Should Windows consumer and enterprise flavors remain in sync?
Microsoft may be considering delivering the consumer- and business-focused versions of Windows client on different schedules, going forward, according to Terry Myerson, head of the operating system group.
Myerson noted that the needs of consumers, who tend to be interested in having their operating systems update on their own on a quicker basis, are different from those of IT pros, who may prefer policies that control the pace of updates. Myerson said it may not be the best strategy for the consumer and professional flavors of a particular Windows release to hit the market at the exact same time, going forward.
Microsoft execs still haven't ever said officially (as far as I recall) that the company's plan of record is/was to deliver a new version of Windows every year. They have said they planned to deliver new releases more rapidly, as evidenced by the release of Windows 8.1 a year after the company shipped Windows 8.
Some IT pros have not been appreciative of Microsoft's more rapid release pace, noting that new versions of Windows require substantial testing and planning before they are deployed widely across the company. If Microsoft does end up releasing the "pro" versions of Windows less frequently than the consumer ones in the future, I'm sure a number of business users would be happy.
(There's no word what Microsoft is planning/thinking about the pace of Windows Server releases. The Windows Server team, following Microsoft's July reorg, sits with the Cloud and Enterprise group, not the unified Windows team. Microsoft execs haven't said whether Windows Server releases will continue to be delivered in sync with client in the future, as they have been for the past decade-plus or more.)
"And with the consumer versions of our products and the enterprise versions of our products, or the professional versions of our products, we will be focusing on serving each of those customers and delighting them. And there may be different cadences, or different ways in which we talk to those two customers. And so 8.1 - there's 8.1 and there's 8.1 Pro, and they both came at the same time, it's not clear to me that's the right way to serve the consumer market. It may be the right way to continue serving the enterprise market."