Technology Leaders’ Quarterly Briefing

Windows devices and services

Q4 2020 and Year in Review

Microsoft Surface Duo. Source: Microsoft.

Key developments across 2020:

  • Windows feature updates are getting less disruptive
  • Microsoft is less aggressive on Windows feature update deployment
  • Microsoft Edge is now arguably the best browser for Windows users
  • The speculated challenger to Google Chrome OS, Windows 10X, has been delayed
  • Windows 10 continues to receive tight integration to Microsoft security products
  • Surface devices have experienced huge growth in 2020
  • Dell, Intel and Lenovo previewed foldable PCs with only Lenovo releasing a commercial product
  • 11th Generation Tiger Lake debuts for laptops only
  • Intel Lakefield processor debuts to mix low power consumption and high power performance
  • Intel returns to discrete GPU production
  • Developments across 2020 indicate ARM powered devices may become a viable alternative
  • AMD’s 5th generation ARM processor claims a 19% instructions per cycle (IPC) improvement
  • Microsoft unveils the Pluton Processor as a response to TPM vulnerabilities
  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager continues to grow with significant growth in cloud
  • A new capability called Tenant Attach provides a low friction option to adopt cloud management
  • Development of Configuration Manager and Intune remains separate
  • A quiet year for Microsoft Managed Desktop

What to expect for 2021:

  • Windows 10 update process will continue to be faster and less disruptive
  • The shift to remote working in 2020 will make companies prioritise their Zero Trust strategies
  • Microsoft will continue to lead PC vendors in device innovation
  • Growth in laptop sales will continue to outpace growth in desktops sales
  • Foldables will provide genuine value
  • ARM powered devices to remain a niche option
  • Intel’s processor leadership will continue to erode
  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager will continue to integrate with other Microsoft services
  • Device performance and update readiness analytics will provide significant benefits
  • Capability to manage remote Windows devices will gain significant improvements

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