As your IT service desk is hard at work delivering great service to customers today, you might not be thinking about what your help tickets might look like a year from now.
It didn’t take long for the announcement of Windows 10 (and the conspicuous absence of even the mention of “Windows 9”) to prompt jokes about Microsoft’s new direction with the operating system. Windows 10 should be available a year from now, and Microsoft has already opened this new operating system up to beta testers as part of its Windows 10 Insider Program.
Microsoft appears to be targeting business users with the new version, and many underlying enterprise features will rely on new releases of Windows Server, System Center, and the Intune cloud service. So Microsoft has its work cut out for it in terms of making sure problems with Windows 8 won’t carry over to Windows 10.
Windows 10 is coming. Is your organization ready?
What’s Different About Windows 10?
Windows 10 will basically do away with dependence on the tiled Metro interface that the company tried to implement across its suite of devices. Instead, Windows 10 will have a combination of “live tiles” under a new Start Menu, and what is supposed to be a more “classic” Windows experience that Microsoft expects to address the needs of both keyboard-mouse users and touch users.
Currently, Windows 7 is the most popular Microsoft operating system, accounting for over half of desktop PCs’ operating systems. By contrast, Windows 8 and 8.1 combined only account for just over 13% of desktop PC operating systems. So Windows 10 will supposedly combine the good things about Windows 8 with the familiarity of Windows 7, and toss in the ability to identify the device and change interface modes as necessary.
A Possible Pain Point for the IT Service Desk
With Windows 10, Microsoft promises continuous, evolving upgrades that will be pushed out to eliminate the current practice of having to erase the hard drive and start over, the way Windows 7 and 8 users will apparently have to do once Windows 10 arrives. While on its face, this sounds great, the IT service desk may not feel that way once it actually happens. Will Microsoft push out major updates like it does fixes on Patch Tuesday? If so, this could conflict with the IT service desk’s needs to either test the updates or postpone upgrades for whatever reason.
Features the IT Service Desk Will (Probably) Appreciate
But there are features in Windows 10 that IT service desks should like, theoretically. The ability to upgrade devices using management tools, and being able to manage PCs through the same mobile device management (MDM) systems used with phones and tablets sounds nice. Microsoft is also promising an enterprise app store that will allow businesses to manage volume licenses for apps. Separation of personal and business data with encrypted containers is supposed to be robust enough to allow copying files onto a USB drive or cloud service easily while maintaining security. Ensuring that corporate and personal data don’t mix is a big deal, but Microsoft hasn’t given a lot of detail on how this will be accomplished.
Windows 10 and BYOD
Organizations will be able to choose between Windows Group Policy and MDM for the management and deployment of all devices that use Windows, including good old desktop PCs. And management of what users do with data is included. App developers as well should like Windows 10’s universal apps and multi-device capability, which should make administration and updating of apps simpler. The new user interface, which is supposed to be similar to the current Windows Phone touch UI is still in the planning phases. Microsoft has also promised what it calls a “continuum experience” for two-in-one devices that switch from a tablet UI to a desktop UI when there’s a keyboard present.
Of course it’s hard to say how end-users will react to Windows 10. Those who love the Start Menu and hate the tiled Metro interface should theoretically be happy, but sometimes end-users have to be dragged kicking and screaming to a new operating system, even if it promises to be much better than what they’re using. Even so, when the IT service desk is prepared, having thoroughly researched Windows 10 and made plans for the change, the upgrade can be far less painful.
When your organization uses Samanage as its IT service desk solution, you can enjoy its problem and change management tools that help your IT service desk efficiently implement changes. And built-in change approval tools can help ensure that changes are aligned with the overall organizational strategy before they’re implemented. Effective planning for changes makes an enormous difference in how smooth changes go. Samanage gives you the tools to plan ahead and implement change efficiently, so you can take advantage of hardware or software improvements with a minimum of pain.