By Erik Frieberg, vice president of marketing, End-User Computing, VMware
If you felt a tremor in “the force” yesterday, you weren’t mistaken.
This week is certainly different than most since it is the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, which is a milestone release for Microsoft and represents a fundamental shift in the way IT can manage all devices, as well as run both old and new software.
The improvements in Windows 10 address many of the challenges that have limited effective Windows management for many organizations. In this mobile-cloud era, management innovations that are used with mobile platforms are now available in Windows 10 and are making their way to the PC. This is great news for our customers, as they now have many options as to how best manage their EUC platforms.
According to a recent TechValidate survey commissioned by VMware, 96 percent of enterprises plan to use internal resources and existing staff to upgrade to Windows 10. This means that internal IT teams can use VMware solutions to help manage devices, deliver all application types and activate the new features introduced in Windows 10. VMware solutions are purpose-built to support customers embracing business mobility and updating to Windows 10, while continuing to support earlier Windows versions.
AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) will support all new capabilities introduced in Windows 10, including streamlined deployment, unified app experience, advanced security and data protection and update management. The best-in-class AirWatch EMM suite can become the de facto management platform for all devices running Windows 10 – including laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets – from a central, unified console.
In addition, VMware complements this unified endpoint management strategy and can help organizations enroll or migrate users and devices to Windows 10, configure or deliver applications to Windows 10 devices and help manage security policies and lifecycles of devices and users.
Organizations tend to be cautious with any migration, and will likely need robust EUC solutions during and after the transition to Windows 10. Our customers agree, since more than half (51 percent) of organizations surveyed plan to use VDI to upgrade to Windows 10, which allows them to use VMware centralized virtual Windows 10 desktops from local or cloud data centers. Conversely, Windows 10 devices can also use VMware Horizon 6 and VMware Horizon Air Desktops to gain access to hosted instances of Windows XP, 7, 8, and 8.1.
Top Concern Among IT Professionals – Application Compatibility
IT professionals cite application compatibility (81 percent) as one of top concerns with Windows 10 migration – 81 percent! Fortunately, VMware offers solutions to address application compatibility challenges. VMware Horizon FLEX, VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation can deliver a fully managed Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 instance onto an upgraded Windows 10 host machine. Doing so will allow an organization to migrate applications to Windows 10 over time while still maintaining the ability to run them under Windows 7/8/8.1 until they can complete the migration.
Transforming Application Delivery and Management
One of the most important features introduced in Windows 10 is a unified application experience. Before Windows 10, the application delivery experience was fragmented with separate distribution channels for native Windows and modern applications. End-users were also required to create multiple login credentials for each of their applications, causing confusion and disconnect.
VMware and AirWatch customers can distribute native Windows , universal, web and remote apps through a unified application catalog with Windows 10. VMware Identity Manager introduces single sign-on to grant users permission to all of their Windows 10 applications without requiring separate usernames and passwords.
Furthermore, the conditional access feature in VMware Identity Manager allows IT to allow access to enterprise applications based on pre-determined compliance policies. The universal application catalogue will also support the corporate-friendly Business Store Portal (BSP) to manage apps and licenses on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops via AirWatch EMM.
As you can see, there’s a lot in Windows 10 and it is truly a milestone moment for Microsoft and the industry. Windows is still the dominant operating system used in PCs and laptops worldwide and this release will change the endpoint management paradigm by also bringing it to mobile devices. Uncharted territory? Yes, but don’t worry – VMware is here to help.