64% of Aussie businesses to adopt Windows 10 in first year
Microsoft's strategy to offer Windows 10 as a service — including offering a free upgrade for consumer versions of Windows 7 or later — is aimed at ensuring rapid adoption to attract developers to the ecosystem. This strategy will hinge in part on the speed of adoption in the enterprise.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Australian businesses plan to adopt Windows 10 within the first year of availability and nearly a quarter will adopt the new OS within two years, research commissioned by the company suggests.
A survey of 301 business decision-makers from small to large businesses conducted by Tech Research Asia shows that the top motivations for adopting the OS include productivity improvements, improved security and better mobile and PC integration.
Businesses also anticipate using the upgrade as an impetus to increase their device fleets, with 56.5% expecting an increase in smartphones under their management, 51% expecting an increase in tablet use and 38% anticipating an increase in their PCs.
Unlike the consumer editions of Windows 7 and 8, enterprise editions are not eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10.
To make the migration as painless as possible, HP has announced four new services for Windows 10, including one to allow customers to test the new operating system within a control group of users in advance of a wholesale migration.
HP's new 'test drive' service will allow a select set of users to move to a Windows 10 device as their primary workplace device. Once satisfied, customers will be able to use a second HP service to access and deploy the OS as part of a digital workplace transformation.
The vendor is also offering an advisory service to design a roadmap for a Windows 10 implementation, as well as an implementation and migration service for getting legacy web applications to run on the new Internet Explorer 11.
Besides getting enterprise customers on board, Microsoft will need the support of vendor partners. HP's launch demonstrates that the company is gaining traction in this area as well.
With Windows 10 adoption accelerating, end users who have made the leap or are considering one might wish to be aware of the privacy implications of the new OS. Bitdefender has issued a consumer advisory informing new users of these implications.
In the advisory, the antivirus provider notes that the default installation of Windows 10 is configured to send speech, typing, contacts and calendar as well as location and advertising identification data to Microsoft and partners.
These features can be disabled by choosing a custom installation or by turning off these settings in the configuration menu.
Bitdefender also advised end users to consider the privacy implications of Microsoft's voice-enabled personal assistant Cortana. The personal assistant uses machine learning techniques which involve digging deeply into a user's emails, contacts and other private information. Cortana can be disabled in the settings tab.
Privacy-minded users might also consider using a local account to avoid synchronising data with the Microsoft cloud, including the controversial Wi-Fi sense feature that involves sharing your Wi-Fi network with Skype or Facebook contacts, and disable the ability of apps to access your account information.
Moving away from Windows 10 specifically but back to Australia, Microsoft has revealed to ITWire that it is on track to open its Sydney Microsoft Store in late spring.
The store will showcase a selection of Microsoft and partner products that are customised to Australian tastes, including devices from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba and others. It will be the first Microsoft store to open outside of North America.
Microsoft will employ around 50–75 staff for the store and plans to use the Sydney launch as a model for further expansion in Australia and other markets.
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