With Windows 10 surging like a consumerization-driven tsunami toward the enterprise, attendees at HP Discover in London got key guidance on what to expect and how to prepare.

While past OS migrations have involved no shortage of pain and disruption for many organizations—Windows XP end-of-life, anyone?—the rollout of the latest Microsoft platform can be pleasantly civilized if you approach it the right way, as highlighted by Citrix and HP at Discover.

A new Windows release always looms large on the IT calendar, but Windows 10 promises to be especially notable for several reasons.

For one thing, the upgrade is easy to install and available free until July 2016, practically begging users to take the initiative and do it themselves—as millions already have. Millions more will BYOD the brand-new Windows 10 devices that hit the market this holiday season—especially those slick new Surface Pro devices that are lighter and more capable than ever.

Meanwhile, following the flop of Windows 8, Gartner is advising clients to skip Windows 8.1 entirely. In the first month of its release, Windows 10 set a record for increase in user share, and Microsoft COO Terry Myerson predicts we’ll see one billion Windows 10 devices by 2018. Add it all up, and the Windows 10 timeline is clearly out of IT’s hands. It’s coming now—so brace yourself.

Citrix and HP are here to help. You can think about the migration to Windows 10 in terms of three questions:

  • How will you deliver apps—including legacy apps not yet certified on the new platform—to the Windows 10 devices your employees use?
  • How will you migrate your business apps to Windows 10?
  • How will you standardize on a Windows 10 corporate desktop image?

Desktop virtualization with Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver can help with all three. To begin with, you can use the Citrix XenApp app virtualization functionality of XenDesktop to deliver all your business apps to any device employees use, including Windows 10 PCs and tablets. HPE Enterprise Services teams use XenApp and Citrix Receiver to “fence” user communities and deliver line-of-business apps to people using Windows 10; people on earlier platforms can continue to use those devices as well.

To streamline the migration of your business apps to Windows 10, HPE Enterprise Services uses the Citrix AppDNA app compatibility assessment tools built into XenDesktop to determine whether your full range of legacy Windows apps will run correctly in the new environment. If there is a compatibility issue with an app, AppDNA will guide you toward a solution to enable its migration to Windows 10.

When you’re ready to standardize on a Windows 10 corporate image—a refreshing change from the mixed environments found in so many organizations today—the rapid provisioning technology of XenDesktop can be used to push out Windows 10 virtual desktops instantly to every user in every location. At that point, a single golden image in the datacenter vastly simplifies management, support and security.

HPE and Citrix let you approach Windows 10 migration in the way that makes the most sense for your organization, whether through a fully outsourced model with HPE Enterprise Services, or by having HPE Technical Services help you implement solutions in your own datacenter or cloud.

We can also provide tools and documentation so you can implement services on your own. Even if your existing hardware isn’t quite ready for Windows 10, desktop virtualization lets you make a staged migration to the new platform on any device while ensuring that every user can access all the apps their work requires.

Attendees at Discover London explored the ins and outs of Windows 10 migration in a variety of sessions, presentations and demos, including our break-out session “Windows 10 and Office 365: they’re here, but are you ready?” (Session ID: TB7741).

Even if you missed Discover, you can still access a wealth of information and resources to help you make Windows 10 the most painless OS migration yet—through a process that lets you leverage the full benefits of desktop virtualization moving forward. You can start exploring here: