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Windows 10 dominated the enterprise desktop news cycle in 2015. Even before Microsoft released the operating system, Windows 10 caused a stir among IT professionals.
From its features, including Cortana and Continuum, to its security, questionable data collection practices, and potential as a savior for the PC market, Windows 10 was far and away the primary topic of interest for enterprise desktop administrators.
Relive 2015 and the Microsoft Windows 10 news that made headlines with our top five enterprise desktop news stories:
Preview of what Windows 10 brings
Right from the outset, 2015 was the year of Windows 10. Our top-viewed news story of the year debuted in January with a preview of what admins could expect from Microsoft's highly anticipated OS.
Preview buzz centered on how Universal Apps allow developers to build a single app that works across a variety of Windows 10 devices, as well as Microsoft's plans to offer free Windows 10 upgrades to qualified users. The company also decided to adopt a continuous-update approach instead of the traditional method of releasing a new OS every few years. Cortana's integration with the OS, the functionality of Continuum and the introduction of Hololens -- a Google Glass-like product that lets users view 3D holograms -- were also big news. Before the OS even dropped, readers knew about Microsoft's intention to create an adaptive OS that provides a continuous experience across any platform.
Windows 10 privacy concerns
Only a month after Windows 10 came out, some of the OS's shine rubbed off when serious privacy issues came to light. Windows 10 records and reports back to Microsoft on almost everything each user does. All the data from sources such as Cortana, OneDrive, the Start menu and more are sent back to Microsoft's server. Even if users or admins turn off the server's requests for the information, the OS still sends the data.
The data collection doesn't end there. Windows 10 sends information from text messages, emails, contacts, passwords, user names, IP addresses, websites, search terms, GPS locations and software features back to Microsoft.
Windows 10 features for IT admins
Once Windows 10 was out for a few months it was time to look at how some of the much-hyped features actually worked in real life. Our third article compiles a list of the top 10 features in Windows 10 IT admins will love. The list includes biometric authentication with Windows Hello, Device Guard for malware defense, the return of the familiar Start menu, and Work Folders where users can store and transfer corporate data between devices under the control of IT.
Windows 10 security
A new OS always brings new security concerns for IT admins. Fortunately Windows 10 adds key features such a biometric authentication and application whitelisting to help admins protect corporate information. IT admins can curate a set of acceptable whitelisted apps with Device Guard. If an app is not trustworthy, Windows 10 alerts users and prevents them from downloading it. All trusted apps are approved by Microsoft, a specific software vendor or the IT department itself.
Device Guard also includes Windows Hello which scans the user's face, iris or fingerprint instead of requiring passwords. But to conduct these scans, Windows 10 requires specific hardware that many organizations do not have.
The PC market is still in trouble
Some PC vendors hoped Windows 10 could save the failing PC market, but the reality is it cannot. It could serve as bandage and slow the bleeding, but ultimately the OS cannot heal the wound. Windows 10 cannot change the fact that the average PC lifecycle is much longer than it used to be; companies and users simply do not have to replace their PCs as often.
In addition, international exchange rates are higher than ever, so selling PCs across country borders forces vendors to raise their prices. And organizations are much less eager to move to a new OS than in the past. Finally, Windows 10 features such as Continuum, which changes the user interface based on the device the OS is running on, only makes using a mobile device more appealing.
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Detailed guide to Windows 10
Explore Windows 10 mobility features