Windows 10 Is Coming To Your Work: Resistance Is Futile

Most Australian IT organisations are gagging to get on Windows 10 with only five per cent adamant they will not be upgrading to the new OS, a new Tech Research Asia study has revealed. If your business is boarding the early Windows 10 hype train, here are some facts that employees and managers need to be aware of.

The research firm, on behalf of Microsoft, surveyed 301 business decision makers across the SMB and big enterprise segments. Approximately 90 per cent of respondents said they will be moving to Windows 10, with 75 per cent planning to do so in the next 12 months. Just under five per cent are still unsure with another five per cent putting their foot down and refusing to upgrade.

What is a bit surprising about the results is just how willing the larger end of town are to jump onboard Windows 10 given that enterprises are traditionally risk averse and slow to adopt new technologies. In fact, results were relatively consistent across business of all sizes and different industries.

It seems like Windows 10 is kicking off a spending spree for organisations as well. The survey showed that out of the businesses planning to upgrade within 12 months, 46 per cent will be buying more PCs. Windows 10's cross platform capabilities is also spurring companies to buy more smartphones and tablets as well as driving uptake in cloud services, mobile device management solutions and other complementary offerings, the research revealed.

Enthusiasm for Windows 10 in the consumer market definitely plays a part in organisations opening their arms to Windows 10, according to systems integrator, Thomas Dureya Consulting.

"IT departments are being driven by their IT users, so Microsoft was clever in making the Windows 10 upgrade free to home users because what that's doing is driving adoption into the enterprise," the firm's national general manager, Michael Chanter, said at a Windows 10 media event. "People are using it at home and are enjoying the experience and they want to see a consistency in the office of what they're doing [at home]."

Chanter claimed to have experienced first-hand the wave of interest in the new OS from hundreds of his customers.

Fools rush in?

So what are the concerns of that 10 per cent of businesses that are either unsure about Windows 10 or are refusing to consider it? Cost associated with upgrading, such as hardware refresh, and compatibility with existing work applications were the two main concerns.

Application compatibility doesn’t seem to be scaring most organisations off as many of the respondents viewed Windows 10 as a mature operating system given it has already gone through multiple iterations and have been tested in advance through the Windows insider program.

"It isn’t a system that has just been developed and just been released," Makita Australia assistant IT manger, Shaun Adams, said at the media event. His company is going through the upgrade process. Adams noted that, unlike its predecessors, Windows 10 involved an active development program that involved user feedback for nine months so a lot of the compatibility concerns that may impact enterprises have likely been addressed.

"It's not as scary going through the upgrade… It is mature at birth, so it's a bit of a Benjamin Button operating system," he said.

While there is an overwhelming enthusiasm for Windows 10 from the business sector, companies should take a step back and make sure they are well-prepared for the rollout process to avoid complications for IT departments and end users.

Analyst firm Gartner recommends organisations that want to shift to Windows 10 to consider the following:

  • Investigate the new security capabilities in Windows 10, and determine how they may impact current enterprise security processes and tools.
  • Investigate Azure Active Directory and plan to implement it as part of a Windows 10 client rollout. This will ensure users get access to all of the OS' functionality.
  • Understand the features exclusive to Windows 10 Enterprise (such as enhanced security, finer grain admin controls and long-term servicing) and factor these into decisions about software assurance.
  • Build a project timeline to complete Windows 10 migrations before the end of 2019. Begin testing and piloting with the OS early in 2016 or sooner.

For testing purposes, Microsoft is actually giving out a free 90 day trial of Windows 10 Enterprise so large organisations can go crazy with the OS for three months without paying a cent.

With so many Australian organisations committee to a Windows 10 deployment, there is a good chance you’ll be using the operating system on your work PC in the near future. You might as well learn how to use it if you don’t already have it at home.

Windows 10 isn’t without its foibles and you can find ways to fix a few of its annoying quirks here. We also have advice on how to tweak the OS to reduce RAM and CPU usage, customising the Windows 10 start menu and how to activate ‘God Mode’.


Comments

    Meanwhile in the public service, we only just got Windows 7. I suspect we'd still be on Windows XP if Microsoft hadn't stopped supporting it.

