Finally: What businesses have been expecting for over a decade.
In releasing more information about the business side of Windows 10 review this week, Microsoft has officially begun to step out of the shadow of its Vista and Windows 8 failures and has begun to seriously address security and business productivity issues that have been plaguing the Windows desktop platform since Microsoft last took a serious stab at them back in 2003.
Take a look at some of the recently announced business-aware features coming to Windows 10: (Link at the bottom)
At every turn I’m seeing concerns we’ve had for years being reborn in new Windows 10 features such as: (not a complete list)
Windows Business Update Domain level program access controls Advanced software provisioning Integrated biometrics authentication support that takes on many of the weaknesses biometrics have suffered over the years Managed domain-wide encryption Information (read document & cut/paste) security controls and auditing features integrating social media concerns; features that used to only come from 3rd party vendors costing tens of thousands of dollars to deploy and maintain. And these span across both desktop and mobile device landscapes.
Over the past ten years, barring there has really been only one success story to come out of Microsoft: The performance and functionality improvements that are a part of its Server 2012 and R2 product. These improvement overshadowed the inexplicable presence of the metro interface within a business server platform and brought a lot of productivity and performance advances that were greatly needed.
Windows Server 2012 R2 was the first major step out of the quagmire created by the failed Vista and 8-8.1 desktop fiascos, and in the workstation arena, nothing Microsoft has attempted since XP has impressed me much until now.
I have never been a cheerleader for Microsoft, even though my career revolves primarily upon repairing maintaining and managing Windows based environments. In the past, Microsoft has tended to take leaps of creative judgment which involve several attempts at forcing business customers to adapt into a retail-only OS architecture; shoving business users into environments that hurt, rather than helped their productivity and function.
I’ve been reviewing Windows 10 for some time now; taking in the return of the start menu and getting to know the look and feel, and while I still pine away nostalgically for the simple “All programs list” and continue to wonder why the metro interface is still poking it’s head into a place (my own opinion) where it doesn’t belong, the functional and usability improvements over the Windows 8 series are dramatic. Sure it takes a bit of getting used to, but there is enough of a Windows 7 look and feel to it that I can finally see pushing this out to an enterprise user base without causing massive headaches for everyone involved.
I eagerly await how the actual delivery of these features turns out, but this very well could be the turning point that takes the public scorn of Vista and 8-8.1 out of the public consciousness and replaces it with something business users and managers have been anxiously awaiting over a decade. It looks like this time around Microsoft has shed it’s manic need to manipulate its customers into it’s own vision of the future and has re-focussed intently upon delivering real added value where it’s needed the most: Business users.