“Looking ahead to the future in the way that technologies are coming together, and how people are interacting around mobile, we believe the benefits are there for Kiwis.”
The benefits of Windows 10, according to Microsoft, focus around the re-introduction of the Start Menu, the birth of a new lightweight and powerful browser in Spartan, the emergence of Cortana, the usual multi-tasking and business applications and perhaps crucially, the continuum between laptop, tablet and smartphone mode.
And while the virtues of Windows 10 are well documented and argued by Redmond, will it be enough for New Zealand businesses, both large and small, to consider upgrading?
“I believe Kiwi businesses will look to Windows 10 and see it as a very easy upgrade path,” Scott adds. “The way the product is built and designed allows for cross platform use and if they adopt Windows 10 with such benefits around user applicability, then we think it will be an easy migration.”
As displayed in the Technical Preview, analysts believe the upgrading process for Windows 10 will be relatively smooth for New Zealand organisations, irrespective of size.
In offering free upgrades for every PC currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, excluding Enterprise additions, across a year-long period, organisations have been informed that the approximate file size for download is 3 GB per PC, but as widely reported, for most upgrades the actual package will be slightly smaller.
Notified by the small icon in the taskbar popping up on July 29 with the message ‘Get Windows 10’, the industry on the whole accepts that Windows 10 migration will, at least in theory, be relatively hassle free.
“Every organisation has a different path depending on business and budget priorities and in New Zealand it is no different, we see some on the leading edge and some slightly behind,” adds Scott, when quizzed on whether Microsoft is expecting strong early uptake across the country.
“In any industry we see early adopters and those who prefer to wait a little longer. But rest assured, we have a long list of customers in New Zealand on our Proof of Concept list, which is a way to test Windows 10 under real conditions.
“We already have this list and it covers large enterprises all the way down to small businesses and for organisations keen to accelerate Windows 10 deployment, we offer the ability for customers to manage rollouts specific to their needs.
“For example, if a business wants a specific department within its organisation to run Windows 10 first, we can provide this service and it’s this manageability of organisations that is a very healthy aspect of Windows 10. Businesses are seeing the benefits of this and are realising that it differs from other operating systems.”
Windows-as-a-Service has been on the cards for some time, and represents Microsoft’s move away from being a bulky imposing product which feeds on periodic major releases, to a more agile offering that is constantly being updated, and effectively tweaked, in the background.
Similar in its approach to Office 365, or even Google’s Chrome or Gmail, Redmond aims to now deliver “new releases when they are ready” as the tech giant explores what could actually be the last version of Windows 10.
“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10,” said Jerry Nixon, developer evangelist, Microsoft, when speaking at Microsoft’s Ignite conference last month.
But while it appears almost farcical to discuss the shelf life of Windows 10 before its launch date, as Scott puts it, Microsoft is preparing for a long future of Windows innovations, with constant fine-tuning at the heart of this strategy.
“Windows-as-a-Service offers a big jump from both Windows 7 and 8.1 for organisations,” Scott adds.
“We’ve received strong feedback regarding regular updates, security patches and the introduction of new features and benefits.