There has been a lot of hype around Windows 10 lately—everything from the rush to get the free upgrade, to the benefits of the new OS, to potential migration issues a business may encounter.

You may recall from an earlier post about Windows 10 adoption that application compatibility and migration top the list of customer concerns when migrating to Windows 10. That has not changed. What continues to change every day is the increasing number of devices that are running Windows 10. Fact is, consumers are updating their BYO devices at an amazing rate and then using those devices to work—in the office, at home, or on the road. IT is being cut out of the loop and is left with the issue of supporting line of business applications on Windows 10.

How to handle the app compatibility problem?

There are a few ways for IT to combat the application compatibility issue.

  1. Test every application you have by hand to see what the experience is on a Windows 10 device. (not ideal)
  2. Virtualize your apps in XenApp and deliver the same app and same experience to users on any device—running Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP as well as Mac, Linux, Android or iOS.
  3. Use Citrix AppDNA to automatically test the compatibility of your apps before you move everyone to Windows 10.

Option 1: test everything by hand

Do we really want to talk about option 1? Perhaps you did this last time when migrating from XP. It was slow. It was painful. And today, not everyone is moving to the same OS at the same time. There is a better way.

Option 2: virtualize apps in XenApp

Let’s say you’re not quite ready to move everyone to Windows 10. While Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop can make that move easy—and potentially the last time you have to deal with an OS migration—we’ll set that aside for now and concentrate on the apps. Today you have Windows 10 devices on your network and those users may not be able to use the line-of-business apps needed to get their job done. You most likely can’t control what devices employees or contractors are using to work, but you can control the experience they have with their apps.

With XenApp, you can deliver all of your corporate apps to every worker, regardless of their chosen device. Apps are centrally stored and run in your datacenter and users access them via Citrix Receiver (pictured below). That means if you have a line-of-business app that only runs on Windows 7, your Windows 10 and Mac and Linux users can still open it up and work—without the need to test or update the app for different endpoints.

Citrix Receiver provides workers access to all of the apps they need to stay productive
Citrix Receiver provides workers access to all of the apps they need to stay productive

What’s more, XenApp lets you deliver browser-based apps in the same way. So workers with new Windows 10 devices running the Edge browser (or for workers that prefer Chrome or Firefox on their existing devices) can still run web-based apps designed for IE8, for example. This means you don’t have to spend your time updating corporate apps that workers depend on every time there is an OS or browser update. If you have browser-based apps, consider Citrix Secure Browser. It allows you to virtualize just the browser-based apps and you can try it today as a cloud-based service. It will be available as a XenApp edition later this quarter.

Option 3: test application compatibility

When you are ready to move your workforce to Windows 10, Citrix AppDNA can help accelerate your application migrations. AppDNA, included with XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum editions, tests for potential issues and shows a clear path to application compatibility on the new OS. You can automate app migration testing and more accurately measure the effort required to move an application to Windows 10. You can clearly see what applications will work with Windows 10 and the Edge browser, dependencies those apps have and how to resolve the issues. Customers have found that using AppDNA cuts their application testing, remediation and migration time by as much as 90%! That means you can migrate your users faster and move on to more strategic work.

Which method is right for you?

Users on your network are moving to Windows 10 without waiting—the limited-time free upgrade from Microsoft is seeing to that. Citrix has several options to help you continue to support your workforce and can make it easy for you along the way. Contact Citrix today or try out one of our solutions to find the right one for you.