Posey's Tips & Tricks

My 2015 Tech Predictions: Windows 10 Will Be a Hit

This year may bring some big changes on the back of Microsoft's upcoming OS release.

Over the last few years it has become something of a tradition for me to make some technology predictions for the coming year. I don't claim to have a crystal ball, or to have guessed correctly on all of my past predictions, but many of my past predictions have come true. So with that said, here are my technology predictions for 2015.

Windows 10 Is a Huge Success
I think that Windows 10 is going to be a huge success in spite of what the naysayers are predicting. There are a few different reasons why I am predicting this. First, I think that Microsoft really got the interface right this time. The interface was probably the single biggest thing that kept people away from Windows 8. If the interface is no longer an issue, then organizations may be more inclined to upgrade.

Another reason why I believe that Windows 10 will be a big success is because there are plenty of organizations that are running outdated desktop operating systems. In spite of the fact that Windows XP reached its end of support last April, there are still organizations that are running Windows XP. At least some of those organizations have made a conscious decision to wait and adopt Windows 10 rather than adopting Windows 7, which is already almost 6 years old. At the same time, there are also organizations that are currently running Windows 7. Such organizations avoided Windows 8, but may be inclined to adopt Windows 10 in an effort to keep from falling too far behind on desktop technology.

Virtual Desktops for Consumers
Another prediction is that Microsoft may end up releasing Windows 10 as a subscription-based virtual desktop for consumers. I haven't heard any inside information that would lead me to make this prediction, but it fits right in with Microsoft's current business model. Microsoft has already been dabbling with Office 365 for consumers and offering consumers a virtual desktop seems like the next logical step. After all, this would enable consumers to access their Windows 10 desktop from anywhere, and on just about any device. It would also give consumers a way of using the latest Windows operating system even if they have outdated hardware or possibly even a competing hardware platform (such as an Apple system).

Microsoft Completely Embraces Cross Platform
My third prediction is that in the coming year Microsoft will completely embrace the concept of cross platform. In a way, this prediction is a no-brainer. Microsoft has already shown an interest in cross-platform adoption in some of its current products. Take System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 for example. The software supports the management of both Hyper-V and VMware environments. Furthermore, Linux virtual machines have become almost as well supported as Windows virtual machines.

With Microsoft currently working on the wave-16 release cycle, I am guessing that this trend will not only continue, but that Microsoft will double down on their investment in cross-platform support. I also think that Microsoft will continue their push to provide cross-platform support in their consumer products. The recently released Microsoft Health Band, for example, works with Windows, IOS and Android.

Microsoft Decides To Go at Least Partially Back to the Old Conference Model
When I make my tech predictions for an upcoming year, I always like to make at least one prediction that is really outlandish and that is the complete opposite of anything that anyone else is saying. My big, outlandish prediction for this year is that Microsoft will decide to do away with the Ignite Conference and go back to their old way of doing things.

Throughout its history, Microsoft has experimented with consolidating conferences. For a while the Microsoft Exchange Conference went away and the content was rolled into TechEd. Similarly, I remember a year when Microsoft decided that TechEd was going to be split in an effort to provide a TechEd for administrators and a TechEd for developers. Historically, these types of actions have never been successful. Microsoft has always received negative feedback from attendees, and eventually put things back to the way that they were.

I can definitely understand Microsoft's reasoning for combining all of their major conferences into a single conference. Even so, I think that the move is a mistake. There is already so much content given at TechEd that it is impossible to absorb even a tiny fraction of it. Rolling in content from Microsoft's other conferences will only make it more difficult for attendees to get the information that they really need. More than ever before, attendees are going to be forced to prioritize the sessions that they want to attend and are going to miss out on a lot of good information (at least until the videos are released on the Internet later on).

Consumer Windows Devices Get an Automatic Update to Windows 10
One last prediction that I want to make is that Microsoft will make Windows 10 available for free. OK, not really. I have heard numerous people say that Windows 8 was so all horribly bad that Microsoft owes it to its customers to make Windows 10 available for free. I don't see Microsoft doing that. It doesn't fit with the business model, and Microsoft has never made Windows freely available in the past.

Having said that however, I do think that Microsoft is going to automatically update consumer device to run Windows 10. Specifically, I am talking about Xbox One and Windows Phone. Although Microsoft will inevitably sell new models of Windows Phone (they probably won't be called Windows Phone), I do think that Microsoft will probably push a Windows 10 upgrade to existing Windows Phone devices. Doing so could conceivably drive adoption for the desktop version of Windows 10 and it will help to demonstrate to the world that the new operating system really is designed to run on multiple device types.

About the Author

Brien Posey is a 16-time Microsoft MVP with decades of IT experience. As a freelance writer, Posey has written thousands of articles and contributed to several dozen books on a wide variety of IT topics. Prior to going freelance, Posey was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the country's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox. In addition to his continued work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years actively training as a commercial scientist-astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. You can follow his spaceflight training on his Web site.

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