How Windows 10 Upgrades Will Empower IT

How Windows 10 Upgrades Will Empower IT

Recently, Microsoft announced that customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices can upgrade to Windows 10 for free during the first year of the launch of its cloud-based operating system. Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will keep Windows current via free updates throughout the device’s supported lifetime.

Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise aren’t part of this free Windows 10 Upgrade offer, but enterprise users will have other opportunities to choose the cloud. According to Jim Alkove, Microsoft’s Director of Program Management, Windows Software Assurance (SA) provides users with “rights to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside this offer.”


As ZDNet magazine reported last fall, Microsoft is busy moving from a software licensing model to a cloud computing one. Windows 10 is expected to complete this transition, and will provide what CNET’s Larry Dignan called “continual upgrades and stable release on a schedule.”

IT departments won’t lose control over when to install updates and releases, however.  As Alkove writes in the Windows blog, Microsoft understands that “many of our customers expect full flexibility and control on an ongoing basis.”

For example, Windows devices that are used in hospital emergency rooms and on factory floors often have very strict change management requirements. To support Windows 10 in these and other demanding environments, Microsoft will provide what it calls Long-Term Servicing Branches at appropriate time intervals.

For enterprises that operate and maintain Windows devices in less sensitive environments, more frequent Current Branches for Business may be a better choice for updates.

Whether or not your Windows 10 Upgrade is free, Microsoft hopes that your enterprise will find this combination of security and flexibility to be empowering. Are you ready to upgrade to Windows 10?

Image credit: Microsoft

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