Microsoft's latest client OS restores and enhances some of the familiar features of Windows 7 while improving on the prominent innovations of Windows 8 such as Live Tiles and touchscreen capabilities. The focus of Windows 10 is more efficient mobile device management and tighter Cloud integration, but Windows 10 brings a wealth of additional advantages over earlier versions of Windows including Improved boot and restore times, longer battery life, faster performance, enterprise-class security, quicker Wi-Fi reconnect, enhanced multi-monitor and Snap capabilities, and an improved task manager. Windows 10 also offers streamlined provisioning and built-in Cloud storage via OneDrive.
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help organizations of any size to evaluate Windows 10 or to migrate to Windows 10 from any client operating system. Online and on-premises migration services offered by Progent include ROI analysis, project management, compatibility testing, pilot systems, virtualization strategies, Cloud integration, mobile connectivity and synchronization, teleworker access, security and compliance consulting, deployment and management automation, configuration support, network infrastructure design, wired/wireless convergence, disaster recovery planning, training for IT staff and end users, and post-migration technical help. Windows 10 is a monumental redesign of Windows and Progent is ready to help you determine whether your organization is ready for Windows 10 and whether Windows 10 is ready for you.
Major New or Enhanced Features of Windows 10
Windows 10 builds on Windows 8's mission to provide a universal operating system and has a new architecture designed to deliver a consistent user experience and a common set of management tools across the broadest possible range of devices. Important enhancements incorporated into Windows 10 cover multiple areas including management of mobility and Cloud services, usability, light-touch provisioning, single-console administration, data and identity protection, tight integration with Office 365, BYOD support, and system responsiveness. Some new features require newer computer hardware, but Windows 10 runs on most existing desktop PCs and notebooks.
Key innovations incorporated into Windows 10 include:
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can assist organizations of any size to integrate Windows 10 into their IT ecosystem to maximize the business value of Windows 10's new and enhanced capabilities.
- Cortana is a personal assistant in the tradition of Apple's Siri that interacts using natural speech or text and provides services such as web and file searches, calendar tracking, event updates, and reminders. Cortana's notebook and settings tool allows users to inform Cortana about personal interests, specify "do-not-disturb" periods, and adjust battery use, speech, search and other settings. Cortana can also extract information from a user's Facebook account to provide more personalized service.
- The new Edge browser included with Windows 10 offers integration with Cortana and allows you to take notes directly on web pages and then use OneNote to copy or share them. The Edge browser also features a Reading Mode that allows you to read articles offline without the distracting clutter of advertisements.
- OneDrive online storage combined with Office 365 makes it possible automatically to sync files and folders shared with colleagues from the Cloud to your Windows 10 device.
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) has been extended to improve management of corporate-owned devices via features such as allowing the configuration of VPN and Enterprise Data Protection (EDP) policies, supporting the management of multiple users, providing control over the Windows Store, and offering complete device wipe capabilities. You can manage all your Windows 10 devices as well as devices from other major vendors (such as Apple iPads and iPhones and Google Android smartphones and tablets) from a single console either on-premises or in the Cloud.
- Single sign-on with Office 365 enables a single identity for Office 365, Windows login, OneDrive configuration, access to the Windows Store, and file sync. Users also have the option of using Microsoft Accounts, Active Directory accounts, or local accounts on their Windows 10 device.
- Microsoft's Continuum technology allows users of 2-in-1 devices to switch automatically between a user interface (UI) optimized for mouse-and-keyboard operation to touch-screen operation whenever the keyboard is removed or attached.
- A dynamic single-file provisioning feature in Windows 10 allows you to create a device configuration file that defines policies, provides Edition upgrades, installs drivers, and enrolls in a mobile management system. Configurations can be applied over email, with a USB key, with an SD card, or across a network, making it possible to configure an out-of-the-box device immediately without the complexities of traditional PC/OS imaging and deployment.
- The Business Store Portal (BSP) is a free website that lets your administrators distribute applications, including your own line-of-business (LOB) apps, to members of your organization from a private section of Windows Store, taking advantage of the Windows Store infrastructure. BSP integrates with mobile device management and PC management solutions and manages your application licenses.
- A feature called Battery Saver can be activated to limit background activity and make hardware adjustments in order to extend battery life.
- Trusted Boot is an architectural change in Windows 10 that prevents rootkit attacks from tampering with the boot process before conventional system defense have been activated. Trusted Boot protects the system kernel, privileged drivers, and system defenses such as antimalware technology.
- A suite of Vulnerability Mitigations, introduced with Windows 8, has been expanded in Windows 10 to provide better protection for applications already running in memory from being manipulated by attackers.
