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Windows 10 migration a low priority for some CIOs

Clint Boulton | July 21, 2016
Microsoft is urging consumers and businesses alike to upgrade to its new operating system, but why are some CIOs standing pat for now?

Brian Long, CIO of aerospace parts provider Pattonair, says Windows 10's capability to run on any device is the "the right platform" for companies moving to the cloud. Even so, only 50 of Pattonair's 950 employees are piloting Windows 10. Long says he wants to move the company from Microsoft Outlook and Exchange to Office 365 first, which he says will ultimately make the transition and upgrade to Windows 10 more smooth. Long, who uses Windows 10 on his own PC, is looking forward to both moves. "I'm quite pleased with [Windows 10,] Long says.

Windows 10 will become the 'new enterprise standard'

Microsoft said last month that Windows 10 is running on more than 350 million devices, although most of that headcount comprises consumer devices.

Forrester Research analyst JP Gownder says that large financial services and healthcare firms that tend to standardize on PCs and bar unauthorized devices are implementing the software. Windows 10 includes built-in containerization and other security features that appeal to CIOs. As part of a so-called anniversary update next month, Microsoft plans to add new security capabilities and a feature called Windows Ink that lets you annotate documents with a digital stylus. "Windows 10 will become the new enterprise standard," Gownder says.

CIOs contemplating the switch can also take comfort in the fact that upgrading is much smoother than past OS migrations. Most enterprises spent two years testing and remediating apps and training staff for Windows 10, whose security and management tools had evolved drastically in the eight years since Microsoft launched Windows XP, according to a Gartner report published in April. Gartner analyst Stephen Kleynhans, who wrote the report, says he expects most organizations will be able to move from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 in roughly six to nine months.

Windows 10, the malware threat?

It would behoove Microsoft to proceed with caution after the company started a furor earlier this year. It angered users by promoting its software in such a way that it resembled malware, spurring so many complaints that the company backtracked and corrected the misstep.

Customers whose computers ran earlier versions of Windows received pop-up alerts offering a free upgrade. Many who clicked a red "X" in the top right corner of the alert box -- a move they believed would allow them to dismiss the upgrade alert -- actually triggered the upgrade instead. Last month, Microsoft changed tacks, enabling you to dismiss the alert box by clicking the red X and elect to upgrade right away, upgrade later, or decline the offer.

That gaffe aside, Forrester’sGownder says that 2017 will be a big year for Windows 10 migrations as companies recognize that Microsoft has made it easier than ever to test, configure and synchronize business apps from SAP, Oracle and other vendors. "It does promise to be a less stressful, challenging and fragmented experience than in the past," says Gownder. "CIOs have fewer things to worry about."


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