The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been out for a few months along with various blogs, articles and presentations. There is a lot out there for both businesses and PC users to digest. Let me give you my Top 10 – not meant to be comprehensive of everything new in Windows 10, just what I find most meaningful. In no particular order:
- The Windows 8.0/8.1 “live tile” UI” is now integrated into the Start Menu which can also be viewed in full screen mode. Two worlds previously toggled via the Windows button become one, resulting in a more familiar user interface.
- When using a 2 in 1 system, Windows 10 optimizes the user interface for either touch or keyboard/mouse input, based on whether your device is in tablet or laptop mode.
- When using a laptop with a precision touchpad, Windows 10 offers new touchpad gestures for navigating through your open apps.
- Systems can be upgraded to Windows 10 directly from Windows 7. The option to skip Win 8.0/8.1 should be very interesting to IT managers everywhere. Of course an upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 is possible but not from Windows 8.0.
- MS Word capabilities are built into Outlook. Now it’s easier to add tables, insert pictures and more. Email is foundational to business productivity and I’m glad folks are looking to continuously improve it.
- Windows Updates – both update type and cadence – can be customized by IT departments based on platform/user type. The needs of the business will dictate which updates get pushed when to which systems.
- Windows 10 offers a more secure browser with enhanced support for modern sites as well as compatibility for legacy enterprise web pages and apps.
- Windows 10 offers expanded and improved device management choices including Microsoft Active Directory, Azure Active Directory, Group Policy, SCCM and improved MDM support. MDM support began with Windows 8.1, enabling IT to manage Windows PCs the same way they manage mobile devices. However with Windows 10 this MDM capability offers improvements in enterprise data protection, remote wiping for lost devices and even full control over the Windows Store among other features.
- Speaking of the Windows Store, Microsoft is offering a web-based portal so organizations can acquire apps and then distribute them within their Windows 10 user base. It is even possible for a company to create their own private section within the Windows Store, making public and private apps easier to find so users can customize devices as directed by IT.
- And finally, for added security Windows 10 is adding a feature called Windows Hello, which incorporates multifactor authentication (ex: biometric data) into the login process.
Look for more information this summer as the production version of the OS is released and businesses spend more cycles testing their applications and IT images. Windows 10 coupled with Intel-based platforms is going to be a very compelling computing solution.