Yesterday most of you followed the live stream given by Microsoft about Windows 10, today, after a good night sleep, I wanted to analyze the impact of those announcements on the little world of OS Deployment.
For those of you that didn’t follow the live stream, here are the key details that I retain from it:
- Microsoft Hololens: Holographic heat mounted computer that will “Transform your World”. Can’t explain, just watch the video http://www.microsoft.com/hololens
- Cortana on all editions of Windows with specific capabilities tailored for laptops/desktops
- Project Spartan, redesigned, recreated web browser
- Windows as a Service: Windows 10 will be regularly updated with hotfixes but also new features
- Windows 10 will be free of charge the first year for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users
And there were other announcements (Xbox on Windows 10, Windows 10 on Xbox one, Surface Hub …) that are also very interesting and I invite you to learn more about them.
Now, that being said, what does that mean for us, OS Deployment Pros, MDT fanatics and SCCM OSD worshippers? The two main announcements for us are, of course Windows as a Service and the fact that Windows will be free of charge the first year.
This announcement was inevitable according to several Journalists specialized on Microsoft Products, iOS and Android provide free upgrades and Windows had to follow that path. That will obviously generate a lot of early adoption of Windows 10. But wait Windows 10 for Enterprise customers will still be delivered through the Windows Software Assurance, therefore the impact on us will be limited.
To me this is the most impacting announcement, MVPs and Insiders already knew about this and I have been thinking about that for several months now. With Windows 10, new features will be released as updates, or “flights”, and new flights will be released regularly through Windows Update. Therefore, the Windows 10 migration projects will most likely be the last ones we will perform and MDT will probably get one last version when Windows 10 and the Windows 10 AIK will come out but I don’t expect new versions to come after that.
That being said, new devices will continue to be appear, therefore, there will still be a need for Windows 10 images but again, once you have your Windows 10 image and a decent factory that keep it updated, I don’t expect that this will change afterwards.
Also, Companies will continue to replace old devices with new devices and therefore, there will still be a need for migration projects but with this also, the guidance should be to use UE-V (if you have MDOP, roaming profiles otherwise) and folder redirection to avoid painful data migration and decouple data management from hardware and OS management. And we will see less and less of those projects.
In conclusion, even though I am super excited by Windows 10, Hololens and pretty much all the announcements made yesterday, I also think that Windows 10 will mark the beginning of a new Era where our skill will become irrelevant and that it’s time to move on. The natural evolution would be to go to SCCM, but I will probably take this opportunity to switch to something completely different, automation for instance looks very interesting with Powershell DSC, Windows Azure Automation, System Center Orchestrator or Puppet. I hope that I will still be able to maintain my MVP title with other products, at least I’ll try J