Since the beginning of the business computing revolution, IT professionals have been staffed with one over-arching mission: to empower their end users. Each and every employee within an organization – from the CEO to the firstline worker – depends upon IT to protect them from security threats, and provide them with the tools and technology they need to do their best work.
Although the technology we use has changed dramatically since PCs first started appearing in the workplace, the fundamental purpose of IT – to protect and empower the organization – still holds true today, and more so than ever before.
Looking back just over a decade ago, the world was a very different place where technology is concerned. The Nokia 2600 Classic was the best selling phone of 2007. The bleeding edge of technology for its time. Can you imagine still using a phone like this today? You wouldn’t. Nor would you expect your users to.
But the reality is, on their desktop devices, many companies are still running old, outdated platforms – or at best, following legacy IT paradigms – like the traditional 3-year update cadence – and asking their employees to work on machines that have missed out on years of advances no less ground-breaking than that of mobile technology.
Today we are in a fundamentally new era of intelligent computing. Due to the pervasiveness of consumer experiences, we are all more connected, more mobile, more tech savvy than we’ve ever been before. Technology is all around us – from smart thermostats to internet-connected dog collars.
These new consumer expectations are disrupting traditional businesses, causing the lines between life and work to be blurred forever. Employees expect work to fit them, and to be productive no matter where they are. They expect access to colleagues, data, applications and services at any time. Wherever and whenever they might be on the planet. As customers – and as employees – we are demanding magical, intelligent, digital moments, that are increasingly proactive and fit us in the moment.
According to The Future Workforce Study, people entering the workforce today no longer ask for sufficient technology at their jobs; they expect it – more than 80 percent of millennials say workplace tech would have an influence when deciding to take a job, while 42 percent say they are willing to quit their job if office technologies are not up to their standard.
Productivity is not enough – the addition of collaborative tools and innovative technologies are vital to the workplace of the near future. IT needs to provide tools and technology that enable collaboration and allow employees work efficiently no matter where or how that work is getting done.tools that employ intelligence, to assist users with daily tasks so that they’re free to focus on the things matter the most.
A 2017 Forrester Workforce Benchmark Survey shows that 59% of information workers would choose Windows 10 for their next PC or laptop. Why is this? We believe it’s because Windows 10 brings the richest, smartest desktop experience, on a platform that’s intuitive for them to understand and use. A platform built with end-user productivity and efficiency in mind.
“We are focused on empowering both people and organizations, by democratizing access to intelligence to help solve our most pressing challenges. To do this, we are infusing AI into everything we deliver across our computing platforms and experiences”.Satya Nadella – Microsoft CEO
Microsoft infuses Windows 10 features and apps with the latest breakthroughs in AI – things like the Microsoft Graph, intelligent search, inking, and accessibility – to bring the latest advances and benefits to your users with each update. To help them save time, take advantage of modern conveniences, and make their job a little easier.
With Windows 10, your users always have the latest technology, and the latest intelligence. Windows 10 is an intuitive, easy-to-use operating system, with the built-in tools and features that individuals and teams need to collaborate and produce their best work. Core capabilities give your users options for how they interact with their devices, stay in sync, and find what they need faster. Built-in apps, designed to work across PCs, tablets, or mobile phones, help users pick up where they left off and stay in the flow.
Windows 10 productivity features show up in 3 key areas
Work smarter: Features to help people stay in the flow, work faster, and find what they need. This includes features and apps such as Microsoft Edge, enterprise search in Windows, Cortana, or Windows Timeline, which offers a chronological view of activities and documents, so users can go back in time and jump right back in where they were on documents and activities.
- Enterprise Search – With enterprise search in Windows, users have one place to find whatever they need – right in the Windows 10 taskbar. Enterprise search finds results from apps on devices or in the Microsoft Store, settings, documents, email messages, company resources, web results, people, Power BI dashboards and reports and more. Enterprise search in Windows also has the ability to surface documents and items across local devices, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint locations. Searching on keywords or names will quickly return results from titles and document bodies, by author, or by collaborators and individuals who shared the documents.
- Windows User Experience
- Windows Timeline – Gives users a new view of activities and documents, so they can find things in chronological context. From one device to the next, Windows Timeline syncs and keeps track of where a user is in an app or document, and lets them jump back in where they left off. Timeline integrates seamlessly with Task View, with current activities highlighted front and center. With Office 365 apps, Timeline detects and includes what a user did on their Android or iOS device.
- Optimize Screen Space – Windows enables users to keep the documents and apps they need in easy view. They can open up to four apps on one screen and easily snap documents or apps into place to optimize available screen space with Snap Assist. And if screens are getting crowded, users can create virtual desktops with just the items they want – great for when they don’t have multiple monitors to work with.
- Start Fast & Smart – Users can personalize the Start menu by pinning their go-to apps and files for fast access, and organizing app tiles by groups and folders. They can pin underlying content to the Start menu, to jump into a specific document, and Live Tiles display updated information, like weather and headlines, so users can see information at a glance without opening the app. And for East Asian markets, the start menu now has simplified grouping of apps in the all apps list.
