It may have been a holiday week, but it brought the usual bundle of Microsoft news before Redmond swapped its tablets for turkey. Updates focused on Windows 10, workplace diversity, and Black Friday deals.
This week kicked off with a new report from Gartner, which predicts Windows 10 will set records in enterprise migration for Microsoft. The research firm anticipates half of enterprises will have begun deploying Windows 10 by 2017, with many starting pilot programs in the first half of 2016 and expanding later in the year.
There are several factors driving enterprise adoption of Windows 10, which is already running on 12 million business PCs. Its compatibility with Windows 7 apps and devices, and the looming termination of Windows 7 support in January 2020, will also contribute to Windows 10 growth.
[Google puts Android Studio 2.0 in preview.]
Microsoft took a step backward this week when it pulled its November Windows 10 update. The update, which was originally released Nov. 12, was the first major update to roll out since Windows 10 launched in July.
At first it was unclear why Microsoft stopped allowing users to download the newest version of Windows 10 through the Media Creation Tool (MCT). Later in the week, Microsoft explained how it halted downloads because the update caused problems for some users' privacy settings.
"When the November update was installed, a few settings preferences may have inadvertently not been retained for advertising ID, background apps, SmartScreen Filter, and Sync with devices," the company explained. The update has been restored.
Unfortunately, pulling its Windows 10 update wasn't the only backward step Microsoft took this week. Redmond released the latest data on its workplace diversity, which indicates the company has more males, and slightly more racial and ethnic minorities, than in years prior.
The company pointed to its July 2015 layoffs, the result of a restructured phone business, as the reason behind the 2% drop in its female workforce. Positive numbers include an all-time high in the number of women in senior leadership roles, and more African-American and Hispanic executives appointed as corporate vice presidents (CVPs).
Microsoft acknowledged the disappointing numbers and stated its current hiring efforts are setting the stage for an increase in diversity. More of its university hires are women and minorities, with the number of women being hired for technical roles jumping from 23.7% in 2014 to 26.1% in 2015.
If this week has already put you in holiday shopping mode, it's worth checking out the Microsoft Store and Windows Store, which are ringing in the season with discounts on hardware, entertainment, and apps.
On the hardware front, customers can snag discounted prices on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Surface 3, and PCs from Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Asus. Deals on games and consoles are available until Nov. 30.
Microsoft is marking the expansion of Windows 10 by offering 10-cent deals on movies, apps, music, and games from the Windows Store. New deals are available on the Store each day through Nov. 30.
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