Windows 10 – Start Me Up?

Vernon Keenan | July 31st, 2015

Here’s what business owners need to know about the Windows 10 upgrade

by Vernon Keenan

This past week Microsoft officially released their long-anticipated upgrade to Windows called Windows 10. What does this mean for business users and how should you react? Before I blurt out my simple recommendations, let’s review the facts about Windows 10 just a little.

  • Windows 10 is the latest version of the 30-year-old Windows operating system. This release represents Microsoft’s effort to create a unified operating system where apps will work the same on a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile phone.
  • Windows 10 has more advanced core technologies than Windows 7 and should run faster and more reliably with better security features.
  • Windows 10 is generally compatible with all Windows 7 applications
  • Windows 10 is a response to the failed launch of Windows 8.

Most users disliked (or even hated) Windows 8 because it would dump you into this strange tiled interface where you couldn’t use your desktop apps. I ascribed this gigantic mistake to a bad case of “iPad Envy.” This screwup actually resulted in the departure of several key senior execs from Microsoft (see my extremely pessimistic April 2013 blog post). Fortunately, Microsoft seems to have righted the ship with the new CEO Satya Nadella. Most of the terrible scenarios I postulated in my 2013 blog post haven’t materialized.

Thank goodness Microsoft didn’t waste a 25 year legacy by fixing Windows 8 with Windows 10. So, what should you do about this new development from Microsoft? Here are the specific recommendations from Telnexus for our customers who operate a work-oriented network:

  • Do not run the in-place upgrade on your work PCs. While the chance of problems is less than 0.1%, the risk is simply too great for business users who depend on their machines to run all day every day.
    • One exception to this recommendation would be a PC you bought in the last few months. As long as you are running Windows 8.1, then you should expect there to be no problems with the upgrade.
  • Go ahead and buy new PCs with Windows 10. With the better performance, stability and security features of Windows 10 it will be worth it to gradually upgrade.

Not surprisingly, we recommend you act conservatively and avoid doing unnecessary upgrades on your work PCs. But, users who do get Windows 10 will be able to adapt to the new look and feel of Windows with little or no training.

As far as a home PC goes, I definitely encourage you to upgrade any Windows 8 system to Windows 10. Windows 7 systems bought before 2009 should also work fine with Windows 10. The upgrade should make the computer easier to use, a little more fun, and will naturally leverage your existing Windows skills.