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Preparing your organization for a seamless Windows 10 deployment

Windows as a service: a new way to streamline operating system updates

Microsoft Digital has embraced Windows as a service, a new agile approach that allows us to streamline application-compatibility testing, pilot deployments with early adopters, track progress through visual workflows, and make data-driven decisions using Desktop Analytics.

Implementing these strategies from the planning phase through deployment resulted in smooth employee adoption and ensured a direct path to productivity with the best Windows ever for all our employees around the world. We cut down our enterprise deployment timeframe from months to weeks and are now able to provide a flexible, up-to-date environment that enables employees to benefit from the latest technologies without interrupting workflows while reducing risk.


Planning for an effective enterprise-wide Windows 10 deployment meant strategizing around every aspect of our business. With almost 100,000 remote and on-site employees, we completed the deployment in just nine weeks. To improve on past operating system updates, Microsoft Digital deployed Windows 10 as an in-place upgrade, maintaining productivity and offering a consistent experience.

We mapped out timelines and work-back schedules to provide a solid framework for executing against key milestones, and our readiness communications strategy ensured alignment and helped facilitate adjustments as challenges arose. We launched digital promotions on Microsoft’s internal channels to build excitement and make it easy to find additional information about the upgrade experience, and sent emails to set employee expectations and ensure successful device upgrades.


Even with some devices attached directly to the corporate network and others accessing the network remotely, our Windows 10 upgrade experience was smoother than ever. Through our new Windows as a service approach, and with streamlined application rollouts and enhanced cloud capabilities, this deployment was consistent and maintained productivity for all employees throughout its duration.

Microsoft Digital embraced agile development and delivery models to shrink down deployment timelines, enable more frequent updates, and reduce risk overall. With Desktop Analytics, we were able to quickly identify potential challenges and blockers to a smooth deployment. This was crucial because of our faster Windows 10 release cadence, which in turn helped us make data-driven decisions about upgrade readiness and our enterprise application portfolio.


Microsoft’s internal readiness program is designed to provide our global workforce with comprehensive guidance on how to best use our newest tools and services. To expedite employee productivity during and after the company-wide Windows 10 deployment, we utilize a wealth of guides focused on the new operating system, including in-depth support on many of the system’s new features like Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and OneDrive for Business.

We curated resources in a variety of formats so that employees can learn on their own terms, whether from the office, in the cloud, or on their favorite mobile devices. From the first steps of getting to know Windows 10 to more advanced operating system shortcuts and feature-specific support ranging from digital assistants to file libraries, we have used these guides to enhance adoption and maintain productivity starting from day one of deployment.

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