Microsoft’s latest operating system is available in Australia from today, with the company hoping to eventually roll out the Windows 10 upgrade to one billion devices worldwide.
But while business owners may be keen to get in quick and update their systems, there are a few things they need to know first.
Sign up for SmartCompany newsletter.
Free to your inbox every weekday
SmartCompany spoke to Lindsay Brown, Australian regional director for mobility apps for Citrix, to find out the top three things business owners need to know about Windows 10.
1. It is initially free for existing Windows 7 and 8 users
Microsoft is allowing existing users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free for the first year, which is sure to appeal to the hip pockets of cash-strapped business owners.
It is also a smart tactic given previous Windows upgrades have been plagued with bugs.
“I think the first interest point is, it’s free, so it’s definitely worth a look to understand what the benefits might be for small business,” Brown says.
“If I look at Windows 10 and what that might offer, I’d suggest small business owners take it away from the technology side of things in the short-term and think about what their business is and why it’s critical for them.”
2. Security will be given a much needed boost
Windows 10 will allow users to sign in with a fingerprint instead of a password, with the aim of making devices more secure.
Brown says the particular drawcards of Windows 10 for SMEs will be the improved security, and collaboration features – which bring with it the potential to boost cash flow.
“For small business owners, keeping the business running is the most important thing,” he says.
“As small business continues to embrace cloud software, it will ease the transition to new operating systems like Windows 10 that are also moving forward in that frame of mind.”
3. It will be perfect for conducting business on the go
Microsoft is quick to point out that Windows 10 will make more use of the cloud than previous upgrades.
The operating system will also come with a voice-controlled virtual assistant called Cortana – Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri.
Brown says this is another potential drawcard for SMEs, however business owners should still make sure the operating system is right for them before upgrading or making the switch.
“Any small business owner is typically cautious in terms of the decisions they make,” he says.
“Folks should look at what they’ve got in existing software before transitioning… it should afford them the flexibility to work across devices. You want to work with all customer shapes and sizes, irrespective of whether they work with Windows 10. It’s good to see vendors like Microsoft embracing that.”