Windows 10: Is it worth the hype?

The soft launch for Windows 10 has now officially been introduced to market. In a previous post, we highlighted the anticipated elements to be released. It’s clear that many of the features have been predominantly geared towards the consumer market, and there are still several key updates required to make it viable to  businesses.

According to Gartner, the adoption timeline for business is Q3 2016. Still to be resolved in future releases are the following points:

  • OneDrive Sync issues
  • Security and stability updates to core Windows 10 services
  • Update branches for business and enterprise customers are not entirely clear at this point
  • As well as Office 2016 which will not launch until Fall 2015

Here’s what else we noticed after updating to Windows 10

1. In an attempt to appeal to a younger crowd, gaming elements have been embedded in Windows 10:

  • Cortana virtual assistant brought over from the HALO video game
  • Xbox button integration that lets you see what your gaming friends are up to
  • Any Xbox game can be streamed to your Windows 10 desktop PC, laptop or tablet

2. Microsoft learned from Apple and:

  • Offered Windows 10 for free to users running Windows 7 or greater, within 1st year of availability (excludes Windows 7, 8,8.1 Enterprise editions and Windows RT/RT 8.1)
  • Notifications show up in Task View just like on Mac OS X

3. They took a page from Linux distributions and:

  • Offered different update branches depending on use cases (consumer, business, enterprise). For instance, Current Branch, Current Branch for Business and Long-Term Servicing Branch allows for varying degrees of new features / innovations to be rolled out.

4. They’ve taken a new approach to Consumers:

  • Current Branch (CB): Automatic updates are pushed via Windows Update to devices running Windows 10 Home, or any device updated via the Free Upgrade that Microsoft advertises to consumers. Updates can be delayed for a very limited period of time, but security fixes cannot and must be installed automatically.

5. There is a new approach to business and enterprise customers as well:

  • Current Branch for Business (CBB) – Allows businesses to delay innovation updates by up to 90 days so they can be thoroughly tested in the market. Updates are pushed via Windows Update for Business (WUB) which is a brand new service.
  • Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)- Allows businesses to opt out of receiving new features for the duration of mainstream support (5 years) and extended support (5 years). Organizations can choose to delay the updates. If they do so, they will receive only security updates and critical fixes via Windows Update for Business (WUB) or System Center / WSUS. LTSB branches (updates) will be released periodically (2-3 years), including new features, but less often than CBB releases.

The timing and details of many of the above items  may change as more information becomes available from Microsoft. We will continue to communicate these amendments as they trickle in. If your interested in a more in-depth analysis of these key feature changes, have a look here.