- Microsoft Edge
- Enteprise Security – Microsoft Edge is the most secure browser for enterprise customers because it is the only browser that works with Windows Defender Application Guard. Users are automatically protected from phishing and malicious software while they’re online.
- Productive Across Devices – Microsoft Edge, available on iOS and Android, creates a continuous browsing experience for Windows 10 users across their devices. Content and data sync seamlessly in the background, so users can browse across devices without skipping a beat.
- Superior browser performance – Designed for how the web is built today, Microsoft Edge is created for modern web standards —and benchmarks like Jetstream 1.1 show it is the faster browser on Windows 10. It also delivers better battery life performance, letting users do more on the web and stay productive on the go.
- Take Control & Unleash Creativity – Work in multiple tabs without all the clutter. Built-in tools make it simple to organize, find and set aside web pages to help users focus on the content they need. Use Windows Ink or type directly on webpages, transforming them into a canvas for collaboration and creativity. Users can add their thoughts to a page, then easily share with co-workers, or seamlessly save screenshots to apps such as OneNote.
- Quickly Move Into Action – With Cortana enabled, users get instant access to key actions, like highlighting an unfamiliar term to get a contextual explanation right on the spot.
Cultivate collaboration: Seamless integration with tools for working with others. This includes the great things you can do with Office 365 on Windows, apps like Whiteboard and OneNote, and features like Nearby Sharing that allow users to quickly transmit documents, files, and web pages to nearby PCs via Bluetooth.
We know that collaboration is the way work gets done now. People on average participate on twice as many teams as they did 5 years ago and the average IW has seen increase time spent collaborating by 50. The benefits are undeniable – companies that invest in collaboration and teamwork are 5x more likely to be high performing.
But it’s not just about the numbers. The very nature of how we collaborate has shifted. Teams now are composed of both internal and external members – inside and outside the firewall. Team members are increasingly geographically distributed. And the workforce is increasingly diverse in many ways, including demographics – 5 different generations in the workforce at the same time, each with different expectations.
- Office 365
- Cloud Location, Familiar Navigation – With OneDrive Files On-Demand, users can access all their files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on their device. Just by signing in, all files—even online-only files—are instantly available in on their PCs. And new enhanced activity indicators in File Explorer make the OneDrive experience on Windows even better than before.
- Add power to the point with 3D – Users can leverage 3D content to increase the visual and creative impact of their PowerPoint, Word, and Excel documents, and Outlook messages. Users can bring 3D objects to life in presentations with transitions like Morph, that create cinematic animations between slides, or animations like turntable, that allow an object to turn continuously on the slide.
- Ink the way you think – Employees can use a compatible digital pen to annotate Office documents in a fluid and natural way, or edit them directly. Users can convert handwriting to text, strikethrough to delete, circle to select, highlight to emphasize, and make room to write or insert text. Users can replay the sequence of mark-ups from co-workers, to better understand another’s thought process, and even use a digital pen as a clicker to advance through PowerPoint slides.
- The best duo for multitasking – Windows multi-tasking features pair perfectly with Office. Users can arrange their screens however they want, to easily open and manage multiple Office apps and documents on one screen, and effortlessly snap up to four documents or apps at a time into view to optimize their digital workspace.
- Nearby Sharing – With the Nearby Sharing feature in Windows 10, meetings with co-workers just got easier. Using the Share option in Microsoft Edge, File Explorer, OneNote, and other Windows apps, users can quickly transmit documents, files, and web pages to nearby PCs via Bluetooth. So spontaneous sharing and collaboration can happen anywhere – not just in spaces equipped with a screen or projector.
- Microsoft Whiteboard
- Collaborate effortlessly – Whiteboard’s limitless surface provides space for everyone’s ideas. Users can bring in teammates—whether they’re across the hall or in a different part of the world—with real-time collaboration across multiple devices. Users can see where everyone is on the board and the updates they’re making—whether they’re adding images, putting up sticky notes, or creating diagrams.
- Work naturally – Microsoft Whiteboard lets people create in whatever way feels natural. Pen-first, touch-first technology lets users make fluid gestures with their fingers or draw details with a digital pen. Users can jot down notes, draw precise illustrations, or search for images on the web. Using fingers, users can swipe through sections of the board, turn the virtual ruler to any angle, or even drag and drop images.
- Capture Intelligently – Intelligent ink in Microsoft Whiteboard recognizes freeform drawings and turns them into standard shapes, so it’s easy to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts. And unlike traditional whiteboards, the app automatically saves boards, so users can resume discussions later in another place, follow up from their desk after a meeting, or share links to boards so others can build on top of their work.
- Start sharing immediately – OneNote comes pre-installed in Windows 10, so users can start jotting notes, sharing, and collaborating with peers as soon as they log in for the first time.
