Stress Free: Intel’s Windows* 10 Self-Service Upgrade

At Intel, we made a self-service Microsoft Windows* 10 in-place upgrade available for our employees. Using this process, we’ve successfully upgraded more than 50,000 PCs, and we expect to double this by the end of 2018. At that point, nearly our entire fleet of PCs will have gone through this process.

Before we introduced our new upgrade process, employees needed to turn their PC over to IT to receive an operating system (OS) upgrade. Not only was this labor intensive and time consuming, it caused our employees anxiety. This was due to the fact that more than 3,000 enterprise applications are in use at Intel. And our employees knew that application incompatibility issues, caused by the upgrade, could prevent them from getting back to work.

Our new process, described in the IT@Intel white paper, Advancing the User Experience with Intel® Architecture-Based Laptops and Microsoft Windows* 10, eliminates the concern regarding incompatibility issues, as we make application readiness an essential step that occurs before we launch our new upgrade procedures. We accomplished this by moving to an accelerated application-testing process that uses virtual machines, allowing us to make corrections before users perform the self-service Windows* 10 in-place upgrade on their PCs.

Other benefits of this process include speed and flexibility. The new upgrade process takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Compare that with the typical IT technician-assisted OS upgrade that takes at least a half-day. And because it is a self-service process, Intel employees can choose when and where they upgrade their PC. They can run it at the office while they go to lunch, and come back and resume their work, or they can run it on their laptop when they’re at home.

Why upgrade? Windows* 10 offers an expanding application and driver ecosystem—which can increase employee productivity—compared to older versions of Windows*. Intel will continue to align with the Windows* as a Service cadence, in order to keep pace with each new release of Windows* 10. Our new self-service in-place upgrade process enables us to transition to a continually updated OS model, avoiding the disruption and downtime associated with major OS upgrades.

Developing our self-service, in-place upgrade process for Windows* 10 required multiple phases: Phase 1 (early adopters), Phase 2 (limited deployment), Phase 3 (general availability), and Phase 4 (standard on all devices). We are now in Phase 3.

To ensure success at each phase, we monitored the in-place upgrade activities. Using our system tracking tools, we saw failures rates of less than 5 percent for all Windows* 10 self-service upgrades. Of those failures, the vast majority gracefully reverted back to their previous OS version. We then remotely addressed the issue and performed the upgrade. More than 95 percent of the upgrades went smoothly, with our users giving the procedure positive reviews.

By going through multiple phases, we learned how to improve the process and we have much more to share. For more information about Intel IT’s self-service deployment of Windows* 10, read the most recent version of the IT@Intel white paper, Advancing the User Experience with Intel® Architecture-Based Laptops and Microsoft Windows* 10.

Published on Categories Productivity, SoftwareTags , , , ,
Malvina Nisman

About Malvina Nisman

Malvina Nisman is the Windows 10® Product Manager for Intel's IT End-User Computing and Collaboration organization. She leads a global team that is responsible for enabling 100,000+ Intel employees PC’s with the most valuable features through Windows 10® in-place upgrades to make them more productive. She works with partners in IT and across Intel to ensure ecosystem readiness for the continuous update cycle from an applications, platform and security stack perspective. In her 20+ years at Intel, Malvina has been driving organizational change and leading adoption of transformational capabilities and processes. Her broad experience includes implementing multiple solutions and programs in the areas of IT Configuration and Service Management. Malvina is passionate about bringing an element of pathfinding in each project and was instrumental in establishing a global network on Innovation Centers at Intel. Malvina is excited to share what she's learned about deploying Windows as a Service and learn from other organizations’ best practices.