Windows 10: The channel reacts

Windows 10: The channel reacts

Microsoft’s Windows 10 announcement is big news, but what do local distributors and resellers think?

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella

Microsoft released a swathe of information overnight on Windows 10. How will local distributors react and what are their predictions for the implementation of what some have speculated may be Microsoft’s last ever OS release?

ARN is speaking to a number of Microsoft and non Microsoft partners throughout the day to see what Windows 10 will mean for their business and clients.

Bluechip Infotech technical director, Phil Lancaster, said the potential for future upgrades to be more akin to mobile OS updates is one that will be attractive to many of Bluechip's smaller partners.

“ We do provide migration tools and everytime we see a new OS we see the opportunity to provide migration tools,” Lancaster said.

When asked about the free upgrade option for existing Windows 7,8 and 8.1 customers, he said, “It will be the same thing we see all the time. Smaller organisations and individuals will do it as it is much easier for them. Larger companies will be more hesitant to migrate.”

“We have SOE [state owned enterprise] customers that are still trying to get off XP because of their requirements around compatibility.”

“The interesting thing will be is how appealing they [Microsoft] make it from a Cloud perspective.”

“There are also those users who like Windows 7 because they can control it and as a result have not moved to 8 or 8.1. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft will do for these customers," Lancaster said.

As a non-Microsoft partner, Distribution Central chief executive, Scott Frew, had some interesting thoughts on the announcement overnight.

Read more: Ovum tips Microsoft will struggle to get Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10

“My initial reaction is that it is just a lot of Apple functionality they have shoehorned into Windows.They are just catching up to the Mac operating system,” he said.

“It will probably assist us in delivering standards type platforms to Windows users on Windows phones, the integrated pieces will probably play better.”

“The benefit to the greater IT community may be that Macs always lag behind on the enterprise features, so, provided Windows 10 is a: stable, b: stable and c: stable, it will have all the enterprise features to suit a vast array of customers.”

“I'm sure it will have an impact on our anti-virus offerings, making them more commoditised type products, but most of what we do are gateways running bespoke software, so in that sense there will be little impact.”

“Until the hackers start pulling it apart and exposing potential threats in the OS, it is hard to comment on the security aspects.”

“In a business context, I couldn’t see anything there that is mind blowing,” he said.

Microsoft needs to provide more clarity around its 'free' upgrade offer.

Questions were raised over how far the Windows 10 free upgrade offer will extend, would it be available to business users and Office 365 customers?

Correct Solutions founder and technology specialist, Wayne Small, said he would like to see more details about what will happen after the free 12-month period.

"I'm just a little weary and would like to see the full details of what 'free' means. When you're using a free product, you're subjected to the whims of those that are giving it to you for free," Small said. "They're offering it for free for 12 months and that's great, but after that will I be paying a yearly or a monthly subscription fee in order to keep using it? There must be something else to it that we're not aware of."

In Windows 10, Microsoft did bring back some of the commonalities of the user interface that they've had in the past, which will help increase user adoption for the product across the market, Small said.

"I think it's a good way for Microsoft to re-establish itself as a leader in the industry and there have been a lot of people that have been doubting where Microsoft are going, so this could bode well for them in the future, only time will tell," Small said.

Dicker Data general manager of marketing and strategy, Ben Johnson, said the company sees Windows 10 as a positive step forward for Microsoft and the Channel.

“The announcements made overnight have shown us that Microsoft are listening to their partner’s feedback on a global scale and are actively changing their approach towards the development of new operating systems.”

“We believe that Windows 10 will help drive continued growth in our device sales as both businesses and consumers still using Windows XP now have a more compelling and motivating reason to refresh.”

“The free upgrade for existing Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 users will entice more people to try the new platform sooner and will help Microsoft drive a higher adoption rate from day one.”

“We’re interested to find out what the longer-term plans in relation to product licensing are and how this can be monetised by the channel after the first year.”

“We’re excited to see Microsoft continuing to innovate with products like the Surface Hub and HoloLens. Technologies like the Surface Hub are key to the future of business collaboration and Microsoft’s commitment to the development of products like these will undoubtedly secure their continued relevance in the device space,” he said.

Data#3 general manager, software and solutions, Brad Colledge, said the release is a logical step for Microsoft.

“The features they released consolidate Microsoft’s strategy across the multi-platform, multi-device space.”

“The functionality makes it a little easier to use, Cortana and features of the new Spartan web browser such as annotation will be welcomed by many users.”

“Just like the 7 and 8 releases, the opportunity for Data#3 is to work with customers to help them migrate onto the new OS.”

“I see the Windows 10 migration as an evolution. Just as we have been assisting customers to move on to Win 7 and Win 8 over the past few years.”

“The release may make customers still using XP realise that the systems they are running are becoming even more obsolete and it will probably prompt them to migrate.”


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