Windows 10 is off to a strong start. Last week, the company announced that tens of millions of PCs and tablets were now powering the company’s newest operating system.
On Aug. 26, Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing for Windows and Devices, tweeted that in less than a month after its launch, more than 75 devices were running the OS. “More than 90,000 unique PC or tablet models have upgraded to Windows 10,” tweeted Mehdi as further proof of the software’s rapidly expanding footprint.
Microsoft is hoping that enterprises exhibit the same kind of zeal for the new OS, despite lingering concerns.
“Windows 10, which is now fully available to our enterprise customers, is the best enterprise edition of Windows we’ve ever delivered,” Jim Alkove, corporate vice president of Microsoft Enterprise and Security at Microsoft, said during a press event at the company’s Redmond, Wash., campus. “And in addition to being—on the consumer side—on over 75 million devices, 1.5 million of those devices are enterprise devices today,” a figure that outpaces the adoption rates of earlier versions, according to company executives.
For businesses, Microsoft focused on tightening security and easing management, Alkove said. That includes taking on more responsibility in patching the OS, part of Microsoft’s new “Windows-as-a-service” approach.
“With the introduction of Windows Update for Business, Microsoft is telling our enterprise customers that we’re willing to take that burden on for you, but we’re going to give you the same control and the same reporting and compliance that you have with the solutions that you use today.” Full Windows Update for Business functionality will be switched on for participants of the Windows Insider early-access program “soon,” said Alkove, with general availability to follow a short time later this year.
Lacking under this model are patch notes, or visibility into exactly which elements of the OS Microsoft has fixed. It’s a controversial stance that’s causing some security-conscious enterprises to have second thoughts about deploying the new OS.
Microsoft is aware, and more transparency is forthcoming, said Alkove.
Although Microsoft remains a bit vague on how it plans to document Windows 10 patches and changes for business customers, some solution is in the works. “We’ve heard that feedback from enterprise customers, and so we’re actively working on how we provide them with the information to understand what’s changing and what new capabilities and new value they’re getting with these updates,” Alkove said.
Admitting that the Windows Update for Business messaging may have grown over-complicated, Alkove said that in talks with his company’s enterprise customers, many are looking forward to the potential cost-savings benefits of the technology. Although the technology first gave customers pause, now enterprises view it “as a way to reduce a significant amount of costs in running WSUS [Windows Server Update Services] servers and running update infrastructure in their enterprise,” Alkove said. Having Microsoft assume those responsibilities instead “resonates really well with IT departments who are under tons of cost pressure today,” he added.