How to head off Microsoft 365 application compatibility issues

Microsoft is taking a number of steps to ensure app compatibility becomes a non-issue with Microsoft

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Recognizing that application compatibility is one of the most important considerations for shifting to a new operating environment, Microsoft has pulled out all of the stops to assuage companies’ concerns for shifting to Microsoft 365

Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise Experiences and Management at Microsoft, acknowledges the importance of addressing compatibility concerns and says Microsoft has done a “massive amount of work” to ensure that Windows 10 is the most compatible upgrade in the company’s history. “The No. 1 cost and concern users have when deploying a new version of Windows is that some number of apps will be incompatible with the new version,” he says.

Microsoft adheres to standard practices for addressing compatibility issues such as working extensively with application partners to resolve problems by updating the app or OS, as well extensive automated application compatibility and integration testing. Microsoft is raising the bar further by leaning into its machine learning models to help detect and resolve compatibility issues. Machine learning determines how potential OS code changes might impact certain apps, helping to catch and address compatibility issues much quicker.

Microsoft also uses its cloud telemetry data and partner feedback to identify the most popular apps in the ecosystem, which it continuously monitors and validates against OS changes to assess potential impact on compatibility. Telemetry signals, combined with analytics-based issue detection, also help to predict potential problems for faster resolution.

The City of Corona has fewer concerns about Windows 10 application compatibility in part because of available analytics tools that automatically identify issues and suggest fixes, according to Chris McMasters, the city’s CIO. Windows as a Service, which delivers relatively small feature updates twice annually, automatically preserves all applications, data, settings, and configurations, and is another tool for minimizing application compatibility concerns, he says.

Microsoft is also mitigating compatibility concerns through Desktop App Assure, a shared risk program in which the company pledges to help remediate compatibility issues free of charge. If organizations encounter an app that won’t run seamlessly with Windows 10, the Desktop App Assure service connects them to a Microsoft FastTrack specialist who will work with them to correct the issue.

Anderson says the program is designed in large part to build confidence in Windows 10 app compatibility, rather than correcting a mounting problem: He claims that only 0.1% of apps evaluated as part of the Desktop App Assure program were found to have compatibility issues, and those have since been resolved.

Application compatibility has historically been a big stumbling block for enterprises pursuing major Windows upgrades. This time around, Microsoft is determined to make app compatibility a non-issue as enterprises shift to Windows 365.

Learn more to plan your shift to Microsoft 365.


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