The next step for Windows 10 is to move beyond its status as a product users need to become a product customers actively love, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer has claimed.
In discussion with fellow executive Brad Anderson at Microsoft Ignite, Panos Panay set out his vision for the Windows platform moving forward, in the context of the ongoing pandemic.
“How are we going to reinvigorate Windows in the future? Well, I want to move Windows from people needing it – and knowing they need it – to loving and wanting it,” he said.
“It’s something that people use all day long, especially now. And so it has to be something that people want and gravitate to.”
“That’s what we’re working towards – and there’s never been more investment in Windows than right now,” he added.
Windows 10 devices
The pair went on to discuss the new challenges facing IT teams as a result of the pandemic, especially when it comes to provisioning Windows 10 devices.
According to Anderson, who heads up Commercial Management Experiences, the demand for PCs and laptops at the start of the pandemic was so extraordinary that companies were struggling to source devices for newly remote staff.
“I was on two or three calls with CIOs every day, each wondering how to react [to the pandemic] – and many of whom had to deploy thousands or tens of thousands of PCs to their users,” he said.
“We saw hundreds of millions of new PCs come online in March and April – and we saw millions of devices we hadn’t seen for a year come back online too.”
Businesses that did manage to equip the remote workforce sufficiently, meanwhile, were still faced with the need to provision devices remotely – a process that may have been totally alien to some.
Historically, IT departments have used dedicated build labs to provision PCs for staff members. But now, the same teams are faced with the challenge of fulfilling the requirement, but with devices located in employees’ homes instead.
“As I think about the future of management and security, it’s all about taking these control planes that have historically been on-site and moving them into the cloud,” added Anderson.
“Let’s take provisioning, management and security and operate these functions from cloud services – that is where the future lies.”
The new working reality, with all the challenges it brings, will inevitably have a significant impact on Microsoft’s product roadmap.
The way Windows 10 and other Microsoft services evolve in the months and years ahead will effectively map the story of the pandemic, which both Panay and Anderson agree has changed the working world forever.