Join Jim Boyce for an in-depth discussion in this video Platforms and devices, part of Windows 10 Fundamentals for IT Pros.
- Let's start by taking a look at Windows 10 from a platforms and devices perspective. Understanding how Windows 10's platform and device model differs from previous versions of Windows will help you begin to plan what devices you'll be supporting in your environment, and also potentially spark some thought about what new possibilities exist in your organization to integrate new types of devices. With Windows Server 2012, Microsoft introduced the Windows Runtime Application Programming Interface, also known as WinRT. Microsoft intended the WinRT API as a common application architecture for the Windows platform, enabling developers to create applications that would run across different Windows platforms.
Although WinRT was first introduced with Windows Server 2012, it's really more closely associated with the Windows 8 release in most people's minds. Also, don't confuse WinRT with Windows RT, the ARM version of Windows that runs on the first generation Microsoft Surface RT tablet. Although the Surface RT uses WinRT, they're not the same thing. With the introduction of Windows Phone 8.1, WinRT was aligned to Windows and Windows Phone, enabling developers to create apps with a common code base that would run on Windows devices such as PC's and tablets, as well as Windows Phone.
This was a step toward making Windows cross-platform, but was still somewhat limited in scope. One of Microsoft's goals for Windows 10 was to make it the first truly cross-platform Windows operating system, supporting common apps across the broad range of devices. To achieve that goal, Microsoft created the Universal Windows Platform, or UWP. UWP enables apps to call not only the WinRT API that's common to all Windows 10 devices, but also API's that are specific to the device family on which Windows 10 is running.
This means that a common code base runs across multiple types of devices, such as PC's, tablets, phones, and the Xbox One. The advantage to both users and developers is that a developer can create a single universal app that will run on all of those platforms. Although the user experience might naturally be somewhat different depending on the device, the same code base helps promote common functionality, quicker development, and ultimately, a much broader selection of apps. What's more, this cross-platform model extends even further to include new types of devices, such as Microsoft's HoloLens and Surface Hub, as well as third-party devices like the Raspberry Pi 2, and Minnowboard MAX, opening up some really interesting opportunities for device designers.
Windows 10 can even run on an Android device that has a custom ROM installed, potentially opening up the Windows 10 mobile platform to a significantly larger device base than the current Windows Phone base. Imagine running Windows 10 mobile on your new Samsung Galaxy device. In the new Microsoft platform architecture, devices group into device families, and developers target one or more device families rather than an operating system. The device family hierarchy includes Desktop, Mobile, Xbox, IoT, and IoT Headless.
These latter two device families target internet (mumbles) devices like the Raspberry Pi 2, and other small, nontraditional computing devices. A device family describes the API, system characteristics, and functional behaviors of devices within that device family. Each device family inherits the parent hierarchy's API's, so each family naturally inherits the WinRT API. All devices in a child device family inherit the API's of the parent, so all devices in a family have access to the same set of API's, either directly or through inheritance.
Again, this ables developers to create a common application code base, and leverage device family API's within the app to define the user experience and functionality to the app when it runs on a specific device family. Device families also determine the devices on which a specific app can be installed from the store. For example, a developer might target a line of business app to desktop and mobile, but not Xbox or IoT. For example, you probably don't want to run your expense reporting app on your Xbox, but would want to run it on a PC or phone.
A game developer, on the other hand, might write a game for the PC, phone, and Xbox families, enabling the app to run on Xbox as well as PC's and phones. Again, the app can exhibit different behaviours on different device families, but still use a common code base. How is all this important to your organization? First and foremost, Windows 10 enables a more seamless user experience across your user's devices. That expense report app that I mentioned earlier, if written and deployed for PC and phone device families, would give your users the flexibility of creating and approving expense reports on their desktop or notebook PC, a tablet, or Windows Phone.
From a management standpoint, you don't need to deploy multiple versions of the app through different means. As you'll see in a subsequent video, you can deploy a single app to the Windows Store and have that app deployable to multiple device families, simplifying app deployment and license management. These universal apps also mean more flexibility for users in the devices they use, while enabling a more consistent user experience. The Microsoft Office universal apps are a great example. They enable your users to work with Office documents on a PC, Windows 10 tablet, iOS device, or Android device.
So it really is about the user experience, and not the device. This new model opens up new possibilities in your organization to deploy or support a wider array of devices than previously possible, not only improving user satisfaction, but also potentially simplifying your Bring Your Own Device strategy, and making new device options available to satisfy business requirements.
Jim Boyce also goes under the hood, focusing on security features such as Secure Boot, Device Guard, Passport, Windows Hello, and other protections against malware and phishing. He discusses networking with Windows 10, and using virtualization solutions such as Hyper-V and Remote Desktop. To close out the course, Jim reviews backup and recovery, cloud integration with OneDrive, and Windows 10 update branches and licensing considerations.
- Understanding what's different in Windows 10
- Navigating the Windows 10 interface, including the Action Center
- Switching apps
- Implementing Windows 10 security
- Adding passport and multifactor authentication
- Managing application compatibility
- Working with the new Microsoft Edge browser
- Using virtualization
- Backing up Windows 10
- Managing OneDrive
- Updating Windows 10