Windows 10 Anniversary: Update to Industry Game Changer

VMware recently surveyed nearly 600 existing VMware customers and partners across its entire customer base, with global participation from our enterprise, commercial and SMB customers and partners. The results highlight insightful end-user computing (EUC) perspectives regarding Windows 10 and ultimately how customers will approach the migration.

We sat down with Mark Margevicius, director of enterprise solutions of End-User Computing at VMware, to learn more about the findings.

Radius Staff: Why is the Microsoft Anniversary Update significant?

Mark Margevicius: This update represents the one-year anniversary of Microsoft Windows 10 and a major update since its release.

Radius: Have a lot of end-users or organizations migrated to Windows 10?

MM: According to Microsoft, over 350 million devices now run Windows 10. The survey we conducted examined the current state of OS migration among nearly 600 VMware customers for a closer look at where businesses are with their Windows 10 migration.

Radius: What did the survey reveal?

MM: The survey showed that Windows 10 is definitely top of mind for IT professionals with 64 percent saying that it is the top priority among their end-user computing projects but more customer education about all the capabilities within Windows 10 may be needed.

Almost 3 out of 4 people (74%) identified the eventual obsolescence of Windows 7 and 8 as the top motivation to migrate to Windows 10. Some are motivated because it’s included in their license agreement (49%) or Windows 10 offers better support for new hardware (43%) but few are migrating due to better management (25%), new EMM capabilities (15%) or support for new application types (11%), which was surprising.

Radius: Why was this a surprise to you?

MM: Windows 10 is an operating system that can dramatically improve IT management for devices. Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) functionality is now available in Windows 10, which means that customers can dramatically improve the management of Windows while lowering the operational costs.  Features such as out-of-box enrollment, off-domain joined management, and a new update management release cycle provide customers new options and choice as to how best manage their Windows environments.

But despite new capabilities, most customers did not identify them as key motivators for migration and preferred to stay with traditional Windows management techniques (i.e. imaging, relying on patching/updating, or PCLM tools).  When asked if Windows 10 will change Windows Management, more than 1 out of 2 respondents stated it will not change (58%) or simply don’t know (16%) so customers may need more education about the full breadth of capabilities in Windows 10.

We believe that customers who rely on traditional management are ready for a better way. Focusing on EMM can dramatically improve Windows management while dropping operational costs. Using a product like VMware AirWatch will enable them to further streamline management and use one solution to manage applications, devices and end-users.

Radius: How far along are businesses in migrating to the new OS?

MM: The survey found that IT professionals expect to migrate and support Windows 10 for 75% of their install base within two years.

Customers embracing EMM in Windows 10 will also discover new capabilities, such as out-of-box enrollment, that can dramatically streamline deployments by eliminating staging areas that are common today. In addition, when customers use an EMM product like VMware AirWatch, they will discover that one solution can now manage all their devices, such as phones, tablets and PCs.

Radius: Did any customers find the migration difficult?

MM: Actually, no. The majority of customers (54%) said that the process of migrating to Windows 10 took a similar amount of time as past Windows OS migrations. The skills for Windows migration and management are very mature at this point with many IT professionals having managed desktop environments for over 20 years! So, it is not surprising to see that customers have similar experiences with migrating and managing Windows 10.

We encourage those who have not migrated yet, to start their Windows 10 migrations sooner rather than later because there are lots of benefits to IT administrators and end-users.

Radius: So it seems that the process of migrating to Windows isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Is that correct?

MM: That’s correct. The customers we surveyed were generally optimistic about having to migrate systems to Windows 10. In fact, 1-in-2 customers said that they would rather work on a Windows 10 migration project at work over painful chores such as cleaning the garage, helping a friend move, a root canal or sitting in commute traffic

Traffic jam, root canal or Windows 10—is there really an option? All kidding aside, Windows 10 offers benefits across the organization ­– operational efficiencies, increased service levels and better customer experiences.

The holistic end-user computing approach in Windows 10 gives customers the ability to unify both desktop and mobile management under one model. For IT teams searching for solutions to help, VMware offers a variety of solutions to assist in the migration, along with the ongoing management of Windows 10.