Volume licensing customers will be able to download Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education on Volume Licensing Service Center from 1 August
According to the experts the standard policy of waiting for the first service pack to arrive before rolling out a new Operating System is now no longer needed, but some may still prefer to wait for it to mature a little before they jump in.
Companies should wait until it’s clear if the line of business applications they use work happily with Windows 10, and whether they can find enough expertise to make sure any rollout is a smooth one. “All of that has to build up before you want to jump in and start running it in your production environment,” Stephen Kleynhans, research vice president at analyst Gartner said.
Kleynhans said businesses need to spend some time testing out Windows 10 in a controlled fashion: “Bring it into a lab, bring it into a test environment, let some folks run it for the rest of this year. Then, in 2016, get serious about it, start looking at it in a real test environment, start piloting it with some real users to see how it’s performing.”
He said that if all goes well companies should be ready to start deployments in the second half of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, depending on how large and complex their IT environment is.
As Ed Bott notes over at Tech Pro Research, other missing features will include the new unified sync client for OneDrive (the consumer cloud storage service) and OneDrive for Business (the cloud storage service for business Office 365 subscriptions). He predicts these will be wrapped up by late October, in time for Windows 10 PCs to hit the retail channel for the festive season.
Other factors to consider: at a prosaic level, the upgrade will inevitably cause disruption so don’t plan it for a busy time of year. If you’re in retail, starting the upgrade in November or December might be a career limiting decision for the CIO.
The state of your current infrastructure is another element to take into account. Gartner says that companies planning Windows 8.1 deployments should instead redirect their efforts toward earlier deployment of Windows 10.
“In almost all cases, enterprises currently planning to deploy Windows 8.1 should switch to Windows 10. Enterprises that already have Windows 8.1 deployed should continue with those deployments for the time being. Customers on Windows 7 with no plans for Windows 8.1 should begin evaluating Windows 10 for deployment in 2H16 or later,” the analyst firm said in a research note.
Equally, for some, the upgrade may never take place. David Gewirtz has no plans to upgrade any of his Windows 7 devices to Windows 10: “They work, they’re rock solid, and all their drivers are perfectly tuned to the hardware they’re running on,” he notes.
However long enterprises will take to change over, Windows 10 is likely to become widely adopted, if only because most firms will need to move off of Windows 7 eventually, while the relatively few who did move to Windows 8 will also update sooner rather than later. The pressures that forced companies to migrate off Windows XP and onto Windows 7 will eventually make them move from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
“Windows 7 comes to end of life in January 2020. That’s only four and half years away so you’re going to see the same sorts of pressures mount to get off of Windows 7. They need to go somewhere and they’ll go to Windows 10,” he said.