Windows 10, New Devices, Exec Shakeup: Microsoft's 2015 - InformationWeek
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12/8/2015
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Kelly Sheridan
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Windows 10, New Devices, Exec Shakeup: Microsoft's 2015

Microsoft kicked off 2015 with Windows 10, and the updates surrounding hardware, Office, mobile, and cloud continued to snowball throughout the year. Here's a look at 10 notable Microsoft moves in 2015.
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(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

This year brought a wave of changes to Microsoft as the plans implemented by CEO Satya Nadella began to take hold.

When Nadella was appointed to fill the vacancy left by former CEO Steve Ballmer in February 2014, Microsoft was struggling to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving tech industry. Nadella's mobile-first, cloud-first vision has been clear in the many changes at Microsoft in 2015.

We knew it would be a transitional year for Microsoft when officials unveiled Windows 10 in January. The development of its new OS marked a pivotal change for Microsoft, which also announced it would be switching to a Windows-as-a-Service model and testing its OS with a pool of Windows Insiders.

[ Microsoft wants to know your ideas for its new HoloLens app. ]

The changes weren't limited to Windows, however. Microsoft also revamped its desktop and cloud-based Office suites, acquired a series of new companies, launched apps for iOS and Android platforms, unveiled a series of new devices for Windows 10, and ventured into augmented reality with HoloLens.

Not all changes were good, however. This year also brought major reorganizations and executive shakeups, which resulted in the departure of senior leaders and thousands of jobs cut across the business. Most layoffs affected the mobile division, which also suffered a $7.5 billion write-down following Microsoft's Nokia acquisition last year.

Here, we reflect on the changes that shaped Microsoft in 2015. Which of these do you think will have the greatest influence going forward? We'd like to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

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tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 5:46:24 AM
Re: A mixed bag
I'm sure you are right about it being a deal between MS and the NFL for the ubiquitous Surface laptops. During the playoffs there were some problems with them which received publicity. A couple of weeks ago i upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10. Not only was it smooth but i really like what i see so far. MS did a great job.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2016 | 8:32:47 AM
Re: A mixed bag
I'm pretty sure it was a deal with the NFL not the networks as far as seeing the Surfaces everywhere.  The universal apps though don't just apply to the Surface, it's a Windows 10 thing and Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 harder than I've seen them push an OS since Windows 95.  I don't think Windows 10 is going away but Windows 10 Mobile could vanish and that would take away half the reason to build universal apps.  I do see more Win 10 tablets hitting the market and most of them look like Surface clones so building apps that run in tablet mode even if they don't run on something as small as a phone does seem likely. 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 1:03:33 PM
Re: A mixed bag
It is based upon both subjective personal experience and some application testing we've done at the office. It could be some of our configuration choices, but we run identical machines with a very basic comparable build of Windows 7 and Windows 10, 10 uses less resource and releases resources quicker than 7. I guess your experiences may vary, but we are very happy with 10 so far. It's not perfect, but no operating system will ever be.

There is always effort involved in a change like this. If it doesn't make business sense, then it doesn't. I know many IT pros who are resisting change on the grounds of others' experiences with Windows 8 or because they simply don't like to change and have to learn something new. For my money and based on my experiences both personally and professionally so far, Windows 10 is a solid product that appears to outperform Windows 7.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 12:45:32 PM
Re: A mixed bag
@jagibbons, how did you verify this "less resources", could you elaborate a little? Are you talking launching Task Manager and looking at CPU and memory compared to same app in Win 7? Or that it just feels a little more snappy when you use it, a subjective observation?

My experience with Windows, all versions, is that as time goes on, it seems to slow down. Whether that is due to disk fragmentation or other hardware related resources, I don't know. But every new Win install always seem to run good for awhile.

A user brought his Win 10 laptop in for me to install our VPN client on, only time I've seen one yet. The learning curve for existing Win 7 users is certainly better than Win 8 but will still cause some initial confusion. But I don't see needing full blown user training sessions before migrating. But I'm also of the mindset that Win 7 does what we need, only support drop like XP will force a migration.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 12:23:18 PM
Re: A mixed bag
Interesting. And good news. It might make me consider going for it. My PC is going to be 5 years old soon and it is slowing down. I have 6 gigs of RAM and 1 tb of disk space so i do have the resources. How did you get your IE bookmarks over to Edge?
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 11:17:54 AM
Re: A mixed bag
I've upgraded four machines from Windows 7 to 10. 10 runs faster and with less problems on all of them. These were upgrades, not fresh installs. Windows 10 utilizes resources much more effectively than 7. It is a definite way to extend the life of Windows 7 hardware. At least that is the experience I've had, along with many professionals I work with in my area.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 10:35:47 AM
Re: A mixed bag
I love football too but sometimes it is like the "F" in NFL stands for "facism"!!!!
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 10:33:35 AM
Re: A mixed bag
I have the option of upgrading my 7 to a 10 but i am not going to do it. I believe it will significantly slow down my computer and i believe that operating systems need to be native not upgraded. Having said that, you are right about the next version not necessarily being backward compatible. From what i have seen, new versions of Windows always require much more resources (RAM, disk space) than previous versions. So unless you have a power box, its probably best to get a new machine.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 10:29:16 AM
Re: A mixed bag
Don't get me wrong, I love pro football. But, it is a business about making money.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 10:27:49 AM
Re: A mixed bag
I figured the NFL set up that deal. Surfaces are everywhere at an NFL game just like the Bose headsets. They evven fined a player for wearing Beats headset at a game instead of the approved Bose. Crazy.
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