Windows 10 for Enterprise will not be free in year one
Contrary to what many businesses may have believed, Windows 10 for Enterprise will not be free in the first year for companies who wish to upgrade swiftly from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. This may come as a surprise following reading about Windows 10 being offered to consumers as a free upgrade if they already have Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 installed on their personal computer.
The Enterprise edition of Windows 10 which will be offered to software assurance customers is not covered within the same discount offer.
More Thorough Testing of Windows 10 for Enterprise
Enterprise customers will benefit from a thoroughly tested version of the Windows 10 for Enterprise version. This version of the operating system will be tested for compatibility with various types of hardware more commonly used with the enterprise as opposed to the home user. The range of hardware used in the enterprise is far greater than is the case with home versions of Windows which don't usually require NAS storage, load balance server solutions, or a greater range of software support that is only used in business environments.
Older Software Supported in Windows 10
Older versions of legacy software will also be tested to ensure that enterprise customers will not be left in the lurch when upgrading and suddenly discovering the certain Windows based software will not load and run with the latest operating system. This will be of great assurance to business customers who need to ensure that the software used to manage critical business operations will run with the latest version of Windows should they choose to update. To do otherwise would cause major upgrade path issues for Enterprise users which would result in bad press and a difficult roll back to the previous version of Windows in the process.
Lock Down Update System
The system updates for business customers will also be quite different to the one used with consumer versions of Windows 10.
Microsoft will manage two branches of updates for business customers. The first is the Long Term Servicing Branch and the second is the Current Branch for Business.
Long Term Servicing Branch Updating Procedure
The Long Term Servicing branch will receive the latest and best security updates available at the time and enterprise level support. However, feature updates that will go out to regular customers will not run down the update pipe to those in the Long Term Servicing Brand. The reason for this is to separate crucial updates that are important for security, stability and bug fixes, whilst maintain the best stability for the operating system overall. For this reason, cutting edge new features are not included with the Long Term Servicing branch.
Current Branch Updating Procedure
Those businesses that choose the Current Brand will have access to all the relevant updates including those offered with the Long Term Servicing branch, plus bleeding edge feature updates but only after Windows Insiders have fully tested them to ensure compatibility is maintained.
System Administrators Maintain Ultimate Control of Update Path
The system administrators will have complete control over which update they wish to deploy to networked computers within the business and which to exclude. This ensures that the system administrators have greater control over the upgrade path to give them proper management over system stability issues when dealing with Windows 10 and updates. For this reason, the Windows Insiders programme will continue to play an important role in the ongoing development and improvement of the Windows 10 operating system even following its final release.
Further information about the specifics of the Windows 10 for Enterprise structure and updating path can be found in this Windows blog post here.