One of the main themes of the first day of Microsoft’s worldwide partner conference was Windows 10, which launches in three weeks, with the positive impact that it should deliver for the channel and customers.
The vendor is encouraging customers to start thinking about starting down the upgrade path as soon as possible to get themselves ready to take advantage of Windows 10 after its 29 July launch.
In his presentation to partners Terry Myerson is executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group, used a chunk of his allowed time at WPC to talk about the next set of features as well as stressing how it had worked hard to make sure the OS was secure.
The security issue is even more prevalent given the ambition Microsoft holds to run its software across numerous devices, which could provide a wider number of vulnerabilities if things were not locked down.
Myerson said that the firm was committed to providing users with a stream of updates that would make sure it was always on top of the latest security threats, providing a Windows update for Business service, and it had engineered the system to be a tough nut for the hackers to crack.
The vendor has taken steps to respond to some of the changing threats and has included easier password management using Windows Hello, disk encryption and Windows will only run trusted apps and the hardware can be protected via tools including Secure Boot, Device Guard and Defender.
He also had a line that will hurry along those still sticking with the unsupported Windows XP, “If it’s not kept up to date, it’s not secure”.
That security issue is one that is likely to be discussed at more length by customers and iit is featuring quite heavily in some of the hardware vendor activities in the run up to the launch countdown.
“Our customers have told us that security continues to be their top concern and the changes in the security landscape have them looking for ways to protect their devices and data,” said Frank Brassart, director, mobility business unit, printing & personal systems, HP EMEA.
“The security features in Windows 10, coupled with our stylish and secure commercial devices – like the thinnest, lightest and most secure business-class notebook HP EliteBook Folio 1020 – help customers’ protect their organisations and maximize employee productivity in form factors users will love,” he added.
HP has responded to the potential issues around security by underlining just what it can bring to the table and layer on top of the OS to make sure customers sleep more soundly at night. It is not likely to be the first vendor to push this approach but it has been one of the quickest off the mark around making a noise about Windows 10.
The HP approach
In addition to leaning on the security features included in Windows 10 HP is also bringing its own technology into play:
HP Client Security, a suite of pre-installed, integrated solutions that delivers out-of-the box functionality for IT to easily manage and deploy endpoint protection.
Multi-factor authentication for ease in enrolling and managing a variety of options for device and system sign-on.
HP Touchpoint Manager strengthens and simplifies enforcement of security and mobility policies by enabling organizations to deploy a single, unified security model across PCs and mobile devices.
One of the security risks with an OS is around the BIOS and HP is pushing its SureStart solution, which checks everything is okay before the operating system starts, to make sure that things are really locked down.
It has a host of other technologies (see box) that it is also advising the channel pitches to customers that continue to be concerned about the security of data.
The vendor is putting a lot of effort into making sure that the channel is geared up for the launch come the end of the month with clear steps that partners can follow to help customers with migration issues as well as some marketing assistance.
The vendor got some of its partners to respond to its efforts with Phil Bell, marketing director at Westcoast, welcoming efforts to stir up more than just software sales.
“The HP offering around Windows 10 is so compelling that we really believe it will drive hardware refreshes and not just license upgrades,” he said.