back to article Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

Bulky corporate enterprise punters are starting to fall for the, ahem, charms of Windows 10, Computacenter's chief executive claimed today as he flashed his firm’s calendar first half-year trading figures. Mike Norris, boss of the London-listed services-based reseller, said the pending contract sign-off for managed services …

  1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    18 months

    18 months after release when the initial bugs are ironed out

    That's all well and good, but in the case of Win10, MS seem to have a policy of ongoing and continual bug introduction

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 18 months

      The only thing that is going to make corporates move is the sunset of Windows 7. The same way that they would still be on XP, or many of them would, if it was still sold and supported. They all open a web browser as well as the next. It is just a large expense for little upside to flip versions of Windows.... MSFT is getting nervous because Google Chrome OS is going to look like a pretty attractive alternative (free vs $199 for Win Pro, ultra secure, easy to manage a machine or a fleet of machines, now has the largest app catalog with Android) if they don't get people on Windows 10 pretty quickly. They are racing the clock and Google is coming up at a rapid pace.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: 18 months

        The only thing that is going to make corporates move is the sunset of Windows 7. The same way that they would still be on XP, or many of them would, if it was still sold and supported.

        Exactly. Been there, seen it. Right now, the only places even thinking about adopting it are places where Microsoft is already their in-house contract IT management vendor. Avanade, I'm looking at you.

      2. joed

        Re: 18 months

        Unfortunately so called "suites" like to be seen as hip and progressive and will push this crap on businesses if only to avoid being caught into next XP sunset event. Business reasons and costs be damned (and so the privacy of employees). Sometimes it seems like MS is not just about Windows but also revolving doors.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure if this is based on real data or not? If we were to purchase new licences we would buy the latest and use the downgrade rights to run the version we require. It's pretty hard to buy Windows 7 licences nowadays.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, there is just nothing people want in Windows 10. What is the big addition? Cortana. Who cares. There is no big advantage over Win 7. I actually think 10 is worse than 7 because 10 is just a big advertisement for Bing, which no one wants, whereas 7 played it relatively straight.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is beginning to happen

    As a Computacenter employee working on a major customer site, it is beginning to happen for real. Important parts to note is that enterprises DO have full control of updates, so the buggy anniversary update is typically not on the table to be deployed at present. And I imagine many future updates will be deployed only following a delay and some additional testing.

    Overall though, I think many companies have unpleasant memories of the rush to get rid of XP (and the costs that were involved). Hence companies with a 3-year refresh cycle are looking to start pushing out Windows 10 on new kit so that Windows 7 has naturally disappeared by the time it reaches EOL.

    Doesn't mean we like Windows 10 of course (speaking personally here), but you can understand the business logic behind such an approach.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is beginning to happen

      [Insert Ron Paul "It's Happening" meme here]

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is beginning to happen

      Again more stupid idiot managers who don't realise the support challenges of two different OS's. Also factoring in group policies that work or don't work on different server OS's. She has that app, he has these permissions, the supplier can't open my spreadsheets anymore, a perfect nightmare. Good luck to you with that system.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It is beginning to happen

      "Important parts to note is that enterprises DO have full control of updates, so the buggy anniversary update is typically not on the table to be deployed at present."

      Are there any non-buggy updates for them to apply?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is beginning to happen

      I don't know. I think Chromebooks are going to take a nice bite out of Windows this refresh cycle. I see a lot of Chromebooks floating around and pilots in progress. Does that mean Chromebooks will wipe Windows out? Of course not, there will be more Windows 10 lifecycle machines than Chrome OS PCs this go around, but I think it is going to give IT managers something to think about instead of just shutting up and doing what Microsoft tells them to do. Chrome kind of hits all the IT managers' nails on the head - secure, easy to manage with IT having control of all aspects of the device, cost effective... huge budget savings, and the cool new thing.

    5. joed

      Re: It is beginning to happen

      While the enterprises have much greater control over the environment having expertise or just imagination to toggle essential boxes is not always the case. Especially when MS seems to like complicating policies. Anyway, cumulative updates will remain such - at some point one is forced to apply all the crap at once (and deal with the fallout).

    6. TVU Silver badge

      Re: It is beginning to happen

      "As a Computacenter employee working on a major customer site, it is beginning to happen for real. Important parts to note is that enterprises DO have full control of updates, so the buggy anniversary update is typically not on the table to be deployed at present. And I imagine many future updates will be deployed only following a delay and some additional testing".

      There might indeed be some tolerance of Windows 10 when it comes to larger companies that can afford the licensing costs of the more tame and controllable enterprise edition of Windows 10.

