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Complete guide to Windows 10 mobile features, apps and devices

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FAQ: Windows 10 enterprise mobility features

After Windows 8 fell flat, Microsoft is touting big improvements in Windows 10. Get to know the top enterprise mobility features in the new OS.

Microsoft is trying to atone for the disappointment of Windows 8 with big changes in Windows 10, including enterprise mobility features such as Continuum for seamless device use and containerization for added security.

In particular, businesses griped about Windows 8’s startling departure from the traditional Start menu and an overemphasis on touchscreen technology -- both of which Microsoft is addressing in Windows 10. The company previewed several features in January, and the early response to Windows 10 has been mostly positive. The new operating system is phone and tablet friendly, but not at the expense of the user experience on desktops, notebooks and other devices.

Microsoft is also out to prove that the new OS can function smoothly across all types of devices. Find out how Windows 10 Continuum mode and other mobility features will affect the enterprise.

How does Windows 10 streamline device interactions?

Windows 10 introduces Continuum, a feature that allows end users to have multiple user interface experiences on one device by shifting naturally between tablet and laptop modes on 2-in-1 devices. In addition, Microsoft integrated Office into its Universal Apps initiative, which means that Word, Excel and PowerPoint seamlessly transition from touchscreen mode to keyboard and mouse.

Windows 10 functions on all Microsoft smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop systems and even embedded devices, from the smallest Lumia smartphones to the supersized 84-inch Surface Hub. Combined with Windows 10 Continuum mode, this universal compatibility should create easier transitions across devices.

Can you separate business and personal data?

Windows 10 offers containerization to keep corporate and personal data separate. IT can manage and secure company data within apps, regardless of the end user's personal usage habits.

Microsoft also includes a feature that allows companies to lock down mission-critical apps and data so users only receive the necessary security updates, rather than having updates pushed out constantly and automatically. Windows 10 includes Microsoft BitLocker encryption to protect data anywhere as it moves between systems, storage devices, emails or cloud systems.

How else does Windows 10 address security?

Managing and securing two operating systems is harder than one, so security should be easier now that Microsoft discontinued the Windows Phone OS making Windows 10 the OS for all its devices. With less surface area for IT to protect, Windows 10 reduces the number of avenues for cybercriminals to penetrate your network. Microsoft is also introducing built-in multifactor authentication, shutting down another tactic hackers often use for unauthorized access.

Security is always a primary concern with bring your own device (BYOD), but Windows 10 addresses the issue of data loss prevention. IT can define which applications have access to corporate data and prevent data from being copied or accessed without the right security profile. IT can also specify which apps can access the VPN and restrict access based on ports and IP addresses. You can even pick and choose the applications users are allowed to install.

Will Windows 10 make Windows Phone devices more viable?

The problem with Windows Phone devices isn't the operating system, but that users prefer the competition’s offerings. Apple iOS and Google Android devices continue to dominate the enterprise BYOD world. Unless users see a compelling reason to switch ecosystems, Windows devices will remain an afterthought. However, users might change their tune if developers can provide a better user experience through the Windows Universal Apps platform.

Can Windows 10's mobile interface compete with iOS and Android?

Now that Office is available on iOS and Android, it might seem like Microsoft relinquished one of its biggest advantages: mobile access to its own productivity apps. Fortunately, these applications have functioned smoothly on tablets running the Windows 10 preview version, never freezing or crashing.

Microsoft is providing free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users for the first year of Windows 10's availability. New features such as holographic computing and full Cortana integration will help Microsoft maintain its dominance as a desktop OS, but IT shouldn't overlook its mobility features. Better cross-device functionality and Continuum mode on touch-enabled devices may improve the user experience while broadening IT's ability to manage and secure mobile data.

Next Steps

Windows 10 is tablet friendly, but not tablet focused

Windows cross-device apps will affect hardware decisions

A deeper look at Windows 10 security features

This was last published in March 2015

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Essential Guide

Complete guide to Windows 10 mobile features, apps and devices

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Will any of Windows 10's mobility features make a difference in your organization?
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No, they won't. We have a minimal emphasis on mobility because the majority of our people work in the office - the closest we get to being "mobile" is using tablets and laptops that can be moved around the office, so people can form groups and split apart again as-needed. That's not really the kind of mobility apps and operating systems focus on, though. Still, I'm sure they're nice features for companies that actually use them.
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