23 November 2015
2 min read
Email is a big part of every knowledge worker's day. We send and receive 2.4 million of them every second. We also text, chat, tweet, Facebook and more in the hopes of getting things done. Communication is in our work DNA.
Too often we come up short, which may be why U.S. venture investors have valued team messaging app Slack - the latest gotta-have-it productivity tool - at $2.8 billion. And yet the future of office collaboration may be hiding in plain sight, amid the 2.4 million features native to Windows 10.
Stats vary for how many machines now use Windows 10. Between 53 million and 67 million seems to be the prevailing wisdom. Other counts of operating system share find usage is soaring in the UK, where HP and Microsoft are teaming to offer a customised experience.
For example, StatCounter says that Windows 10 accounted for 8.45% of Internet usage in the UK in its first month on the market. To put that figure in perspective, Windows 8 garnered 1.17% of usage over a similar period. Windows 7 managed to grab 4.34% of UK Internet usage in its first month of release. Workers seem to like what they're getting with Windows 10.
Designed For Working Anywhere
Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 is designed specifically to adjust to how and where users work.
For example, Microsoft's new Edge browser - native in Windows 10 - allows for annotating, saving and sharing web pages directly with colleagues also using the OS.
Users can also turn on Cortana voice commands for hands-free control of the browsing experience, as well as other daily tasks such as checking email and locating files online or on hard drives.
Employees who work while commuting or in the field will appreciate the Contiuum2 feature that means tablets can display a PC interface when docked into a keyboard, and flip back into touch-friendly mode when not. Windows 10 apps adjust to the device they're being used on too, while tablets as well as notebooks can connect over ultra-fast WiGig internet to keyboards, monitors and mice, eschewing cables for a clutter-free desktop anywhere.
For those interested in a more futuristic computing experience, Windows 10 also supports holographic imaging via Microsoft HoloLens visor. Put it on for a meeting and attendees from Dublin to Dubai could appear as if they're in the same room.
Load all that on optimised hardware, such as HP's EliteBook Folio 1020, and you have the makings of a go-anywhere, do-anything, collaborate-with-all productivity suite.
That's a crucial mix, especially in the UK where research from Virgin Media Business finds that 48% of workers could perform their job remotely. A related stud found that allowing British office workers to tackle tasks from a home office or coffee shop could reduce economic costs by £1.7 billion.
Windows 10 isn't the only key to collecting those savings, of course. But with adoption rising at rates far faster than predecessors it's a good bet most UK workers will be relying on the OS to collaborate and get work done - whenever they can and wherever they may be.