UNH IT Windows 10 Recommendation

September 1, 2015

by UNH IT Staff

As Microsoft and Apple introduce new operating systems, a team of UNH IT Desktop Consultants have coordinated efforts to evaluate and report their findings to the UNH community for upgrade and purchasing considerations. The following represents UNH Information Technology’s evaluation and recommendation on Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Summary and Recommendation

Microsoft Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 comes in many varieties, each with varying features and availabilities. UNH IT Desktop Support evaluated Windows 10 Enterprise editions. Windows 10 Enterprise was selected for evaluation over other versions for its feature set as well as encompassing all features of Windows 10 Pro. Evaluations were conducted on Dell laptops, Microsoft Tablets and desktops, plus multiple virtual machines. Based on testing results, vendor support of use and usability observations, Desktop Support is recommending UNH IT enterprise business clients using UNH enterprise applications with reliance on IT resources postpone the adoption of Windows 10, unless there is a strong business need to upgrade. Windows 10 is ready for adoption by UNH students accessing the technical ecosystem described in the compatibility matrix.

For enterprise business clients purchasing new computers, we are recommending that the downgrade rights option be pursued. Desktop Support is committed to continued investigation of the product and collection of information that could result in a different recommendation in the future. If upgrading due to a required need, Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise is recommended for the UNH technical ecosystem. Note: Enterprise is the most feature rich version of Windows 10. The following table represents each version and its appropriate audience:

Version

Usage

Windows 10 Home

Windows 10 Home is designed for use in PCs, tablets, and 2-in-1s. It includes all consumer-directed features and is the equivalent to basic Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium

Windows 10 Professional

Windows 10 Professional is comparable with Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate and Windows Vista Business and Ultimate. It builds on the Home edition and adds features essential for businesses, and functionality-wise equal to Windows 8.1 Professional.

Windows 10 Enterprise

Windows 10 Enterprise provides all the features of Windows 10 Pro, with additional features to assist with IT-based organizations, and is functionality-wise equal to Windows 8.1 Enterprise.

Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise

Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise provides all the features in Windows 10 Mobile, with additional features to assist with IT-based organizations, in a manner similar to Windows 8.1 Enterprise, but optimized for mobile devices.

Details

Browser Applications

Windows 10 includes two built-in browsers, Edge and Internet Explorer (IE) 11.

Edge:

Edge is a completely new browser with a simple design and display. For navigation items, there's just one bar that doubles as the address bar and search field. There are the standard icons for forward, back, refresh, favorites, browsing history, and downloads. Edge offers Reading View, which displays text from the webpage in a full-screen view. There’s also an option to swap out the default white theme for a black background. It provides WebNote for native page annotation and sharing capabilities, reading view and reading list support, and Cortana integration that delivers more info and task support throughout the browsing experience. .

Internet Explorer 11:

IE11 has been built with touch in mind, including "stick to your finger" touch-responsiveness and a touch-optimized address bar. You can now have up to 100 tabs per window and IE11 offers faster switching between tabs. The browser also has an option to always show the tabs and the address bar. You can add live tile sites on the Start screen: just pin sites in IE11 and they’ll pull data from a website’s RSS feed and be constantly updated with the latest information. Like Edge, IE11 offers Reading View. Skype users will appreciate that Internet Explorer now automatically detects and highlights phone numbers on a page, so you can place a call directly using Skype or Lync. Side-by-side browsing lets IE11 be snapped to the side when you click a link in the Mail or Reading List apps.

The IE11 Modern User Interface (Metro) is restricted to work solely with Microsoft pre-approved sites and services, a practice known as whitelisting. Microsoft does not currently white-list any UNH websites. IE11 browser can be launched separately from the Modern User Interface (UI) version – this option is recommended for all UNH sites and services.

Browser Application Testing Results

The inclusion of Edge and IE11, neither of which can be downgraded to previous versions, led the UNH IT team to focus on compatibility with UNH web-based applications in both browsers. UNH IT also tested web-based applications comapatability with Firefox on Windows 10.

The following commonly-used software packages were evaluated for compatibility and usage for various UNH e-consumers using Windows 10 Enterprise with Edge, IE11, and Firefox web browsers:

Compatibility

Go/No Go

Comments

Blackboard

Go

Windows 10 is supported, but Edge is not. Firefox is the recommended browser.

My Courses (Canvas)

Go

Windows 10 is supported, but Edge is not. Firefox is the recommended browser.

VPN /Pulse Secure

Go

Test group only has access to certain VPNs (Fac/Staff, Student/Faculty, Enterprise) and testing was successful with these. Network Security stated that all VPNs should therefore be functional. It is noted that occasionally Pulse Secure  would not launch after sign in.

Microsoft Office Suite- Professional 2010, 2013

Go

No issues found.

UNH Wireless (Secure & Public)

Go

No issues found

Network Registration – Express Connect / Cloud path

Go

No issues found

File sharing - Box

Go

No issues found

 

Exchange, OWA, Lynx

Go

Enterprise email system and instant messaging

TeamDynamix

Go

Browser & Plug-in (Silverlight) support required - Tested on IE11, Edge, and Firefox

Enterprise Applications (BANNER, Workflow, FAMIS, Kronos, AppMan, and Xtender)

No Go

Enterprise Applications vendors do not yet support Windows 10

SharePoint

Go

No issues found

Network Printers

Go

Printer device driver dependent

UNH Enterprise System Gateway

Go

No issues found

VMWare Fusion Deployments

Go

Deployments successful with VMWare Fusion 5 using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012

UNH IT Minimum and Recommended Hardware Specifications

Go

Current minimum and recommended specifications still apply. 

Jive

Go

No issues found

BMC Service Desk (Remedy)

Go

Browser & Plug-ins (Flash + Java) support required - Tested

on IE11, Edge, and Firefox

Other Observations

Highlighted feature: Cortana, a digital personal assistant, named after – and inspired by – the virtual helper from Microsoft's Halo games. Cortana understands natural language, accepts voice commands, and can do so much more than finding a file or web page, as you'll soon discover.

Suitability for the UNH Workplace: Windows 10 is a primarily consumer focused product. The UI is best suited for personalized consumption of media: social, web, video, etc.; workplace application and suitability are in question.

Academic Applications: The UNH Academic Software Applications are individually subject to Windows 10 compatibility by their respective vendors. Check system requirements as necessary.

For questions, please contact the UNH IT Service Desk at 862-4242, chat us up, or submit a question online.

 

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