TechEd Europe 2014: Windows 10 OS will simplify PC deployments

Microsoft aims to simplify how the IT department deploys corporate desktops with the release of Windows 10 operating system (OS)

Microsoft aims to simplify how the IT department deploys corporate desktops with the next major release of the Windows operating system (OS).

In a bid to reduce deployment costs, and to help the IT department support remote users and BYOD programmes more efficiently, Microsoft will offer Azure Active Directory as a login option on Windows 10 PCs.

In a demonstration at the TechEd Europe show, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice-president for PCs, tablets and phones at Microsoft, showed delegates how a user could login through the Azure Active Directory, when they boot up a machine for the first time.

After the user enters their username and password details, applications are automatically downloaded to a new PC.

Speaking on what Microsoft has learnt from its experience of Windows 8 OS, Belfiore said: "We want to emphasise our collaborative development process and get to a result that works for everyone."

Among the biggest concerns with Windows 8 was its poor user experience when run on tractional PC devices. Along with re-introducing the Start menu, Windows 10 offers a familiar user interface (UI) but adds features from Windows 8 such as Live Tiles, allowing users to preview mail or social media feeds directly from the Start menu.

He said Microsoft had removed a limitation of the Microsoft Store in Windows 8 OS, that meant it only worked on a full screen and so was optimised for tablets. Instead, with Windows 10,  he said: "You can resize store apps just like the familiar Windows 7 UI."

Hybrid support

Microsoft is pushing the benefits of hybrid devices that work as tablets and laptops, in a bid to differentiate itself from the iPad and cheap Android devices. To support these devices more effectively, Belfiore said Microsoft was working on a technology called Continuum, which would enable Windows 10 OS applications to detect whether a keyboard or mouse was attached while the application was running, and change its behaviour if necessary.

The application will be able to operate in two modes: In a full-screen tablet mode; or more like a traditional Windows 7 application, when a keyboard is used.

This requires API support. Belfiore said applications could detect any type of input device, such as pen input or voice commands.

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