      However, there will be many small and medium sized business that cannot afford that option and that cannot take any risk with the domestic version of Windows 10 with all its foibles. In this instance, these businesses are more likely to cling on to Windows 7 for as long as possible or move over to one of the unices (OS X, Linux, Chrome OS).

  4. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Sniff Sniff Sniff...

    That's the smell of a bloated & rotting corpse festering in the sun. I think I'll give it a wide berth & avoid it like the plague.

  5. Dwarf Silver badge

    Sniffing around

    There is a big difference between sniffing around something and actually purchasing it.

    You can also sniff around to see if it smells OK, then decide to walk away (my dog does this).

    I can't see how any corporate with all the regulatory frameworks that we have to comply with will be able to sign up for Slurp.

    How would they propose to meet all the privacy requirements, PCI-DSS for credit card handling, or even good handling of corporate secrets, customer confidentiality or similar with all the telemetry and key logging going on.

    Clearly most will use firewalls to limit access, but as that's tied to other MS services to make it hard to disable. That will backfire on MS as the number of people accessing their services will reduce. What then of the technical staff who need to access, have privileged system access, but need the telemetry blocking too ??. The increased connectivity is also a concern as a potential attack vector of the future.

    Then there is all the forced and bundled up patches. Lets see what happens when that say ends up in a bank or hospital and it takes out a large swathe of systems.

    I predict that this will get very limited market penetration until MS backtrack on all the things that people have said need to be addressed around privacy and manageability.

    Its just quite telling that the last 3 OS releases have been poorly received. Previously they could get one-in-two with some level of repeatability.

    Some corporate policies will change and other OS's will get more penetration. Microsoft are loosing their dominance and influence piece by piece as we can see by their attempt to stick tendrils into other OS's over recent months.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sniffing around

      And yet it's ok for the US DoD

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/17/dod_to_shift_4m_devices_to_windows_10/

      There are no forced updates for these companies, Microsoft has already worked out what security issues would be impermissible. It seems your post concerns your own security issues and how you project them onto others rather than the reality.

      Sure, this is a different windows than most are used to but it's not been designed to break industry guidelines where windows is dominant.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: Sniffing around

        So, AC works for Microsoft.. Nobody else would push such a link (which BTW is broken)

        There are a couple of subtle differences.

        1. The significant majority of DoD systems would not be able to connect to the Internet (i.e. no access at all, rather than access via a firewall as would be in most corporates, so a very different threat level to an "average company")

        2. Regulatory issues do not seem to apply to Government in the same way it does to to ordinary companies. For example, I can't imaging a case where they need customers credit card details or would get pulled up for non compliance with SoX or similar.

        3. Microsoft doesn't listen to ordinary companies - I know, I've represented very large companies regarding large defects in the OS and was told that unless (an un-achievable number) of people were affected, then no change would happen and a generic "might be in the next version" woolly promise that never comes true. If that's for very large corporates then what hope is there for ordinary sized businesses.

        4. I strongly expect that this is not a 100% vanilla release of Windows, unlike the rest of the world will be forced to use.

        You claim "its not been designed to break industry guidelines where windows is dominant". Perhaps you would elaborate on how all other companies (from single traders, through small business and up to large enterprise are supposed to comply with the legislation i mentioned previously when they have virtually no control over the OS and its got all that slurping going on that Microsoft won't even come clean on:

        a. What is being logged

        b. What purpose its being logged for

        c. Giving one large on/off switch for when the USER DECIDES if they want this or not.

        So, apples and oranges compared to what you claim in your anonymous response.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sniffing around

          Agree. There is just no reason to push Windows on every user today. If the user wants Windows, great, but PCs should work the same way as smartphones. Give the users a choice of an iPhone, a few Android devices, maybe a BB, and then use EMS software to manage the diverse fleet of devices. It makes no sense that every company does that with smartphones, but most still mandate Windows version x.xx for the PCs.... They are all just end user compute devices, treat them all the same. Give people a budget of $600 and then allow them to pick from a variety of Chromebooks and Linux machines (with really awesome specs because you don't have to pay for the OS) and Windows machines with worse specs at the same price. Point being, PCs should be user choice within a budget. The exact same way that corporate managed smartphones are today. The only argument to make PCs different is "that is the way we have done it", ie laziness.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Loud Speaker

      Re: Sniffing around

      my dog does this

      Somehow this reminded me of a Darwin Awards where some guy went fishing with dynamite. He lights the fuse, chucks the stick in the lake, dog goes in after and retrieves the stick.

      Results as expected.

