Modern Workplace community call: Windows as a service and Microsoft Managed Desktop
Will McNae, Partner Technology Strategist
As we get closer to all the spooky fun that comes with this time of year, I’m reminded that technology advancements can be scary when we don’t have a full understanding of what’s driving the change or how we’re included in the journey.
In our October Modern Workplace Community call, we’ll be joined by Andrea Fisher, Cloud Solution Architect within the One Commercial Partner Technical team, to better understand those elements within Windows as a service and Microsoft Modern Desktop service. Andrea has deep experience helping partners develop practices around Windows 10, Modern Desktop, and security features like Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.
Join our October community call on Tuesday, October 30 at 11 a.m. PT, and be sure to also join our Yammer Partner Community to stay current and gain access to resources across the full partner network.
Below is a quick overview of what we’ll be covering in the call:
Windows as a service
A modern desktop is the most secure, productive computing experience for business, loved by end users and IT. So what does this mean in terms of you guiding your customers through the shift from complex upgrades to agile updates, driving efficiencies to enabling their people, and managing costs to creating value? Windows as a service is the shift to creating consistent IT environments.
The Windows 10 operating system introduces a new way to build, deploy, and service Windows. Microsoft has changed each part of the process to simplify the lives of IT pros and maintain a consistent Windows 10 experience for customers. Prior to Windows 10, Microsoft released new versions of Windows every few years. This traditional deployment schedule imposed a training burden on users because the feature revisions were often significant. That schedule also meant waiting long periods without new features. Windows as a service will deliver smaller feature updates twice per year, around March and September, to help address these issues.
We’ll also explore feature definitions including:
- Feature updates
- Quality updates
- Insider Preview
- Servicing channels (Semi-Annual Channel and Long-Term Servicing Channel)
- Deployment rings
To learn more, read our overview of Windows as a service
The challenges of the modern workplace
Microsoft has consistently heard from organizations of all sizes that they struggle to keep up with the pace of change, and have trouble delivering great experiences to end users. For many companies, the capabilities of technology they deliver to users is significantly behind what users have at home, leading to employees being more creative, productive, and having a better experience with their home devices than those at work.
Further, the rate of change and sophistication of today’s security threats requires organizations to re-think how they deploy, manage, and secure assets for their users. It’s imperative they keep these devices up-to-date and able to take advantage of the built-in security capabilities available in feature updates quickly, to maintain their security posture and defend their environments.
As we continue to innovate in Modern Workplace, partners are also transforming their business by moving from traditional project-based services focused on on-prem deployments to managed services and business solutions on top of Microsoft 365 services. While ecosystem has made a lot of progress, there are some ongoing challenges. To help address these challenges and accelerate the pace of innovation, we’re investing in a new service offering that enables organizations to fundamentally shift how they source and think about their IT.
This offering will create awareness of our Modern Desktop vision and provide a reference architecture that partners can leverage in their own businesses.
Introducing Microsoft Managed Desktop
We believe Microsoft Managed Desktop can help us achieve our goal of providing a great experience for users while keeping devices secure and up-to-date. Microsoft Managed Desktop enables cloud-based management of devices, user productivity, evergreen devices that are secure and up-to-date, and frees IT departments—and your practice—to focus on higher-value work.
It then adds modern hardware that meets our Microsoft Managed Desktop specification and runtime quality bar—all managed through the cloud. At its core, the offering includes Microsoft 365 E5, a modern device, and endpoint management by Microsoft for one monthly price.
Whether you’re already using Microsoft 365 or ready to take the first step in modernizing your organization, the fastest and most efficient way is with a Microsoft Managed Desktop. It’s the best computing experience on a modern desktop, modern device and managed by Microsoft.
Microsoft Managed Desktop relies on the power of Microsoft 365, running in a consistent reference architecture that continues to evolve to enable customers to take advantage of Microsoft 365 capabilities, while protecting them from nascent threats.
The Microsoft Managed Desktop is in the early stages of rollout and we’re working with few, selected partners to deploy Microsoft managed desktop to initial customers. We are currently live with a small number of customers in the UK and the US, while expanding to several other geographies in the second half of 2019. During the call, we’ll discuss the opportunity and what the journey may look like for you in the coming months.