- Stay organized – Whether users need to take meeting notes and share them with a group, sketch an idea, capture an image, preserve an email message in context, print a web page or file, or take a photo of a whiteboard, OneNote makes it quick and easy to get everything organized in one place – notebooks, sections, or pages. And users can search across all typed and handwritten notes to find whatever they need quickly.
- Think with ink – Users can take notes any way they want – typing onto a page, writing or drawing with a digital pen or using a finger on the touchscreen. Users have access to a variety of drawing tools and effects, and OneNote integrates the latest advancements in shape recognition, including standard shapes and tables, as well as preserving ink color, size, and highlights when converting handwriting into text. OneNote users can even record their ink strokes so they can be replayed later.
- Access from anywhere – OneNote is available on nearly any device, including Android, iOS, web, Chromebook, even wearables – so no matter where users are, they can access their notes.
- Always up to date – OneNote supports the latest advancements in things like shape recognition, immersive reader, and integration with new Windows capabilities such as Timeline.
Empower workstyles: Windows is built to address the needs of the modern workforce – supporting different workstyles and individual needs, with things like inking, touch, voice dictation, mobility, accessibility features, and device options for everyone.
- Work across devices is a compilation of features that are designed to make Windows 10 work better with iOS and Android phones.
- Windows 10 + Android
- Continue on PC: With Microsoft Edge on Android, users can move easily from an Android phone to their PC, picking up an activity right where they left off. Microsoft Edge creates a continuous browsing experience for Windows 10 users across their devices – content and data sync seamlessly and safely in the background, so users can seamlessly browse across devices.
- Sync Office docs across devices: With Office apps on Android, users can move easily from one device to another, without loosing their place in the doc. Users can start a Word document or Excel spreadsheet on their mobile phone, and quickly resume writing on their PC with a full keyboard and screen.
- Microsoft Launcher: On Android devices, users can download the Microsoft Launcher, to get an easy-to-personalize mobile experience, and single sign on for their favorite Microsoft productivity apps.4 Users can create a customized feed of notifications, people and activities, and personalize their home screen to take action quickly.
- Intelligent assistance: Cortana helps keep things in order – at work or on the go. Users can add a new event or reminder to their calendar from their PC, and Cortana makes sure it’s on their Android phone, keeping users up-to-date wherever they go. Users can tell Cortana send activities from their phone to their PC, to continue activities with the benefits of a bigger screen.
- Windows 10 + iOS
- Continue on PC: With Microsoft Edge on iOS, users can send webpages or articles from their iPhone instantly to their PC, continuing to read or browse with a bigger screen on their PC. Microsoft Edge creates a continuous browsing experience for Windows 10 users across their devices – content and data sync seamlessly and safely in the background, so users can seamlessly browse across devices.
- Sync Office docs across devices: with Office apps on iOS, users can move easily from one device to another, without loosing their place in the doc. Users can start a Word document or Excel spreadsheet on their mobile phone, and quickly resume writing on their PC with a full keyboard and screen.
- Intelligent assistance: Cortana helps keep things in order – at work or on the go. Users can add a new event or reminder to their calendar from their PC, and Cortana makes sure it’s on their iPhone, keeping users up-to-date wherever they go. Users can tell Cortana send activities from their phone to their PC, to continue activities with the benefits of a bigger screen.
- Accessibility: Windows 10 has a robust set of features for those in need of assistive technology.
- Ease of Access: Windows Ease of Access settings provides a robust set of accessibility features, making it easy for users to customize their device experience to their needs. They can quickly discover what they need with a new design that groups features by ability – vision, hearing, and interaction.
- Vision: Improved performance and unified navigation make Narrator (a screen reader built into Windows) easier to use than before. Narrator provides users a more robust and seamless experience, with capabilities like audio output control, machine-generated intelligent image descriptions, and contextual narration of content parts, such as text boxes within in Word documents.
- Remove reading distractions: Microsoft Edge can help users focus and take in the words on a website or PDF. With Reading view, users can remove distractions like ads, or if they prefer listening to reading, Read Aloud will read PDFs or websites out loud.
- Write freely: Any user can now author and edit documents with voice dictation in Windows. Dictation will convert speech to text, so users can think freely without a keyboard. And Windows supports text suggestions for hardware, as well as on-screen keyboards, so users can get their ideas intro writing more quickly.
- Click with your eyes: For those who are not able to use a keyboard, Windows comes with built-in support for eye control. Users can control the mouse, type using an on-screen keyboard, and communicate with people using text-to-speech, all with their eyes.
- Windows 10 + Android
Windows 10 isn’t just the platform of choice for end users. It’s also the platform trusted by IT. It’s designed to give YOU the tools to do more – to keep the company secure, simplify the deployment and update process, and to harness the power of the cloud to reduce the complexity of managing today’s IT device environment.
We here at Oakwood Systems Group hope you’ll take advantage of what Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 can offer you, to empower the new culture of work in your organization today.
Contact us today and we’ll help you get started!