I am delivering the keynote speech at the IFIP World Computer Congress Industry Prospect Conference in October on the theme of megatrends. Included in my keynote is the rapid adoption of Windows 10 which hit over 75 million devices in 192 countries this month– the fastest adoption of an operating system. I estimate this number will be well over 80 million devices by October. The rise of 2-in-1s (where a computer easily transforms from a full-function laptop to a tablet) led by the Microsoft Surface Pro series running Windows 10 is another Megatrend.
What are the drivers behind these trends?
Enterprises are in the midst of a cloud-first, mobile-first, security-first, DevOps, big data/analytics, productivity focus enterprise strategy. Having the enterprise ecosystem centered on one operating system, Windows 10, for all environments provides a foundation for this strategy.
What are examples of this strategy?
Work and life intermix with 2-in-1s like Surface Pros and a diverse array of devices such as mobile smartphones, tablets, PCs, gaming devices, Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, ATMs, home automation systems, retail point of sale systems, and much more, all running Windows 10. In particular, the device penetration will exponentially increase with some forecasts of IoT reaching over $10 trillion annually by 2025. Microsoft in anticipating these forecasts has Windows 10 IoT devices integrating with the cloud with Azure IoT services and Azure machine learning delivering competitive advantages for businesses. I forecast machine learning as another megatrend, which already is heavily integrated into Windows 10, underpinning all applications, devices, and operations in the near term. This video (Azure Machine Learning for Software Engineers) provides a good tutorial on machine learning capabilities to get you started.
Demonstrating flexibility, on the mobile phone side, you have Windows 10 mobile where you can use your phone like a PC and project to a HD TV by attaching a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.
Diving deeper into 2-in-1s
PC and tablet sales are declining and this megatrend will continue. The rapid rise of 2-in-1s running Windows 10 are the savior for the industry. I will provide examples of the trend from personal experiences.
I was invited to the United Nations General Assembly in July to speak. I was surprised at the proliferation of Surface Pro users at the event and in fact in all my meetings abroad, most recently in California where I had the same experience.
Driven by the good reviews and personal recommendations, I got a Surface Pro 3 this year, and I can see all the fuss about it! It beats all my past tablets and laptops easily due to the convenience of a small form factor, light weight, and convenience like a tablet without sacrificing the full functionality of a laptop. Illustrating this is my Surface Pro configuration: 512GB SSD (disk storage), 8GB RAM, 4th generation i7 Intel processor, TPM (trusted platform module) chip for enterprise security, all the key wireless standards, Bluetooth low-energy 4.0, stereo mics and Dolby sound, two 5MP HD cameras, full size USB 3, multitude of sensors, 2160 x 1440 12 inch screen, infinitely settable hinged kickstand, good feel magnetic keyboard cover, highly usable stylus–all of this combined with the power of a full laptop in a quality magnesium frame package.
How do 2-in-1s work with Windows 10?
I upgraded the Surface Pro seamlessly to Windows 10 from 8.1 to see how well it integrates, and indeed it works very well!
First of all Windows 10 enhanced security and smart capabilities provide the peace of mind that I need as a busy executive engaging globally.
I now use the many new features like the Edge browser continually since it is so fast and convenient. For example, Edge will support VP9, the open-source video codec in the future, delivering high-definition video content. Video is a major megatrend on mobile platforms.
In terms of using Edge, here is a detailed description:
A book-like icon at the top right allows you see the web-page optimized for easy reading without distractions. The star icon next to it “Adds to favorites or reading list.” The 3-line icon next to the star is a hub for Favorites, Reading list, History, and Downloads. The pen/tablet icon brings up a series of added icons that allow you make a Web Note (Pan, Pen, Highlight, Eraser, Add a typed note, Clip, Save Web Note, and Share). The circular closed dots icon allows you to share. Finally the dotted-series icon gives you more actions such as New Window, New InPrivate Window, Zoom, Find on a page, Print, Pin to Start [menu], F12 Developer Tools, Open with Internet Explorer, Feedback, and Settings).
You can write/type on a webpage and share or use Notes; Reading List allows a collection of content you want to save and read later. Reading view (also triggered by Ctrl+Shift+R) permits reading without distractions.
If you are running Cortana, the Windows 10 personal digital assistant powered by machine learning/deep learning artificial intelligence, Cortana integrates with Edge providing personalized tips unavailable with competing browsers. Cortana also allows you to trigger Windows 10 settings just by asking.
More Windows 10 capabilities
I am really enjoying the Windows 10 Continuum experience where the system automatically optimizes to tablet or PC-like mode, depending how I am using my Surface Pro (for example with or without keyboard), by changing the screen layout and options for best viewing and ease of use.
In addition, having the integrated Start menu combines the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 with streaming updates, Live Tiles is a real boost to the user experience. There are so many capabilities including time savers like the ability to “Microsoft Print to PDF” just by opening up the Print menu, it’s one of the options.
Want to do more? Clicking the Store icon in the Task bar at the bottom of your screen provides these themes: Home, Apps, Games, Music, Movies & TV. The unified Windows 10 Store features universal apps working across all devices. For enterprises, a new web-based Store portal has the ability to create your own private section for your company stocked with acquired Store apps and uploaded custom apps. Your IT department can bulk acquire apps by signing in with an Azure Active Directory identity and assign apps to people in your company. If you have your own private company portal with a catalog of apps, you can acquire new Store portal apps and display them within your private portal using API-level integration of your management tools and the Windows store. You can fully control Windows store using an array of capabilities with System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune and mobile device management (MDM).
How about Office? Working very well with Windows 10, Office 365 is a mainstay and there is Office 2016 for the desktop in Preview with updated interface, tighter integration with OneDrive, and significant Outlook enhancements.
For computers with the required hardware, there is Windows Hello. Windows Hello uses biometric authentication such as your face, eye or finger on special supported hardware that has an infrared camera (eg. Intel’s RealSense F200 camera technology (infrared lasers, multiple lenses, processing chip)) for facial/iris recognition or a fingerprint reader.
There are so many new useful features, I will explore them further in future articles.