Microsoft executives are in Chicago this morning for the company’s Ignite conference, pitching Windows 10 to an audience of information-technology pros. These are some of the company’s core customers, so it’s an important moment for Microsoft as it tries to build momentum for the upcoming operating system, and counter the momentum of Google and Apple in the workplace.
One big piece of news: A new program called Windows Update for Business that aims to address problems with the current Windows Update by giving IT departments more fine-grained control over software updates. This is part of what Microsoft describes as a “continuous update” approach for computers, tablets and phones under Windows 10.
“This level of commitment and support is far different than Android, for example, where Google refuses to take responsibility for updating their customers’ devices, leaving end-users and business increasingly exposed every day they use the device,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s operating systems chief, in a post announcing the new Windows Update for Business program.
The comment illustrates the rising competition that Microsoft faces in the market for corporate technology, its longtime bread-and-butter. Tablets and phones powered by iOS and Android have been steadily chipping away at the dominance of Windows at large companies.
Opening the conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he believes the new Windows Update will “fundamentally change how we deliver the compatibility, the security, and productivity of knowledge worker PCs and workstations.”
Microsoft also showed how its Cortana personal assistant can be used to mine business data on Windows 10, and how its Windows Hello program will let workers sign in quickly using biometrics.