      Lesson: do not let your dog sniff Windows 10.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    as customers look to take advantage of new operating systems

    Does that mean that Computacenter's field staff are going to need to learn all about Linux?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corporates will change there O/S only when they have too

    Windows XP retirement is a fine example of this

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corporates will change there O/S only when they have too

      Windows XP retirement is a fine example of this

      But why did they have to? Because Microsoft were ending all forms of support, most critically updates for Windows anti-virus. Microsoft have learned one lesson from XP: Keep the support lifecycle as short as possible, and ensure that critical updates aren't offered forever.

      W7 has now been out of mainstream support for over 18 months, and corporates are having to look at Windows 10 no matter what they would prefer to do.

      Turn the table for a moment. You're a senior Microsoft employee, and you're looking to force corporates onto W10. What would you do? I'd make it clear that there would be no critical updates, and no AV or firewall updates beyond 2020. Maybe scare the cattle by letting on about all those zero days floating around on the dark web. Corporates should really be using third party AV and hardware firewalls, but even with those, would you chance running the entire corporate fleet on an unsupported OS with a long and well founded reputation for insecurity?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Corporates will change there O/S only when they have too

        "Turn the table for a moment."

        Turn the table again. You're a corporate buyer who's been stung a couple of times with EoL, rollouts of new versions and all the accompanying hassle. What are you going to say to the next salesman trying to flog you more where that came from?

        Sure, you're going to be told this is the last Windows ever. What that really means is that bits of it are going to be EoLed every few months. All you can do is delay that for a few months at a time. The rollouts are going to be ongoing.

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Corporates will change there O/S only when they have too

        "would you chance running the entire corporate fleet on an unsupported OS with a long and well founded reputation for insecurity?"

        You yourself pointed out how Microsoft is leaving a shorter and shorter time the latest Windows is supported.

        So therefore, most do, every time they move to the latest version of Windows.

  8. Sixtysix
    FAIL

    Nope, no way, no how.

    My policy for Windows 10: Don't, as long as possible, and minimise change elsewhere as well to keep the wheels turning on legacy systems (and yes Oracle 9, Forms and Portal, Flash, Reader and Java6, I *really* do want rid of you all).

    I am committed to Windows 7 until 2018 at the earliest for my estate (1000+) not because I hate it (I use at home on my games boxen), but because I cannot afford the project to re-image the fleet for no return whatsoever.

    I am also not willing to let my Windows admin waste time finding and understanding all the changes that need to be made to policy to retain the control we want (as opposed to what Microsoft believe we need). We have a brief look and it looks like more of a mess (as in my admins have less say over profile creation, while having nearly 10 times as many controls) than the move from XP to 7.

    Seriously hoping my next refresh can be moved out to 2020 and feature a thin client "desktop in the cloud" solution: then I can retire before I do something silly, (like, for instance, roll out Win10v3...).

    YMMV obviously

    1. adnim Silver badge

      Re: Nope, no way, no how.

      "but because I cannot afford the project to re-image the fleet for no return whatsoever."

      Can you afford to be Microsoft's bitch? think long term, not 2 years ahead.

      The return is open standards compliance and free open source software... Just give back what you take for what you paid ;-)

      Applications needed to perform a duty and access rights is all that differentiates your work force.

      Legacy systems are an issue... Someone smart would take a day or two to find open standard alternatives.

      If I were in your position... which I was, though quite a few years ago now. I would be looking to sack MS completely.

      Good luck. I am MS free.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nope, no way, no how.

        Who are these people who are in favor of Windows 10? I can understand people saying that they don't think they have a choice (I think they have a good choice, move to Chromebooks), but who actually thinks Windows 10 is a positive development and totally worth the money. They have to work for MSFT... or be people who make their living fixing the shortcomings of Windows.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nope, no way, no how.

      Yeah, and this whole scene could look quite a bit different a few years down the road. Chrome, already growing rapidly in consumer/edu, is going to be in hyper growth mode now that they have the Android apps. It is just a much better deal for the corporates. More secure, easier to manage with more control for IT, now the largest app portfolio, basically all the benefits of VDI, actively managed by Google (as opposed to passively managed Windows), younger employees prefer it anyway... and, critically, zero dollars per license instead of whatever MSFT is charging you. Chrome OS actually has a *stronger* value prop for the corporates than the consumers. Consumers are not as concerned about security, manageability, and the cost is kind of baked in the PC cake (unlike corporates with an EA for many seats of $199 Windows Pro plus SA).... I would stick with 7 and see what this looks like a few years, probably quite a bit different.

  9. adnim Silver badge
    Meh

    Cynical me

    thinks they are just trying to drum up interest.

