What does 99% app compatibility mean for Windows 10 adopters?

Microsoft has twice published that customers report app compatibility over 99%.

For most enterprise clients on Windows 7 today, that number has raised some eyebrows based on their experiences moving away from Windows 7. The 99% claim means that many clients will have fewer difficult apps to resolve compatibility issues. Still, the 1% for some clients could equate to 50 to 100 apps or more.

That 1% also, in many cases, highlights an investment issue in replacing apps that may be complex or have code written in house by a developer that has long since left the organization.

Therefore it is imperative that organizations start to identify those apps and take concrete steps to refresh, replace or re-factor those apps now.

Gaining insight into your estate is key. It’s relatively simple to deploy tools that assess the apps in your enterprise estate and their compatibility. This assessment could also be the point in time that analytics are embedded into devices within the estate to gain broader insight into performance, usage, problems and predict faults.

The danger in this 1% is that those apps will prevent enterprises from migrating to a modern operating system and delivering a modern experience with enhanced security. This fact is leading enterprise clients to think carefully about their Windows 10 release cadence (which in turn identifies which branch to use). If care is not taken, a vicious spiral ensues, which results in delays for migration and hence a less secure environment, as well as delays in deploying new modern management techniques that can enhance user experience.

Another danger raised by the 1% is that a minority of enterprises are talking about deploying Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch. This approach needs very careful planning as I discussed in my last post of the series.


Stu Downes is a Distinguished Engineer in DXC’s Workplace & Mobility offering group. Stu’s role working with product management, industry analysts, key clients and partners gives him a unique view of market trends and client needs. Stu has held a number of roles delivering, designing and leading solutions and products that make people more productive and businesses more effective. He is now shaping workplace products that enable the hyper-productive digital workplace.



Understanding the Windows 10 feature release model

Windows 10 journeys: A starter kit

Windows 10: Mapping your journey

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