- Two-factor user identity authentication previously relied on a special ID card, a dongle, or a device with a built-in card reader to provide one of the identity factors. Windows 10 allows users to use their mobile phone, or enroll their Windows PC, as one of the two factors and use biometrics or a PIN as the second factor. This all-electronic provisioning reduces the complexity and cost of enterprise-class protection from breach, theft, and phishing attacks. Windows 10 can also thwart "pass-the-hash" attacks by placing derived credentials into a container that is logically isolated from the rest of the system.
Windows 10 Migration Services
Windows 10 can be deployed on most PCs using the traditional wipe-and-load technique. Updated versions of System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) can help automate this clean installation process by managing the workflow, including these key steps:
The wipe-and-load process is required for migrating PCs powered by Windows XP and Vista and for PCs with custom versions of Windows. For most Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 computers, Windows 10 supports the option of an in-place migration, which is faster, easier, and less prone to error. This in-place migration process, which can also be managed by current versions of SCCM or MDT, does not require reimaging the OS and can automatically preserve all data, settings, apps, and drivers from the older OS. In-place migration can also automatically configure Wi-Fi, VPN, and e-mail profiles; install language packs, and certificates; and enforce security policies.
- Capture data and settings from old OS
- Deploy a custom OS image
- Inject drivers
- Install apps and certifications
- Restore data and settings
- Configure Wi-Fi, VPN, email, WSUS
- Enrollment in mobile device management
Progent's consultants can help you deploy Windows 10 in the most efficient way available and also offers comprehensive project management services to help ensure that your upgrade to Windows 10 is completed on schedule and within budget. Some of the facets of a Windows 10 in-place or wipe-and-load migration for which Progent can provide expertise include:
To minimize costs, effort, and technical risk for large-scale migrations to Windows 10, Progent offers expertise with Microsoft's deployment automation tools provided with the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). These include the new Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD). Progent can also provide the services of a Microsoft-certified System Center Configuration Manager consultant who can help you set up and maintain an efficient SCCM infrastructure to streamline Windows 10 deployments.
- Inventory your environment including 64-bit apps, Active X issues, and browser add-ons
- Create a strategy for managing licenses
- Identify and resolve compatibility problems with applications, drivers, or hardware
- If necessary, define the tools and processes for capturing desktop images and automatically deploying them
- Install servers that may be needed to capture and deploy OS images/
- Define the baseline image sets including OS, apps, group policies, and security settings
- Define the procedures for adding extra applications and personal files
- Create a minimal, bootable Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) that may be needed to prep computers for Windows 10
- Create PowerShell scripts for SCCM or MDT
- Set up a pilot environment to test and validate the operation of any imaging and deployment servers
- Create a pilot Windows 10 environment to test the functionality and performance of critical applications
Additional Consulting Services for Windows 10
Progent offers a wide selection of IT outsourcing and co-sourcing support services designed to assist businesses of any size to design, deploy, manage, and support IT ecosystems that include desktop and handheld devices powered by Windows 10. Progent's Technical Response Center offers immediate and economical online help from a Microsoft-certified consultant to resolve issues you may come up against with Windows 10 that involve areas like app or driver compatibility, off-site access, or security and compliance. Progent's desktop management consultants can help you reduce the expense of managing your Windows 10 devices by automating common tasks like patch management, tracking software licensing, usage monitoring, and policy enforcement. Progent's wireless mobility consultants can assist you to build an easy-to-manage BYOD ecosystem for your smartphone and tablet users by offering services that include Apple iPhone and iPad integration, Android phone and tablet consulting, and RIM BlackBerry expertise.
Progent's certified IT security consultants can assist your organization to plan, implement and validate a security solution that utilizes the enterprise-class security enhancements incorporated into Windows 10. Progent offers a selection of value-priced vulnerability scanning packages to assess the security profile of workstations, notebooks, tablets, and mobile phones running Windows 10. For continuing network security and availability, Progent offers the ProSight suite of network management services which includes a selection of remote 24x7 network monitoring services such as Progent's ProSight LAN Watch server and desktop management services and ProSight WAN Watch network infrastructure monitoring built around leading-edge Remote Monitoring Management (RMM) technology. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants can help you harness the latest remote access features of Windows 10 and can show you how to build a converged communications infrastructure with support for collaborative BYOD computing and featuring advanced security, high performance, and world-class availability.
To improve manageability, protection, affordability, and resilience for Windows 10 clients, Progent's Hyper-V virtual client consultants can show you how to benefit from the Client Hyper-V feature available with Windows 10.
Contact Progent to Learn More About Planning and Migration Services Available for Windows 10
To learn more about how Progent can help you evaluate or migrate to Microsoft Windows 10, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.