developers had complained about with Windows 8, and the early reactions show progress has been made."
Paul Veitch, Head of Application Development and Cloud, Avanade UK
"Windows 10 is a leap forward towards the era of personalised computing and in helping businesses in their journey toward a high-performance digital workplace. Enterprises are accelerating their efforts to implement digital workplaces that enable new and more powerful ways to work, anywhere, any time and on any device. Windows 10 represents a step towards smarter technology, with deeper integration alongside a more seamless experience across devices. Its features and capabilities more fully enable a high-performance digital workplace, helping to increase workforce productivity, security and user self-service options to ultimately provide better employee engagement.
"Forward-thinking businesses will be harnessing Windows 10 to create a revolutionary digital workplace that engages employees - an environment that integrates social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing in an intelligent context that is tailored to the employee, similar to the experience they receive in their personal lives from consumer devices.
"Windows 10 acts as building blocks towards a smarter way of working that allows users to focus on their tasks instead of working to get information and their applications onto a plethora of devices, this ultimately allows them to be more productive. We’re all doing more with less time, and with the line of our professional and personal lives blurring, we should be actively seeking out tools that allow us to live and work in an intelligent and flexible way.
"Businesses must evaluate Windows 10 in their environment and see what its modern services and capabilities can do for them and their employees. Today businesses are starting to empower their teams to be more proactive, and have the tools and ability to change and shift to take advantage of the next generation of technology, devices and services as they rapidly evolve.
"I’m personally excited to see how the new capabilities and opportunities of Windows 10 will be used by businesses to revolutionise the workplace for the next generation of workers, and how the barriers they face now will be rapidly eliminated. Those however that miss this opportunity, are at risk of falling behind the overall shift toward a digital workplace and the benefits that go with it."
Matthew Aldridge, Solutions Architect at cybersecurity firm Webroot
“The release of Windows 10 brings a number of security upgrades that look good on paper, but as with all new products to market, it is advisable that organisations carefully plan any upgrades. Thorough testing of all applications and use cases will help mitigate compatibility issues and allow time for the inevitable bugs to be fixed, therefore reducing the risk to the organisation.
“The Identity Protection and Access Control feature is likely to make a big difference to all users as it brings two-factor authentication to the masses. This update means that attackers would need access to a user’s device as well as the user’s password or even fingerprint to achieve successful authentication.
“Microsoft has clearly considered the rise in BYOD by introducing the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) feature. Through enabling the containerisation of applications and encryption of corporate data as soon as it arrives on the device, it is far harder for sensitive company information to fall into the wrong hands, whether this is by accident or through a targeted attack. Application-specific VPN connectivity is also a huge step forward in reducing risk exposure on compromised devices.
“Although the capability of whitelisting applications has existed in Windows for many years, Microsoft is finally embracing this and are giving IT administrators the tools they need to achieve a real-world corporate application whitelisting deployment
"This single step could almost eradicate the risk of infection through standalone malware executables, leaving only highly advanced attack vectors remaining for exploitation."
Helen Lamb, Executive Director, Managed Infrastructure Services for UK & I, Fujitsu
"It’s finally here - the much anticipated launch of Windows 10. This is the first release since Windows XP that is generating excitement amongst customers. Why? To start it means the end of large scale desktop migrations. Customers want to take an ‘evergreen’ approach to their workplace technologies and with Windows 10, this vision can be fully realised. Windows 10 promises to blend the ease of use associated with consumer IT with Enterprise management offering an ongoing ‘evergreen’ experience.
"Within the modern workplace we are seeing the longstanding boundaries of corporate IT being serially tested. The consumerisation of IT and the incremental creep of ‘shadow IT’ have left their mark on IT departments. Communities of end users call for IT that will enable them to be more productive on the move.
"When you add the emerging role of Big Data and Analytics to enterprise operations, it’s easy to see how just giving everyone a smartphone or tablet no longer satisfies the demand for a mobile workplace. This is a transformational time for businesses and with Windows 10 we are making move towards a true, “always on”, mobile workplace."