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Enterprise guide to Windows 10

Tom Henderson | Aug. 4, 2015
Windows 10 is now available for consumers, but for IT executives thinking about enterprise deployments, here's what the upgrade path from Window 7 or Windows 8/8.1 looks like.

The fall update will enable both patches and fixes but also a new set of untested features, so for some organizations, this is a four-step rollout, pilot, first-update, data-protection features pilot, and data protection features roll out.

Backwards and broad compatibility to Windows 7 helps Microsoft, instead of hindering it, this round. Much attention has been paid to homogenizing and paying attention to the needs of Microsoft's elite flyers. They're unlikely to upgrade immediately, yet have compelling reasons to do so in the fall.

How We Tested Windows 10

We used six different desktops and notebooks, and five new or upgraded test VMs to upgrade or bare-metal install Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise updated RTM builds. Notebooks included Lenovo and Samsung models, E-Fun Nextbook and Microsoft Surface 2 tablets, and two HP all-in-one desktops. None were rejected by the upgrade applications, although we encountered a few head-scratchers relating to processor rejection messages.

In place upgrades of VMs from Windows 7 or 8.1 were unremarkable, save the speed of update was faster, owing to the base platform resources of the VMs. Hyper-V3, VMWare ESXi 5.5, and Parallels for Mac were used to test VM upgrades.

We tested IE11 vs Edge on all of the desktops we generated, and did not use extensive or weird connected devices to test USB/peripheral device identification. However, all appropriate machines easily discovered our Epson WF-2530 Wi-Fi Printer, and loaded its drivers satisfactorily. Upgrades ranged from 14 minutes on bare metal hardware (Lenovo notebook with minimal installation and Core i5 CPU) to 41 minutes (Nextbook table with quad-core Atom CPU and SSD over IEEE 802.11g Wi-Fi).

These were tested with our local Active Directory Network, and our broadband VPN-connected branch network into our NOC at Expedient in Carmel, Ind.


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