August 17, 2015
Where are You with Windows 10?

It’s been out since July. Have you tried it? Deployed it? Or perhaps have you spent a number of hours to try and prevent its take-­over of your organization’s PC workstations.

Do you like it? Or is it causing problems for your staff?

As you might imagine, these questions are drawing many and varied types of feedback from across the PC community. Let’s take a brief look at the early reactions to Windows 10, the strategy related to Microsoft and several InfoShare™ experiences with this latest operating system from Microsoft. Our intent here is to share some early feedback with you that you may want to consider for your computing portfolio.

How is it being viewed? Well, the opinions out there are wide-ranging. When it first came out, Michael Horowitz from Computerworld advised that it should be avoided, especially as it relates to enterprise deployment: Mr. Horowitz’s point was that although there are some cool and beneficial features, those that would most likely interest the home-user, student, or dabbler, the software maturity and compatibility issues right now seem to outweigh them.

Likewise, Woody Leonard, tech writer for InfoWorld, summarizes in their July 29 issue, “Windows 10 is what Windows 8 should have been, but it has too many rough edges to attract Windows 7 users. Continuous upgrades could change that as early as this fall”.

However, Leonard goes on to say, “After the truly wretched Windows 8 and marginally less wretched Windows 8.1, Windows 10 comes as a breath of fresh air. Windows 10 is much more usable than Windows 8 or 8.1 and proudly offers a bundle of new features, including improved security, a new browser, and the voice-activated intelligent assistant, Cortana.”

There are, of course, a number of positive reviews and those whose authors are presenting, and balancing, the benefits versus the drawbacks. Also on July 29, the day Windows 10 was released, Dan Grabham wrote on that “Featurewise, Windows 10 is the new Windows 7. It’s robust, pleasant to use and free.” Grabham reviewed Windows 10 again on October 6 with detailed and generally favorable reviews of many of its new features. You can review his thoughts on what he calls “Microsoft’s make-or-break operating system” at http:// windows101267364/ review/3 . And if you can remember what privacy is and are concerned about Microsoft’s use of your data with Windows 10, you might want to check out how to adjust your privacy settings in the August 3 issue of Slate, available at problems_here_s_how_bad_they_are_ and_how_to_plug_them.html

“There is one aspect about Windows 10 for which I’ve seen very little debate; it’s waaayyyy better than Windows 8, which is why the strategic importance of Windows 10 to Microsoft is so profound,” remarks CSI’s VP and CIO, Chris Rein. “It’s fair to make some generalizations and say that a) it’s new, b) it’s better than its predecessor, c) it’s not perfect and d) opinions vary. Not much surprise there.” From CSI’s perspective, we want to offer some of our experiences that you may find helpful, or at least worthy of your consideration, in your planning and use of Windows 10. Here goes:

i. General operation: We’ve upgraded and used a number of PC’s to Win10, and our experiences are generally pretty good. Of course, with a portfolio of web-based applications in our current customer sites that span over 15 years, the enterprise impact is going to vary.

ii. Compatibility: Windows 10 with IE-11 gets very good compatibility marks. IE-11 is being delivered and supported for just this type of use, enterprise & web applications. As far as your browser choice, IE-11 is where you want to be (and not out on the “bleeding edge”). If your InfoShare™ application has any issues with your implementation when you initially test it, which we strongly recommend you do, please reach out to your Account Manager for more specific information on your site’s configuration.

iii. Speed: On PC’s that meet or exceed the hardware requirements as suggested/ enforced by Microsoft, the performance seems rather good.

iv. It’s Aggressive! Since Microsoft is depending on wide acceptance and a faster-than-normal adoption across the industry, they are marketing it accordingly (i.e., free, at least for the first year). We have seen the clear evidence of how “aggressively” or persistently that Windows 10 tries to get itself installed as an upgrade. It notifies you with popups, fly-outs, messages, and, of course, in Windows Update, that it really wants you to move to Windows 10. So we recommend being vigilant about how you manage your updates until you are ready to install it.

Chris Rein alerts us to a “note of interest” concerning this operating system update and how he sees it relative to Microsoft’s direction concerning cloud computing. “Over the past five to ten years, it’s become impossible to go more than a day or so without seeing any cloud computing advertisements, promotions or technical journal articles. And, of course, the key terms that are associated with ‘the Cloud’ are: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS (for Software, Platform, and Infrastructure, respectively), offered ‘as a service.’ Each of these is a different business and technical model for software hosting and support. We find it interesting that now, Microsoft is using Windows 10 to push the cloud’s footprint even further vertically, with their “Windows as a Service” paradigm, for which Windows 10 is their initial platform. Whereas IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS are distinct, meaning one can literally draw diagrams to show where the software components are installed and who maintains them, this is not exactly analogous to WaaS. Windows as a Service is not a model where your computer doesn’t have an operating system on it, as some may infer. Rather, it is more the operational and delivery method for their Windows upgrades and patches.” CSI invites you to share any experiences you have with Windows 10 with us.