For the past few months, we’ve been swamped with questions about Windows 10.
If you’re wondering whether now is the best time to upgrade your system, here’s what you need to know:
First and foremost, if your organization relies on your computers in any way to make money or save lives, consider the risks carefully.
As with any software upgrade – but especially your computer’s operating system – you’ve got to weigh the advantages of upgrading now against potential downtime if there are problems with the new code.
A good rule of thumb regarding any operating-system upgrade is to wait six months after the product release before deploying it into any system or group of systems that your business depends on.
Since January 29 marks six months since the Windows 10 official release date, it’s a good time to look at whether it’s wiser to upgrade now or wait for further fixes and improvements.
That being said, here are a few of the key questions we’ve been fielding – and pitfalls to avoid:
Q. It’s free for a “limited time” – don’t I have to act now?
A. No. You have until July 2016 to take advantage of the free upgrade. And, if your system hasn’t prompted you to upgrade yet, you’ll need to wait. If and when your system is deemed capable of adapting to the upgrade, your current Windows OS will notify you. Either way, you have until July 28, 2016. If you do plan to upgrade, we strongly advise that you get it done well before that date, in order to avoid any last-minute scrambling.
Q. It’s better and/or faster, right?
A. Maybe… It depends. Here’s what we’re seeing:
- Windows 10 radically changes how your system operates, compared to Windows 7. While some computers make the change with no problem at all, it can cause older systems to lose key hardware drivers (like networking or printing), rendering them an “instant brick.”
- Some systems, even those certified by their manufacturers as “Windows 10 ready,” start misbehaving after being upgraded. That means undue downtime while you reinstall or upgrade MS Office or other software – or even revert back to your older OS.
- Some older systems actually run slower on Windows 10 than on Windows 7 or 8.1.
Q. Will my computer work with Windows 10?
A. Age is probably the biggest factor for any Windows-based device. Anything older than three years is not worth upgrading. At three years old, your machine is nearing the end of its useful life. You are better off leaving the old operating system in place and waiting for Windows 10 until you upgrade to a new computer.
Q. I’ve heard Windows 10 transmits all of your personal information to Microsoft. Is this true?
A. This is true, unless you opt out of some of the most attractive features, such as the MS Store and Cortana, the voice-controlled virtual assistant. According to Windows 10 terms of service, Microsoft can:
“access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”
If you decide that giving that kind of control of your personal and business data to Microsoft is not in your best interest, you can still install Windows 10; just call us and we’ll help you adjust the settings to keep all your information from being sent to Microsoft.
Q. We use some custom software here. Will it run on Windows 10?
A. Until your custom software vendor blesses Windows 10 for that program, the answer is no. In all cases, we advise against upgrading to Windows 10 until your custom programs are 100% fully vetted, compatible and supported for it.
Deciding when to upgrade to Windows 10 isn’t as simple as Microsoft and some pundits would have you believe. But if you know the pitfalls we’ve laid out for you here in advance, you’ve at least got a fighting chance for a smooth, headache-free transition.
Want help setting a target date and plan for your business to upgrade to Windows 10? Call us at 561-969-1616 or e-mail us at [email protected] to schedule a free Windows 10 Readiness Assessment.
*offer valid to qualified prospective clients with 15 or more computers and a minimum of 1 server.