    Any CTO/Head of IT should and will be sceptical of migration to Windows 10 considering that Microsoft are using their customers as beta testers.

    On the other hand, if there is a band wagon some find it hard to resist jumping on it...The keep up with the Joneses mentality. So what do they have to lose?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cynical me

      Yeah, after that train wreck anniversary update, you have to think people are not interested in moving to something MSFT clearly doesn't have a handle on.... on top of there just being no reason to move.

  10. moiety

    If your business is based around punting out Windows 10, then that's exactly the sort of thing you would say.

    Frankly, you'd have to be insane -as a corporate- to go anywhere near W10. A secret, unspecified, amount of your live data to a foreign company who have recently proven themselves to be douches multiple times...might just as well give Microsoft a seat on the board and be done with it. It's antithetical to every principle of Big Boy Bastardy (aka corporate business). It's the software equivalent of Fool's Mate in chess.

    The only possible reason to go near it is if you absolutely know you can fuck off with your golden parachute before the results are in.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

    we really have few options.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Linux

      we really have few options.

      "few" == "more than one".

      And indeed there are.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

      "we really have few options."

      One option is for a few really big customers to go to MS and tell them if they really want to sell more S/W and services they have to keep W7 going.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

        One option is for a few really big customers to go to MS and tell them if they really want to sell more S/W and services they have to keep W7 going.

        They will. That's how XP support got extended as long as it did.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

          I would pay again to get another ten years' support for Windows 7, so long as it was support in the same manner it has been all along for Windows 7, not the new Windows 10 type.

          I would not (and did not) take Win 10 for free. I am far from alone in this!

          If MS really wanted to make a pile of money quickly and revitalize (to a degree, at least) the PC industry, they'd do something like that. A Windows 7 re-release with the old style updates and only minimal new features (Kaby Lake support, that sort of thing, but not Cortana, UWP, or the MS Store) would be a hit. But then they'd be back to supporting traditional Windows for 10 more years, and it doesn't look like Microsoft's plans for "the last version of Windows ever" include it being Windows as we have known it for that long.

          What it looks like to me is that they're planning to reshape Windows into a thin-client frontend for their cloud services for their enterprise customers rather than a full-on general-purpose operating system as it has been. Those of us in non-enterprise-land would be cut loose, though MS would still extol the virtues of all of their most wonderful cloud services that we can use from whatever platform we end up on. "Closing time! You don't have to go home, but you can't... stay... here."

          Seriously, what else explains how hard they seem to be trying to alienate us while trying to "monetize" us short term? The aggression MS has shown its SOHO and home users doesn't make sense if you think that MS wants to keep them as customers. It only begins to make sense (to me) if I consider that MS plans to pull out of the general-purpose OS market anyway, so a last-ditch attempt to monetize Windows users and get them onto the cloud subscription plan doesn't have any downside.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe

            ' it doesn't look like Microsoft's plans for "the last version of Windows ever" include it being Windows as we have known it for that long.'

            In the long run Windows will have to be what users want if Microsoft are to make money from it. And I did write "users" and not customers. If they don't have users they don't have customers, whether it be customers to buy software or, as they seem to want, customers who want to buy the users.

  12. DougS Silver badge

    Windows 7 support ends in early 2020

    Given the timeline, they probably want to plan on having the rollout finished in the early part of 2019 to account for any delays they encounter. That means starting the rollout a year before that in early 2018, meaning that they have to begin testing with small/knowledgeable user communities no later than a year from now.

    So this probably is the time for "sniffing around", though many probably hope that Microsoft will somehow be induced to extend its support like they did with XP...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Businesses Sniffing around Windows 10.... Snap, Because Windaze 10 is Sniffing anything you put near it...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You have to be on top of your Security Game

      Windows 10 slurps data back somewhere, Free Lunch ?

  14. Revelationman

    Companies have spent millions on updating to Windows 7, now facing Windows 10, the cost to migrate testing of software, and training end user's, are companies prepared to fork out more money.

    I do like Windows 10 but I know from experience beside Hardware compatibility it's software and many developers have not caught up to 10 some have just caught up to Windows 7,

    But I would put a few machines with Windows 10, but keep Windows 7 machines just in case there is software that still requires Windows 7 this will allow developers to update their software till it's ready for Windows 10 testing, At the very least you could have a Windows 10 image ready,

  15. Sitch

    WinTin is a fabulous concept

    Malware as an OS.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    really

    I work on a site with over 20,000 XP users, win10 just ain't gonna happen. It would mean new machines, user training, broken apps ('cause MS don't do backwards compatibility), and pain - loads of pain

    If (and it's a big if) we have to move then Chrome and web apps looks like a good starting point

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