HP Enterprise hands Windows 10 a vote of confidence

Expanded consulting, mobile app development partnership with Microsoft says all enterprises need to know, says analyst

HP Enterprise's decision to expand its partnership with Microsoft this week is a vote of confidence in Windows 10, an analyst said today.

"Everything about this says good things about Windows 10 that Windows 8 didn't have," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

Earlier this month, Hewlett-Packard cleaved, separating into two companies: HP Inc. and HP Enterprise (HPE). The former took the PC and printing businesses, while the latter got the enterprise hardware, software and services units.

On Thursday, Microsoft and HPE announced an expansion of an existing partnership, focusing on what the pair dubbed "Cloud Productivity and Mobility Solution Offerings," a set of consulting services targeting enterprises that want to move to Windows 10, shift more of their on-premises back-end infrastructure to the cloud, and emphasize employee mobility. Another part of the deal will sell business-specific vertical apps for Windows 10, with HPE stepping in to actually craft those apps for customers in the retail, energy and transportation industries.

"HPE will write your vertical apps for you," added Moorhead. "And they'll also consult with you on how to have end-to-end solutions."

HPE and Microsoft have already collaborated on applications for the automotive industry.

What struck Moorhead is that HPE is voting for Windows 10 by dedicating resources to the expanded partnership. "HPE realizes it can make money on developing mobile apps and management tools for Windows 10," said Moorhead. "That means HPE sees Windows 10, and features like Continuum, as making sense for the enterprise."

Continuum is Microsoft's label for the technology that allows a Windows smartphone to plug into an external screen, keyboard and mouse, then automatically optimize the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) for the larger display and alternate input devices to create a desktop-style system. Continuum also applies to tablets, detachable PCs with screens that separate from the keyboard, and convertible devices, which bend and twist to morph from notebook to slate, and back.

Unlike HP Inc., which has its own line of PCs to shill and sell, HPE could have passed on Windows 10, Moorhead argued. "HP Enterprise didn't have to do anything with Windows 10, it's choosing to do something with 10. That means it believes that there's a market for [the operating system], that people want it."

While that may be true, the reality is more complicated.

Enterprises, now almost universally running Windows 7, the 2009 operating system that followed the Windows Vista flop, will have no choice but to migrate to and adopt Windows 10. Microsoft will retire Windows 7 from support in just over four years, in mid-January 2020. At that point, Windows 10 will be the only viable OS for businesses that, as Moorhead implied, passed on the problem- and perception-plagued Windows 8 and 8.1.

Microsoft has said that some 8 million enterprise PCs have migrated to Windows 10, about 7% of the total 110 million the company recently claimed are now running the new operating system.

But there are signs that Microsoft is pressing harder than usual on Windows 10 and its suitability -- even this early in its lifecycle -- for businesses. "We have reached the point in the platform's maturity where we can confidently recommend Windows 10 deployment to whole organizations," said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's top OS and devices executive, in a post to a company blog last week as he announced the availability of Windows 10 1511, the first feature and functionality upgrade in a long series.

Historically, businesses, especially the largest, have been slow to migrate from one edition of Windows to another. In 2014, for example, many organizations still had numbers of Windows XP-powered PCs in place, even though the OS was retired in April of that year.

Microsoft's advice might not be that far off-base, said Steve Kleynhans, a Gartner analyst whose specialty is Windows in the enterprise. While a long-held rule of thumb by enterprise IT was to wait for the first "service pack" of a new edition before beginning migrations, Windows 10 1511 effectively serves that purpose.

"Microsoft's advice parallels what the advice has been in the past, but just a little more ramped up," said Kleynhans in a recent interview. "Microsoft feels that [Windows 10 1511] is now complete enough for companies to get started."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?