      Expect to be upgraded in 2025.

      But to be fair, working on Windows 7 isn't that bad! :) Are you using Windows 10 at home yet?

      Wow Windows 7! Consider yourself lucky haha I work IT for one of the biggest gov org's and still stuck on Win XP mate!

      Same here. Thankfully, Windows 7 is pretty great.

      I suspect we'd still be on Windows XP if Microsoft hadn't stopped supporting it.
      Some parts of the federal and state governments are paying MS for support of XP and server 2003

        Yeah, that's been in the news recently. Comments seem to be either "wah wah, later versions of Windows suck because I don't like change, I'm glad they're keeping XP" or "wah wah, so much money wasted keeping an old operating system, could be spent on tax breaks for homeless kittens".

        Actually, now that I think about it, comments by everyone on 'traditional news' websites can be summed up as just 'wah wah'. I really should stop reading the comments, it's depressing watching people who live such good lives still feel the need to see everything around them as Literally Worse Than Hitler.

          The annoying thing about this is that it's entirely likely the government agencies are still running XP to support legacy software that is no longer supported, and doesn't work well in newer operating systems, and rather than spend money on updating that system, they are spending money to support it as-is.
          In 2011 I worked at a large insurance company that did the same thing - maintained XP because of of IE6 (IE8 then 9 were current), which was required by some software that they used that didn't work in IE7 or up.
          They would then go out of their way to pay other developers to (and only choosing parties that could) ensure backwards integration with IE6.

            I don't doubt that's the reason. But for the amount of money thrown at Microsoft to keep XP running they could probably contract another company to build a bespoke replacement for their legacy software that works better and isn't stuck on a 14 year old OS.

      Like others, we have quite a few machines around still on XP. I'm assuming .gov has paid for extended support as those machines are WAN exposed and the previous AV contract expired (we're now on M$ proprietary).

      I'm not fussed about migrating to Win10 with any urgency as Win7 is competent and well within support lifespan. However, I wish they'd update us to IE11. It's very frustrating being stuck on IE8 as many websites don't render to the point of being unusable. Although this is nothing by comparison to the XP workstations, some of which still run IE6.

    The upgrade hasn't been entirely smooth in my workplace, beginning with the ever helpful "Something happened: something happened" error messages and then Windows 10 randomly dropping support for an, admittedly outdated, graphics card that worked fine under 8.1 (the hardware check showed no issues with this prior to performing the upgrade). 2 PCs down, 20 to go.

      I'm looking to put together a feature on Win10 rollout experiences of different businesses. Would love to hear more. Feel free to drop me an email!

      I noticed the "Something Happened" error a couple times when trying to download the upgrade files.
      Windows update has to be running under an admin account. So just launching the upgrade process from a user account and then running as admin won't work.

        I was logged into an admin account to do the upgrade, the issue has something to do with the system locale when using EN-AU. Found this solution (https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/3ezp5j/something_happened_during_my_windows_10/) then ran the manual upgrade tool from the MS site. Only downside is the installation files downloaded twice.

        Had the same issue and used the same fix on my home PC as well.

    Why would any business be jumping into this when the management tools aren't out yet?

      This is a good point. I think server 2016, service release one (SR1), and the long term support branch are what businesses are most excited about. They can finally have their never (slowly) changing configuration.

    they are gagging because they got shafted on windows 8, and thus have no real choice in the matter

    Still maintaining a windows NT server here...
    Mind you it hasn't had a reboot in nearly 3 years now.

      My last workplace went from DOS terminals to WinXP. That was a loooooong upgrade. Food processing so the new system had to track basically from harvest location to individual package.

    Hahaha... ha.... maybe in 10 years.

    We've just started rolling out 8.1 and after the first batch of upgrades and headaches there is a rumor flying around that the brakes have been put on for for another 6 months while they sort it out.

    It might take a while for some. We are supplied Cisco VPN Client to tunnel in (even though it's been EOL for quite a while). It works (clunkily albeit functionally) on Win7 but is thoroughly borked on Win10.

    From looking around on Google, it's clear we're not the only ones. So unless .gov IT forks out to upgrade everything, we'll be on Win7.

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