January 21, 2015 12:19 pm

Windows 10: An Exciting New Chapter

On September 30th we introduced the first chapter of our Windows 10 story, talking about the many ways Windows 10 is great for business. Today, from an event at our headquarters in Redmond, Wash., we introduced the next chapter – a more comprehensive view of the Windows 10 experience. And for this blog, I’d like to talk about what some of today’s announcements mean for business customers.

Today we shared new Windows 10 experiences and talked about how Windows 10 will inspire new scenarios across the broadest range of devices – from big screens to small screens to no screens at all. And made additions to the Windows 10 device family that, while exciting for all users, enable some amazing scenarios for businesses. We also outlined a clear vision, for a new era of more personal computing, for everyone – from consumers to IT professionals and business users – to know and love Windows 10.

As Terry Myerson mentioned this morning – Windows 10 will be our best enterprise platform ever – enabling our enterprise customers to be more productive, simplifying management and deployment, working with all of their existing apps, and helping to protect corporate data better than ever. In fact, as Terry said, the hardware-based security of Windows 10 would have countered the techniques used in recent headline-making attacks. I am excited about enterprise capabilities coming to Windows 10 and I am also excited about the innovations we are delivering to consumers. Today we announced a free upgrade to Windows 10 for new or existing Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices, for those customers who upgrade in the first year.* We think that consumers will be thrilled about this news. For enterprise customers and partners, we will continue to deliver exclusive value and offer extensive flexibility in how Windows 10 is deployed and managed as Windows evolves to become a service. For companies that require these enterprise-grade capabilities, Windows Software Assurance (SA) will continue to offer the best and most comprehensive benefits.

Windows 10 helps keep customers more secure and up to date

We understand that businesses require choice in how updates are delivered, and at what pace. So as I discussed on September 30th, with Windows 10, businesses will be able to pick the speed of innovation that is right for each group of their users, rather than rely on a one size fits all solution.

Business customers will be able to opt-in to the fast-moving consumer update pace, or lock-down mission critical environments to receive only security and critical updates to their systems. And businesses will have an additional option for systems that aren’t mission critical, but need to keep pace with the latest innovations while having the benefit to install updates after they have been tested in the broad market. And the choice isn’t one or the other for businesses; we expect that most corporations will require a mix of these options to accommodate their business scenarios. Take for example an investment bank, where mission critical systems on the trading floor receive only security updates, whereas mobile devices for financial advisors are kept up to date with the latest feature innovations – enabling the appropriate pace of updates for each device.

We look forward to our continued conversation with enterprise customers and partners on how we can help them stay secure and up to date as we go on this journey together and help our customers take advantage of the latest innovation at a pace that is right for them.

An improved browser for business

Also announced today, Windows 10 will feature “Project Spartan,” a new browser that consumers are going to love across all their Windows 10 devices—including the ones they bring to work. It’s built to put the web to work for you; it’s cleaner, smarter, and better at all the things you do online. Windows 10 also includes an improved version of Internet Explorer that’s great for large organizations. It’s more secure than ever, always up-to-date for modern sites, with Enterprise Mode compatibility for existing web apps. Customers on Windows 7 can upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 now to easily migrate to Windows 10 when it becomes available.

New Office for Windows 10

As a part of today’s event, Joe Belfiore showed us a little of what the new Office will be able to do on phones running Windows 10. New Office universal apps on Windows 10 will deliver a touch-first experience across devices. With familiar features for Office, people can create and edit Word documents with ease. New inking features in PowerPoint lets users annotate slides in real time and the new touch-first controls in Excel are an easy and natural way to create and update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development and we’ll have more to share in the coming months.

Welcoming your personal assistant to your PC and tablet

Cortana coming to PCs and tablets was another exciting unveil today. I’m already using Cortana on my phone and continue to be impressed by it. Last week, I needed to get to a teacher, parent conference for my daughter and Cortana reminded me when it was time to leave, taking into account traffic patterns. I’m a big fan of Cortana and I’m excited that soon people will also be able to use it to get things done on their PCs. I’m looking forward to posting more later on the specifics around what it would look like to have Cortana available in a business setting.

Join the Windows Insider Program and try out the next Windows 10 Technical Preview

This is an exciting time for Windows, and I am inspired about all that we have coming for our enterprise customers and partners. If you haven’t done so already, I hope you’ll join the Windows Insider Program and download the next Windows 10 Technical Preview, when it’s available. In coming weeks, we are looking forward to reaching out again to show you some of the great new enterprise features as they make it into the product preview builds. Stay tuned! In the meantime, let us know what you think via the Windows Feedback app directly within the product. With your feedback, we’re confident that together we’ll make this the best release of Windows for our enterprise customers and partners.

The Windows 10 for Business blog series

 *Hardware and software requirements apply. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details at http://www.windows.com.

Updated January 21, 2015 3:32 pm