Microsoft IT has deployed Windows 10 to more than 95 percent of the company's employees primarily (if not completely) via in-place upgrades. Here are some of the lessons its IT department learned.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has learned a thing or two about deploying new versions of Windows inside the company over the years.
By doing an in-place upgrade, Microsoft's IT department deployed Windows 10 to 85 percent of the company's employees within four weeks of its release, and by 95 percent within 10 weeks -- a week ahead of IT's goal.
"The Windows 10 deployment was the fastest company-wide operating system deployment Microsoft IT has ever seen. In-place upgrade deployment using OSD was the key technology that enabled this successful deployment." (OSD. or Operating System Deployment, is a feature of System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1.)
Those stats are according to a technical case study published by the company's IT department earlier this month.
As this is a Microsoft-blessed document, this isn't the place to come for a list of gotchas or things that went wrong. However, there are some interesting "lessons learned" and best practices in the case study -- even for smaller (and possibly larger) IT shops that are planning to deploy Windows 10 at some point in the future.
By doing an in-place upgrade, Microsoft avoided having to manage OS images, like the company did when it deployed Windows 7."Microsoft users really didn't have to do anything. Click, click, install and they were up and running," the case study claims, as applications, data and settings were carried over through the migration.
Because Microsoft scheduled mandatory updates to happen during times that most computers at the company would be connected to the corporate network (such as Tuesdays at noon lunch), there was less impact on the help desk, reducing support costs by roughly 50 percent, the case study claims....