A Windows 10 migration is likely on your mind, if not already on your near horizon. There are many reasons to move to the latest version, one of the most compelling being that Microsoft will cease to support Windows 7 starting in 2020. This feels far off but with an average enterprise migration time of around 18 months, it is much closer than you think!

If you are looking to simplify your Windows 10 migration with minimal disruption to your workforce, RES ONE Workspace is here to help.

RES ONE Workspace and Windows 10
RES has focused on supporting the latest version of Windows for customers. In February 2016 we released official support for Windows 10, build 10586 (November 2015). The current RES ONE Workspace 2015 SR2 and RES ONE Workspace 2016 releases both contain support for this latest Windows 10 10586 build. This is the latest official and available Windows 10 release. The next one planned by Microsoft is Redstone 1, but until now the exact release date is unknown.

To read more about how RES ONE Workspace supports Windows 10, check out these blog posts:

Let’s start migrating
The goal in this scenario is the migration of my fully operational digital workspace with the same user experience from a Windows 7 to a Windows 10 client as less intrusive as possible for me as a user. I should be able to continue working with settings I previously had without manual configuration.

So let’s take a view on my current Windows 7 client. It basically consists of the following configuration:

  • A RES Company Wallpaper
  • 3 applications pinned on the desktop (Calculator, Internet Explorer and Write)
  • 2 applications pinned to the taskbar (Notepad and Word)
  • A start menu containing 2 important application groups (Office 2016 and RES Focus 2016) with applications

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Before going into the details how RES ONE Workspace can simplify the migration, I will first show you the digital workspace on the Windows 10 after the migration with RES ONE Workspace.

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So let’s take a view on my migrated Windows 10 client. It basically consists of the following configuration:

  • A RES Company Wallpaper
  • 3 applications pinned on the desktop (Calculator, Internet Explorer and Write)
  • 2 applications pinned to the taskbar (Notepad and Word)
  • A start menu containing 2 important tile groups (Office 2016 and RES Focus 2016) with the same applications as on my Windows 7 client
  • Additionally, created two new tile groups (Other Apps Focus 2016 and Windows Applications).

How RES ONE Workspace simplifies the Windows 10 migration
Looking at the result, it is pretty obvious. My digital workspace is migrated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 with the same user experience and without any exposure to me as a user. GREAT! So let’s dive into more details now and see how this can be achieved in only a few steps with RES ONE Workspace.

The company wallpaper
Let’s start small and simple with the company wallpaper. I will not use Workspace Containers, so in this example my selected “RES Focus Europe 2016” picture will be applied on all platforms where I launch a session (in this case Windows 7 and Windows 10).

In the RES ONE Workspace Console, navigate to Composition -> Desktop -> Background. I’ve added Focus 2016.bmp at Picture and enabled the Background Composition feature. Use the Preview option to verify if this is the wallpaper you really want, save the settings to complete and it is done!

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Three applications pinned on the desktop
Now before we dive into the applications part, I want to make sure that I have full control on the user experience in terms of application shortcuts. RES ONE Workspace has actually three flavors in the so called Windows Shell shortcut creation modes:

  • Do not create shortcuts
  • Merge with unmanaged shortcuts
  • Replace all unmanaged shortcuts

I won’t go into details about the capabilities of the three different modes here, but I think it’s quite obvious that I will use the “Replace all unmanaged shortcuts” mode for my migration scenario to ensure full control on Windows Shell shortcut creation. To enable this, I’ve created two Workspace Containers: one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 10 clients. Navigate to Composition -> Applications in the RES ONE Workspace Console and configure Replace all unmanaged shortcuts for the Windows 7 Workspace Container.

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Now the reason for the separation with Workspace Containers is that Windows 10, contains an extra setting at the Replace all unmanaged shortcuts option: Replace all unmanaged tiles on start screen, which only applies for Windows 10 clients and not for Windows 7.

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With the Windows Shell shortcut creation mode set to replace mode, I am ready to dive into the applications part. To start with, let’s take a look at the 3 application which are pinned to the desktop: Calculator, Internet Explorer and Write. To make this happen, all three applications should be a managed application object in the RES ONE Workspace Console. So, let’s take the Calculator application as an example and zoom in on the Shortcuts tab of this application object:

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The actual result of this enabling this single setting is that both on the Windows 7 and Windows 10 clients, “Calculator Focus 2016” shortcut will be pinned to the desktop.

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Pinned shortcuts on Windows 7 desktop

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Pinned shortcuts on Windows 10 desktop

Two applications pinned to the taskbar
Ok, pinned shortcuts on the desktop are migrated, let’s move to the taskbar now. There are two shortcuts pinned to the taskbar (Notepad and Word). So let’s take Notepad as an example. I’ve configured to pin both application mandatory on the taskbar on the Shortcuts tab in the RES ONE Workspace Console.

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The actual result of this enabling this single setting is that both on the Windows 7 and Windows 10 clients, “Notepad Focus 2016” shortcut will be pinned to the taskbar.

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Pinned shortcuts on Windows 7 taskbar

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Pinned shortcuts on Windows 10 taskbar

Start menu with two important application groups containing applications
So we have application shortcuts pinned on the desktop and taskbar. Let’s go to the final piece of the applications shortcut part of the migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10: the start menu. As you probably know the start menu of Windows 10 is not the same as in Windows 7. The start menu still exists in Windows 10, but there is a new element here: the start screen, the one with all the tiles.

Looking at the RES ONE Workspace console, the start menu has a traditional build up with menu folders and applications. The Windows 7 start menu is build based on the configured start menu layout in the RES ONE Workspace Control based on the context in the session.

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The Windows 10 start menu is a little bit different. When hitting the Start button on Windows 7 the start menu is shown. When hitting the Start button on Windows 10 the start screen is shown. The goal of this migration is to get the same user experience. So I’ve made the choice to make at least the same applications available in the same folders (groups in Windows 10).

To achieve this let’s take a look at the Word 2016 application in the RES ONE Workspace Console, which is in the Office 2016 menu folder. In the Tile section of the Shortcuts tab on the Word 2016 application I’ve selected to pin this application shortcut mandatory to the tile screen, with a medium size and in a group called “Office 2016”.

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When we take a look at the Windows 7 client the Start menu will look like this, with an “Office 2016” group and a “RES Focus 2016” start menu folder:

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Looking at the Windows 10 start screen it shows me the exact same applications in folders (groups) in the start screen: “Office 2016” with Word 2016 and Write, Calculator and Internet explorer in a “ROW Managed Tiles Focus 2016” group.

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As you probably noticed some small changes are applied in the Windows 10 start screen compared to the Windows 7 start menu:

  • Changed the start menu folder name “Focus 2016” to “ROW Managed Tiles Focus 2016”, but with same applications in that group
  • Added “Other Apps Focus 2016” group
  • Added “Windows applications group”

Summary
The goal we’ve set upfront was the migration of my fully operational digital workspace with the same user experience from a Windows 7 to a Windows 10 client as less intrusive as possible for me as a user. Of course this does not cover a full Windows migration, because this can involve additional settings and variables but it does show that my user experience is migrated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without any exposure to me. As you’ve seen this can be achieved by simply configuring some basic application settings of the RES ONE Workspace Console. This shows the power of a digital workspace in the context of migration.

*Following the launch of RES ONE Enterprise on February 21, 2017, RES ONE Service Store is now RES ONE Identity Director and RES ONE Suite is now RES ONE Enterprise.