18 Sep

Enterprise Dish: How Windows updates can affect UX

Fall is proving to be an eventful season for Microsoft as they call back old applications, adjust the Windows 10 in S mode, and plan for a new product release in October. SmartDeploy CEO, Aaron Suzuki and host, Brad Sams, dissect it all to keep you informed on potential changes in your Windows environment. Watch the video to hear their thoughts on the current Microsoft news and follow along to learn the logistics of the new additions.

Microsoft is calling back the old feature set PowerToys, dating back to the Windows 95 and XP eras. An additional aspect to this utility is the window manager, FancyZones; listen in to hear Aaron’s opinion of the unique name. FancyZones fine tunes the user’s Windows experience to allow for greater productivity with the ability to customize the Windows 10 interface for individual workflows. This window manager allows users to define a set of locations on the desktop classified as “zones” where an application will resize and fill the zone when placed there. The pair agreed that PowerToys could be a supportive tool for users in IT roles who run several applications simultaneously. Putting the PowerToys name or original release date aside, Microsoft revived the utility with user experience in mind and the software could improve your Windows usability.

Earlier this September, Microsoft announced Windows 10 S Mode will get Win32 app support, delivered via Intune. This came largely as a surprise as it reverts from the software’s initial purpose. S Mode was created to exclusively run apps from the Microsoft Store and restricts malware apps as it is a more secure method by avoiding an executable install. However, the exact opposite seems to be more popular as users are still building their own apps. Plus the lack of download limitations associated with PCs, like we see in smartphones and tablets, are desired. The duo concluded that this adjustment is Microsoft’s attempt to encourage a more widespread adoption of Windows 10 in S Mode. The pair predicted Microsoft’s end goal is to shift the Windows industry to use an enterprise app store. However, as they have realized, now is not yet the time.

Aaron answered a user submitted question about how to tackle a sizeable upgrade of devices running on Windows 7 to Windows 10. In this case, Windows Autopilot is not an option due to security reasons, which has resulted in this user to investigate alternatives. Although Aaron’s company, SmartDeploy, specializes in Windows updates, Aaron advised the listener to review the basic needs of the environment and end users before diving into potential solutions. He suggested determining the scale of the upgrade and how many hardware models are in the environment. Aaron stressed the importance of understanding where your users store their information to determine the best way to extract and import the data during deployment without leaving anything behind. Aaron could not overstate the reliance on open communication between the IT team and end users, in order to experience a successful upgrade project. Being clear about the entire process is a key step to ensure the end user’s device holds their most current information. Watch the video to hear how SmartDeploy can simplify this user’s case.

About the Author

Heidi Flaig
Heidi Flaig has overseen the marketing department for SmartDeploy since 2011 and thrives on engaging with IT professionals to better understand how SmartDeploy products can improve their world. She has over 500 contributions in the Spiceworks community. When she’s not in the office, you can find Heidi hiking with her husband, two sons, and silver lab, Miles.