Hello from San Francisco! I’m Jim Alkove, I lead the Windows enterprise program management team. Today, Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore announced a new approach to the way we plan, develop and deliver Windows, with a first look at Windows 10. Windows 10 is the next generation of our OS that adapts to the devices you’re on and what you’re trying to get done with a consistent, familiar and compatible experience that enables you to be more productive.

Today we begin the process of sharing our plans with enterprise customers. We are doing this earlier than we’ve done in the past, because it’s important that our business customers have insight into our product vision. Their insight and feedback is critical as we build products to best meet their needs. Some of what we are working on will show up in the Windows 10 Technical Preview we’ll release on October 1st, and some will come in subsequent updates. We have a lot to share, so over the course of the next couple months, I’ll also publish a few follow-up posts to go a little deeper in a few key areas.

Windows 10 designed with enterprise customers in mind

Windows 10 will be our greatest platform ever for organisations and their employees. There are several reasons that business customers in particular should take notice of Windows 10. It’s not just more familiar from a user experience standpoint. We have built so much of what businesses need right into the core of this product – including enterprise-grade security, identity and information protection features, reducing complexity and providing a better experience for the modern needs of business. We’ve simplified management and deployment to help lower costs, including in-place upgrades from Windows 7 or 8 that are focused on making device wipe-and-reload scenarios obsolete. We’re also providing businesses with more choice in how quickly they adopt the latest innovations, and are delivering continued improvements based on customer feedback.

One converged Windows platform

Windows 10 also delivers one universal app platform, one security model, and one deployment and management approach. With the convergence of our platforms, that unified experience scales across devices. From the small, thin and light – up to the largest and most powerful laptops, desktops and all-in-one PCs. Windows 10 even scales to industry and ruggedized devices, purpose-built industry solutions, small foot print devices (Internet of Things) and all the way up to 85” touch-screen conference room displays.

Designed for the way you live and work

There’s virtually no learning curve required with Windows 10. For mouse and keyboard users, the Windows 10 user experience begins at the familiar desktop. The Start menu experience of Windows 7 has been expanded, providing one-click access to the functions and files that people use most. Windows 10 enhances existing productivity features like Snap. We also bridged the gap between the touch-optimised tablet experience and the mouse and keyboard experience by allowing modern apps to run in a window on the desktop – resulting in modern apps seamlessly co-existing in the desktop space alongside desktop apps.

Helping protect against modern security threats

Windows 10 also introduces a number of advancements in security and identity protection features that are easy to manage and don’t compromise the user experience. One such advancement is the work we have done to create user identities for accessing devices, apps and sites that improve resistance to breach, theft or phishing. This approach is important because it takes the concept of multi-factor solutions such as smartcards or token-based system and builds it right into the operating system, in turn also eliminating the need for extra security hardware peripherals.

We’ve also made progress in helping companies protect their business data. While BitLocker helps protects data as it resides on a device, once the data leaves the device it’s no longer protected. With Windows 10 we are able to provide an additional layer of protection using containers and data separation at the application and file level – enabling protection that follows the data wherever it goes. Whether the data moves from a tablet or PC to a USB drive, email or the cloud – it maintains the same level of protection. This solution will stand out because of its ease of use and ability to help protect data right at the file level. Users won’t need to change behaviour, use special apps, or move to a separate, locked-down environment to keep corporate data secure.

With the increasingly more mobile workforce, secure access to network resources is an important priority for every organisation. People need to connect to critical data and apps, from anywhere and across multiple devices in order to stay productive. Windows 10 provides organisations with tools to deliver more secure and more controlled VPN access.

Managed for continuous innovation

As mentioned, with Windows 10, we are aiming to reduce the need for the time-consuming and costly wipe-and-reload approach to OS deployment. We know that app compatibility is critical for business. While we strive to have great compatibility with all existing apps, we’ve added tools for compatibility testing. We are creating a streamlined, reliable in-place upgrade process that can be initiated using current management infrastructure. Through new dynamic provisioning capabilities, businesses will be able to configure off-the-shelf devices, without reimaging.

Windows 10 helps keep customers secure and up to date

Windows 10 will be delivered in a way that gives more choice and flexibility to businesses. As a result, a business can pick the speed of innovation that is right for each group of its users, rather than apply a one size fits all solution.

Businesses will be able to opt-in to the fast-moving consumer pace, or lock-down mission critical environments to receive only security and critical updates to their systems. And businesses will have an in-between option for systems that aren’t mission critical, but need to keep pace with the latest innovations without disrupting the flow of business. And the choice isn’t one or the other for businesses; we expect that most will require a mixed approach where a number of scenarios can be accommodated.

Consumers, and opt-in businesses, will be able to take advantage of the latest updates as soon as they are available, delivered via Windows Update. Business customers can segment their own user groups, and choose the model and pace that works for them. They will have more choice in how they consume updates, whether through Windows Update or in a managed environment. And for all scenarios, security and critical updates will be delivered on a monthly basis.

Enabling management for every scenario

Windows has always offered device management capabilities that businesses need, leveraging the power of Active Directory and System Center to enable full control over Windows devices. With Windows 10, we will extend built-in mobile device management (MDM) capabilities to embrace new mobile-first, cloud-first scenarios and bring MDM capabilities to traditional laptops and desktops. Customers will be able to benefit from the simplicity of managing from the cloud (using services like Windows Intune) while having the controls they require. Whatever your scenario, Windows 10 will help meet your management needs.

An app store that is open for business

Windows 10 will also include a single app store that’s truly open for business. We’re planning for the new, unified app store to allow for volume app purchases based on existing organisational identity, flexible distribution and the ability for organisations to reclaim or re-use licenses. Organisations will also be able to create a customised store, curating store experiences that can include their choice of Store apps alongside company-owned apps into a separate employee store experience.

Experience Windows 10, starting tomorrow

We hope that you are as excited about Windows 10 as we are. Starting October 1st, we’ll launch the Windows Insider Program making available a technical preview of Windows 10 for its participants. We welcome your participation in the program where you can be among the first to experience new builds as soon as they’re available and have an opportunity to influence product development decisions through the new Windows Feedback app directly within the product. We’re confident you’ll enjoy Windows 10 and look forward to hearing what developments and new features you are looking forward to for your business.