Last week, Terry announced the latest update to Windows 10 as it becomes more like a service, as part of a new reality of Windows 10 where we continue to improve and release new features on an ongoing basis.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Terry’s blog covering some of the exciting new features, I encourage you to do so. Among them are some that I think your customers will find beneficial, such as Windows Update for Business, Windows Store for Business, Mobile Device Management, and updates to Azure Active Directory.
But what does all of this mean for our partners? Quite a bit actually. Windows as a service presents new opportunities for our ecosystem that go beyond deployment, and enables you to establish long-term relationships with your customers.

The Windows as a service opportunity

In our discussion with many customers, we see they are very excited by the fact that Windows will deliver innovation over time. At the same time, though, there are some concerns they have as this is very different than what they are used to doing today.
We see this as a great opportunity for you to be their trusted advisor to help them better understand the change and help them find the balance between the agility they are looking for and the control they need.
The opportunities we see are in the main areas that go beyond just deployment:

    1. Infrastructure to handle regular updates. Getting access to a product that is constantly improving is a big win for your customers, but many of them are not used to having regular updates to their software.
      YOU CAN HELP: Ensure they have the infrastructure in place to handle these updates across all of their employees, devices, and circumstances. This includes staff in the office, in the field, or on-the-go, even if they rarely sign on to the corporate network.
    1. Processes to determine update flow. Businesses – and partners – can create validation groups of Windows 10 devices in order to stage deployment roll-outs, maintain control as updates deploy, and scale deployments with network optimizations.

      YOU CAN HELP: Who better than the trusted technology advisor to help businesses determine who gets updates and when? Help your customers decide how a particular update could impact their business, which critical apps will need to be tested, and how updates will be deployed among departments.

  1. Device and app lifecycle process. Regular updates tend to have the greatest impact on the devices and apps your customers use to keep their businesses running.

    YOU CAN HELP: For every app and device that walks in the door, you can help your customers create a plan for how it will be updated and when it gets retired.

Stay on the inside to get access first

Hopefully you can now understand how this release further opens great business opportunities for you. Of course, I continue to encourage you to make sure you have at least one device running Windows Insider Preview at all times. I know many of you are already taking advantage of this, but it gives you the opportunity to test features and provide feedback, and a chance for you and your team to familiarize yourself with what’s coming before your customers ever see it.

In addition to this, if you want to dive deeper into Windows 10, here are some more great resources:
    1. Learn more about Partner Profitability on Windows 10 and access the latest sales and technical readiness resources on the Microsoft Partner Marketing Center.
    1. Download and deploy Windows 10 via your Internal Use Rights and/or Volume Licensing agreement. Have appropriate technical and sales staff join the Windows Insider Program to receive ongoing preview builds and provide feedback.
    1. Develop new business by leveraging the Windows 10 free upgrade offer as well as Windows and ModernBiz go-to-market assets to sell your customers on Windows 10 and secure related project and management services with an eye toward up-selling and/or cross-selling related products and services such Windows 10 Enterprise/SA upgrades, Office 365, Azure and modern line-of-business application development.
  1. Make use of the Windows 10 and Devices campaign materials to help drive more pipeline for Windows 10 services.
Since its release this past July, Windows 10 – the fastest and safest Windows ever – is running on over 110 million devices around the world. With this update, and the support of our amazing partner ecosystem, this unprecedented momentum will no doubt continue. Thank you for the essential part you play in making it a success.