Microsoft Readies Windows 10 for Business
The first major update of the OS focuses on enterprise enhancements.
Windows 10 has done well in the consumer world, with solid reviews and broad acceptance by the public. Now Microsoft is working to get business as enthusiastic about it.
The next step in that effort happened last week, when Microsoft began rolling out the first major
update to its Windows 10 operating system, effectively declaring it ready
for enterprise deployment.
The new update includes a number of usability improvements
to Windows 10 including a boost in performance and added features to components
of the OS including Cortana and the Edge browser. It also marks the launch of
the Windows Store for Business.
The November Update, as Microsoft describes it, is critical
for those considering rolling Windows 10 for businesses, said Terry Myerson,
executive VP of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, in a
blog post announcing the release. Also known as Version 1511, the update is
available on MSDN.
"With this update, there are improvements in all aspects of
the platform and experience, including thousands of partners updating their
device drivers and applications for great Windows 10 compatibility," Myerson
said. "Windows 10 also starts rolling out to Xbox One today and select mobile
phones soon. But most importantly, with this free update we have reached the
point in the platform's maturity where we can confidently recommend Windows 10
deployment to whole organizations."
While Myerson claimed that the
update offers improved performance and boot time, he underscored that with this
release Windows 10 is now ready for enterprises thanks to the availability of
Windows Store for Business and Windows Update for Business.
"Windows Store for Business provides IT a flexible way to
find, acquire, manage and distribute apps to Windows 10 devices -- both Windows
Store apps and custom line of business apps," Myerson said. "Organizations can
choose their preferred distribution method by directly assigning apps,
publishing apps to a private store or connecting with management solutions."
reported last week, the Windows Store for Business will be critical to
enterprises looking to deploy their own custom-developed Universal Windows apps
that aren't in the general Windows Store and enable private stores and
application license management.
Meanwhile, Microsoft claims that Windows Update for Business will add management controls for IT pros. For instance, they can set up Windows 10 device groups for end users with staged deployments.
The Windows 10 update also includes support for mobile
device management and Azure Active Directory Join, allowing users to have one
login, while allowing administrators to join any Windows 10 device to an
The update now lets users turn off telemetry data, though
Microsoft recommends against doing so. Not included in this update but "coming
soon," according to Myerson, is enterprise data protection, allowing
organizations to segregate enterprise data from personal information and
The new features added to Cortana include the ability to
recognize e-mail addresses and phone numbers, event tracking, the ability to
book rides on Uber (which Microsoft has invested in) and support for additional
countries besides the U.S. including Japan, Australia, Canada and India. The
Microsoft Edge browser also has improved performance, security and preview
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.