As Terry shared, Windows 10 is available in 190 countries beginning today. This is a significant milestone we reached together, as more than 5 million Windows Insiders, 30% of them IT Pros, provided us with feedback and helped us build the best Windows ever.
We’re excited to begin to make Windows 10 available today to all of our customers. As we’ve shared, Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro are available for business customers as a free* upgrade for genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets. Enterprises and organizations who have Volume Licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education starting on August 1. More details about Windows 10 editions can be found here.
Since we introduced Windows 10 last September, it’s been humbling to see customer support and anticipation of Windows 10. We were excited to see recent data from a survey conducted by Spiceworks, an independent IT community, noting that 60% of IT departments surveyed had already evaluated a preview version Windows 10, and 40% plan to adopt Windows 10 within the first year it is released, with 74% of those businesses planning to adopt Windows 10 by 2017. This would make Windows 10 the most quickly deployed version of Windows ever.
Windows 10: Protect your business, delight your employees, and innovate
- Protection against modern cyber threats. We have studied data breach attacks in detail to build features in Windows 10 that protect against modern cyber threats and prevent them from happening. With Windows 10, companies can begin to replace passwords with more secure options, such as biometrics and hardware-based multi-factor credentials. With Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello, people can log into their Windows 10 device or a line of business apps without a password. With Credential Guard, Windows 10 protects corporate identities by containing them in the hardware-based secure execution environment. With Device Guard and Secure Boot, Windows 10 enables companies to help block attacks by only allowing devices to run trusted software. And with Enterprise Data Protection in Windows 10 and Microsoft Azure Rights Management (which is included with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite), we help protect sensitive corporate data by enabling automatic data encryption and cloud-based rights management.
- Managing for continuous innovation. We’ve significantly improved deployment and device management in Windows 10. We offer a unified Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform across all Windows 10 devices, from phones to laptops to IoT devices; and from personal “bring your own” devices to corporate systems, supported by Microsoft Intune as well as 3rd party MDM solutions. Windows 10 can help end “wipe and replace” deployments of the past with streamlined in-place upgrades and high application compatibility. Windows 10 also helps companies power their business with the enterprise strength of the Azure cloud, by providing a seamless way for Windows 10 devices to join their company’s Azure Active Directory (AD) via Azure AD Join. Windows 10 allows businesses to stay secure and up to date with the latest technology, so they can drive innovation in their companies while reducing their infrastructure complexity and management costs.
- Delight their people and help them be more productive. Many IT executives tell me it is crucial that their employees approve of the technology that is rolled out to them. With Windows 10, IT departments have an opportunity to delight their users, and deliver an experience that feels natural and familiar, yet new and modern. Windows 10 delivers a range of new innovations that is more personal and productive. People can interact with a Windows 10 device in any way they want, whether using a mouse and keyboard, touch, pen & ink or voice. With features like Continuum, Windows 10 adapts to each person’s device and task so they get the best experience on every screen. And with Windows 10 experience being so familiar to Windows users, organizations will have little to no user training to undertake to move from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.
- Innovative devices for businesses. Windows 10 allows companies to bring the latest innovation to their existing PC fleet, as well as take advantage of the broad variety of innovative devices (such as 2-in-1s) to support their line of business scenarios. We’re introducing revolutionary new categories of devices (like HoloLens and Surface Hub) that redefine workplace productivity. We expect Windows 10 will enable the broadest range of innovative devices ever – from PCs and phones to Surface Hub and HoloLens.
When we started this journey almost 18 months ago, we heard feedback from enterprise customers that they wanted us to address the migration costs that have been associated with previous OS upgrades. With Windows 10, we believe the combination of support for in-place upgrades, Windows Update for Business and very strong application compatibility deliver what customers have been asking for by addressing both the cost associated with application testing as well as the cost of delivering the updates themselves. This is just one example of how customers helped us deliver better Windows 10 value, addressing the needs of the modern enterprise.
Customers Voicing Support for Windows 10
Customers of all sizes have started to voice their support and plans to adopt Windows 10 in their businesses, including SkyWest, Inc. who is eager to start adopting Windows 10 devices across its airline fleet in the coming months. Jim Jensen, Vice President of Information Technology shared, “Windows 10 provides the security and management we need in a highly regulated environment.”
And Litzky Public Relations, a firm in New Jersey who specializes in children’s toys and products is one of many businesses who has been testing Windows 10 as part of our Windows Insider program. Melissa Winston, their vice president shared, “I am always away from my desk, either helping a client or managing an event. With Windows 10, I know my data is available and protected at all times. It’s also really easy to move back and forth between my tablet, laptop, and desktop PC.”
How can you upgrade your business and get going with Windows 10?
We encourage businesses to start evaluating, piloting and deploying Windows 10 today. IT administrators can test their business applications and start their deployment planning now by downloading and installing the free 90-day Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation. Starting August 1st, our Software Assurance customers can download Windows 10 Enterprise from Microsoft Volume Licensing site.
To support customer piloting and deployment, the latest service packs for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager include support for Windows 10 with existing Configuration Manager features, allowing customers to adopt Windows 10 while using their existing management infrastructure. Customers can also try out System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 2 for an early glimpse of the new functionality that we plan to release in Q4 of this calendar year.
Going forward, as we continue to deliver innovative features on an ongoing basis to customers, all new features will debut first in the Windows Insider Program, giving customers access to features that are on the horizon. To stay current with the most up to date features and security updates, we recommend businesses also enroll their devices into Windows Update for Business.
A huge heartfelt thanks go out to all our customers who have been testing new bits for the past nine months as we developed Windows 10. We’re excited to hear about your Windows 10 deployments and how we can continue to build and improve upon the features that are mission critical to your business. Start your Windows 10 deployment today.
*The free upgrade offer applies to Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Mobile for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. More information about the free upgrade offer can be found at Windows.com