Windows 10 Launch: Partners Offer Mixed Perspectives

Windows 10 Launch: Partners Offer Mixed Perspectives

After months of anticipation, all eyes will be on Microsoft Wednesday as it unveils consumer-focused specifics of its newest upgraded operating system, Windows 10.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software conglomerate announced in September its new OS upgrade, set to be released later in 2015.

The pending new system has drawn mixed thoughts from different Microsoft partners and mobility analysts. While some partners are lauding Microsoft's efforts to draw in new software updates, others are stating that the company should stick to its simple Windows 7 OS features.

CRN asked different partners and analysts for their perspectives on Microsoft's Windows 10.

5. Push For OneCore Vision

Windows 10 will present a new feature called Continuum, designed to facilitate user switches between touch interfaces and nontouch platforms.The new look plays into the company's OneCore vision, which promotes software utilization across various devices.

This commitment to the OneCore vision is essential to Microsoft's success, said Richard Opal, vice president at Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based partner Peters & Associates.

"I am personally super-excited because I think this is probably when we're going to see the Microsoft OneCore vision ... come to fruition in its products," said Opal. "I think in Windows 10 there has been evidence of a push toward a common synchronized engine. If that's true, it will be an exciting time for customers. Windows 10 will go a long way to make people feel comfortable about the interface, how users do work and how they can be productive."

4. Small Businesses Don't Want Complexity

Some executives of solution providers targeting small businesses, such as Joe Balsarotti, president of St. Peters, Mo.-based partner Software To Go, think Microsoft needs to "just stop it" and stick to simplicity.

"Microsoft is doing itself a disservice by constantly wanting to change," said Balsarotti. "Our customer base doesn't care about collaboration, they're not doing video conferencing and they don’t have mobile workforces. They're small businesses, and none of this has any benefit to them, except to add complexity. Users want their tools to work, they don't want to relearn how to use them."

"If Windows 10 will be more like Windows 7 than like [Windows] 8, it would be a good thing," he said.

Balsarotti added that he "won't even begin to consider" implementing Windows 10 until at least six months after the release date.

3. Revival Of Windows 7 Features

Windows 10 may offer a few interesting similarities with Windows 7, such as a hybrid revival of the classic Start Menu that many users missed in Windows 8.

Some analysts are wondering if these features of the new upgrade will appeal to devoted Windows 7 users.

"The question is, can Microsoft win back the loyalty of the masses of Windows 7 users who are frustrated with the new operations and interactions in Windows 8.1?" said Analyst Jack Gold, of Northborough, Mass.-based J. Gold Associates.

"If Microsoft can make Windows 10 look and feel more like Windows 7 for the users who expect to operate in that mode [and Windows 8.1 was only a partial step in that direction], then many more users will be enthusiastic about the product," he predicted.

2. New Features Playing Into 'Cool Factor'

Rick Jordan, director of sales and strategic alliances at Toronto-based solution provider Tenet Computer Group, said the main benefits behind Windows 10 would be seen through its newer features playing into the "cool factor."

New features for Windows 10 include snap enhancements, which allow four apps to be snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout, a customizable space for apps and live tiles, as well as multiple desktops for varying purposes and projects.

"It's good for Microsoft that they are revolutionizing themselves and coming out with better features. A lot of clients don't like change, but from what I have heard, Windows 10 seems very intuitive and powerful, and has a few interesting 'cool factor' capabilities like its tiles," he said.

1. Internet Browser Do-Over

Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Ontario-based Xylotek Solutions, a Microsoft partner, called some of the new unveiled features, such as the additions to the browser, "good news for Microsoft partners," but stressed the need for Windows 10 to be compatible on different platforms.

"The Internet browser 'do-over' promises to be much more than a simple incremental makeover of tired technology, and may very well turn out to be one of the more important new features, at least from a credibility perspective," said Grosfield.

"Interoperability with different hardware platforms, specifically PC to tablet to phone, will go a long way toward simplifying and unifying the users' experience, which is of particular importance in the mobile space where Microsoft is making huge investments," he added.