Windows is the operating system that sits behind your applications on PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile devices in the Microsoft world and lets you use your computer for multiple tasks simultaneously.
When Windows 10 launched, lots of people rushed out to buy it – upgrading old PCs to the free edition or taking advantage of the free upgrade for old PCs.
My advice to business owners was to wait for Windows 10 to be business ready or, more specifically, for the hardware drivers and business software to be ready for Windows 10.
I suggested it was time to plan the upgrade and do the hardware and software testing so as to be ready for the upgrade.
If you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and plan to use the free upgrade rights, you need to get moving with your upgrade project as you have until July 29 2016 to implement the upgrade.
If you do the upgrade directly online, it is about a 3 GB download – so it may be necessary to plan to do fleets of PCs locally so as not to congest limited internet connections in some businesses.
Note this free upgrade is not available to volume licensing users, so do check how your Windows is licensed before assuming you get the free version to avoid a shock just as you kick off the project.
Our company has been working on a stable, standard build process that includes the standard applications that most of our clients require.
One of our blocking points was that the antivirus software we use across multiple clients was not yet ready to run on Windows 10.
Today we deem the base components to be ready to run and we are beginning to send out Windows 10 PCs to those clients that do not have restrictive financial applications or custom-built software that is not Windows 10 ready.
We have spent hundreds of hours testing different combinations of hardware and software to minimise interruptions and I suggest that any business about to upgrade take a cautious approach to the upgrade and make sure your business tools continue to function on a test group of computers before performing a wholesale upgrade.
That said, the feedback is that 200 million computer users devices are now on Windows 10 and it is a stable and useful platform with some nice features. There is little doubt that this will be the PC and portable device platform of choice in the Microsoft business community for a few years.
Some of the “nice to have” new features include:
1. Cortana is the new electronic virtual assistant who will allow you to use “Hey Cortana” to initiate commands, searches and conversations.
2. Universal Apps via the Windows 10 Apps store will let you run the same apps on any Windows 10 device from the desktop to tablet to phone. In many cases these apps run the same code on each device making transition easy with data stored in OneDrive allowing you to pick up where you left off from one device to the other.
3. Edge browser, replacing Internet Explorer, introduces a fresh, fast web interface without the bloat that has slowed down IE.
It is now time to complete your plans and testing and run those upgrades – just don’t bring your computer systems to a standstill when the finance department is trying to manage the end of financial year process.
Of course, if you have not planned ahead or lack resources to get this underway, seek help before the last minute to ensure you don’t miss out on the free upgrades.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for business IT that makes sense. How can we help?