news The IT department at the Australian office of Japanese power tool maker Makita tried to “break” Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 operating system and failed to do so, so ended up deciding to deploy the software throughout its operations to staff, the company revealed last week.
Windows 10 was formally released to all customers globally last week. It departs from Microsoft’s previous operating system Windows 8 in that it features a more traditional desktop paradigm by default, but it also includes a large number of new features such as support for ‘universal’ applications that can run across multiple platforms, from PCs to tablets and smartphones, a brand new web browser named ‘Edge’, and support for fingerprint and face recognition login. Enterprise customers will welcome enhanced security and manageability features.
The release has largely been praised by reviewers, with most noting that Windows 10 features a more mature implementation of a number of new features introduced in Windows 8.
Speaking at a Microsoft launch event last week, Makita Australia assistant IT manager Shaun Adams said his organisation had suffered an IT disaster at its head office near Eastern Creek in Sydney on Anzac Day this year. As a result, the company undertook a major IT replacement project.
One aspect of that was examining the company’s desktop Standard Operating Environment. Adams said he had been playing with early released of the platform since February this year.
“I tried to break it, I tried to push it. I really really tried to make it not work. I couldn’t, and it was a little demoralising,” he told journalists. “I threw legacy Java at it, HTML1, lots of legacy domains. Things that should break it, [but] it can’t break.”
Because of the platform’s maturity, Adams said his company made a decision to move to Windows 10 when it became available — “even the very early insider previews were very strong,” he said.
Makita will install Windows 10 on about 260 devices, with the company planning to have finished the rollout by November this year. “We love it and we’re going to be pushing it out to the business at large,” Adams said.
“We like that it fits with our image of excellence but we also like that it gives us the ability to easily adopt any new technology that hardware vendors come up with in the coming years. Mainstream support of Windows 7 has already ended; it will soon be going the way of the dodo, so we want to equip ourselves for the future.”
Some of the particular features which Makita also liked about Windows 10 were the platform’s new Task View feature, which allows virtual desktops, as well as new security features.
“A lot of our people have a number of varying roles as well as being sales focused, so being able to organise desktop views so they can have a several jobs on the go at the one time will be a real boon for the multi-taskers, allowing them to go back and forth between either open apps or multiple virtual “desktops” of apps,” the assistant IT manager said.
“I like the security which comes with Windows 10, particularly Windows Hello, which uses biometrics – your face, iris, or your fingerprint – rather than passwords to launch Windows 10 devices, which should help enormously with security, allowing us in IT to authenticate without having to store a password on the user device or on a network server.”
“The Passport feature will also be handy as we are a multi-national company accessing internal systems hosted all over the world and requiring people to verify that they are in fact in possession of the device – through using a password or Windows Hello – before we are able to access a certain sites will be a great help and boost for security.”
Makita Australia is also deploying Microsoft’s Office 365 platform, as well as Skype for Business, allowing it to link its executive and remote teams. A hybrid in-house/cloud Exchange environment is also on the cards, as well as giving staff access to Microsoft’s online storage platform One Drive.
Ultimately Adams said he views Windows 10 as a product developed with a great deal of user feedback about Windows, noting it was “very evident” that Microsoft had been listening to customers during Windows 10’s development. “This product answers all the feedback,” he said.
I’m hearing mainly positive things about Windows 10 so far, apart from some of the privacy issues that have been flagged. I expect to see a relatively rapid deployment in large enterprises throughout Australia.
Image credit: Microsoft