Windows 10 firing on all cylinders

New research suggests that Windows 10 has moved into top gear, with the transition to OS accelerating in Q4 2015

The adoption rate of PCs pre-installed with Windows 10 skyrocketed in Q42015, according to data from research firm Context.

More than 346,000 Windows 10-based PCs were shipped though the Western European distribution channel in the first two weeks of November. This represented a 67% share of the home segment and 25% share of business, a marked increase from the previous month.

"The acceleration in the transition to Windows 10 seen in the channel was in line with reports on decreasing, although still higher than desired, PC inventory levels across Western Europe", said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context. "High levels of old stock had been one of the reasons for the slow start to sales of Windows 10 PCs following the new OS’s launch in July, together with the late release of the Windows 10 build and the availability of a free upgrade."

The top vendors driving the channel transition to Windows 10 in the enterprise have been HP, Lenovo and Fujitsu.

Microsoft’s flagship system seems to be firing on all cylinders as research from Strategy Analytics suggests that Windows 10 is rapidly becoming the OS of choice for tablet users as well.

The ‘Tablet Operating System Forecast’ found that Windows tablet shipments increased at a 58% annual rate in the first nine months of 2015. Shipments are expected to exceed 22 million by the end of the year, equating to 10% of the total market. While 10% might not seem like much to shout about, it is a significant chunk of the pie given the competition.

“Windows Tablet market share has dwindled in the mid-single digit range for the last few years but Windows devices now run the gamut from 2-in-1 Tablets from E-Fun in the US starting at $139 retail, to Microsoft’s Surface Book starting at $1499 retail,” said Eric Smith, senior analyst, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies.

“Power, graphics, and functionality aside, Windows 10 provides a stable base from which the ecosystem can grow and we are entering a world where Windows Tablets take significant market share from Android Tablets on the low end and compete head-to-head with iPad in the high and premium segments.”

The Redmond firm recently announced that the operating system was preparing to spread its wings, rolling out to Xbox and select mobile phones soon. Microsoft hopes that the ubiquitous nature of the OS, spanning mobiles, tablets, hybrids and PCs, will be a game changer for the enterprise.

The first major update for the OS, dubbed Threshold 2, was released mid-November. While the update contains a number of consumer-focused changes, the major upgrades are aimed at the business end of the spectrum.

The OS now includes Windows Update for Business, which provides admin controls for the deployment of updates. One of the biggest pain points for Windows 10 enterprise deployments was the lack of granular control, such as ability to stagger updates. 

Microsoft also launched Windows Store for Business, which – as the name suggests - provides businesses with a platform to procure, manage and distribute apps to Windows 10 devices.

“Our IT Pros know they can offer more,” commented Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group. “With this first major update to Windows 10, we’re empowering them to do so—with the first platform which spans all device types, enables management of both corporate owned and BYOD, and upgrades existing devices.”

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