The question to upgrade to a new operating system for any organization has far reaching impact to not only IT staff, but also to all of your users. There are always risks, the cost of support and the potential loss of productivity for the organization. With that said, should you take the time to evaluate Windows 10? I would recommend it as there are some very specific features and enhancements that are targeted at business users to increase productivity, performance and security.
Some of the most obvious improvements to Windows 10 are within the user experience. Most notable is the inclusion of the Start Menu. Bringing back the familiar method to access applications, documents and folders is crucial for most current Windows 7 users. The Start Menu as well as Explorer have received an overhaul to provide quicker application access, for both desktop and laptop/tablet users. The learning curve for most users is minimal, and the OS is very intuitive thereby allowing staff to get working quickly.
Further within Windows 10 there are other productivity enhancements. Cortana, a digital assistant, is integrated into the OS to help streamline searches both locally, within applications and documents, and for Internet sourcing. Cortana can be used with the keyboard/mouse or even using voice recognition, which will be helpful for mobile or accessibility scenarios.
The days of Internet Explorer, the workhorse of many organizations, are coming to an end. Windows 10 includes a new browser that uses the latest Internet standards and removes a lot of legacy features linked to performance issues. Microsoft Edge is more open and faster, allowing it to compete with or exceed some of the other standard browsers. Edge is also more secure than IE, reducing the security footprint and helping to protect users from phishing and malware exploits. Internet Explorer is still available for legacy websites, but most users should be migrating to Edge.
With an increasingly mobile workforce and the constant threat of losing sensitive personal information, now – more than ever – security is top of mind. Windows 10, out of the box, is more secure than Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows 10 includes enhancements to the login process using biometrics, such as fingerprint, retina and facial scanners via a new feature called Hello. Hello uses supported hardware to provide auto logon when a user swipes a finger or sits in front of a computer with a webcam. Hello has the potential to reduce all the time spent entering passwords, users just sit down and Windows will recognize their face and log them in.
Windows 10 is designed to accommodate all user types, even those in a mobile environment where security can be especially challenging. Consider mobile users who don’t work well when their computer is joined to a domain, but are unable to reach the internal network. For this, Windows 10 allows login credentials from Azure Active Directory (AD) to be used.
For users who are on Office 365 or use the endless number of SaaS applications, Azure AD can be used as the single sign-on or same sign-on source from a single user account. The user and device account can still be managed from on-premises Active Directory, but the user can authenticate from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection. This will reduce the number of usernames and passwords to be managed and drastically improve security.
Regardless of your users or their devices, Windows 10 has some significant features that will help staffers get more work done while being more secure. CDW can help you evaluate and deploy Windows 10. Learn more about Windows 10 via BizTech magazine and from the CDW Solutions Blog.