Desktop view of Windows 10 start screen

Windows 10: Changing the Workplace

1 Jun 2016 by Susie Steckner

Windows 10 is a year in — has your business taken the leap?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Change is never easy, but it’s coming. In fact, more than 8 million business PCs — and more than 100 million devices — are already running Windows 10. There are plenty of drivers for the migration to Windows 10, but the biggest one looming is the end of support for Windows 7 in 2020.

Here’s what IT influencers are saying about the changes coming and why your business will want to get on board sooner than later.

High interest

IT pros surveyed a year ago overwhelmingly said they were interested in learning more about Windows 10. A whopping 94% were at least “somewhat interested” in adopting the OS, while 60% had already evaluated the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Why the high interest?

A few reasons, the survey says. Among them: the free upgrade offer (for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users not using the Enterprise edition), the ease of one OS running universal apps across PC and mobile form factors, a visually appealing and highly usable interface, enhanced security and Microsoft's vow that this will be the final version of Windows.

At the half-year mark of Windows 10, those IT pros weighed in again. This is what they revealed:

  • IT pros had at least one Windows 10 device on their networks.
  • The Windows 10 penetration rate in the business hit 18%.
  • Windows 10 devices are present in more medium and large businesses than in smaller companies, which have fewer resources for OS migration.
  • Not surprisingly, the software industry had the highest rate of penetration, followed by the manufacturing, energy, construction, government and engineering industries.

Driving migration

Businesses point to many reasons for migrating now, in addition to Windows 7 support ending. Two top the list: strong compatibility with Windows 7 applications and devices, and a “pent-up demand” for tablet and 2-in-1 device rollouts, says Gartner.

“At least half of enterprises will have started some production deployments by the beginning of 2017, with an eye to completing their migrations in 2019,” the analyst firm predicts.

Early adopters represent industries across the board and include a broad range of businesses, from DocuSign to PwC to Skywest Inc.

Planning for Windows 10 is critical, says Rich Nockels, Intel business client marketing manager.

“Don’t wait until Microsoft forces it on you,” he says. “Start taking a look at applications that use Windows 7, at your security needs. Early planning makes easier introduction and adoption.”

In terms of security, Windows 10 and Intel’s 6 gen core come together to provide a more secure platform. “Windows 10 takes advantage of all the hardware, so take advantage of the security,” he says.

Businesses that make the move can also offer their employees options that are transforming the workplace, such as:

Windows Hello with Intel’s RealSense camera, for instance, allows employees to log in with facial recognition. The tech marries security with the convenience of not having to remember ever-changing passwords.

Wireless docking frees employees at the workstation, with the ability to easily and securelyconnect all peripherals. Intel Wireless Docking can pair a WiGig-enabled 2-in-1, laptop or other mobile device with a WiGig docking station that is connected to HD displays, external hard drives and more.

Touch screen is available as much or as little as the user wants. “It’s the best of a touch and non-touch world,” Nockels says.

Need another reason to migrate? Consumer use is outpacing enterprise use so your existing workforce is likely already familiar with Windows 10. So are future employees.

“Kids in college now will already have Windows 10, so there will be an expectation with that generation as new hires come in,” says Nockels.