On July 29th, Microsoft launched Windows 10 to the general public. The operating system’s debut generated a lot of buzz, with many tech experts hailing it as a return to Windows’ classic form (see the reappearance of the Start button) and a solid step forward thanks to many impressive new features.
The question most Windows users will ask is, “Should I upgrade now?” At CMIT Solutions, we recommend waiting 3-6 months before considering an upgrade. As with most new, complex operating systems, Windows 10 will inevitably contain minor bugs that could lead to glitches, crashes, and other incompatibilities.
As a large system of IT service providers, CMIT has many offices evaluating Windows 10 internally so that we can provide accurate updates to our clients. And by most measures, Windows 10’s performance is positive, with the pluses outweighing the minuses. But for those in the business world, the best course of action is probably to wait until purchasing a new computer to move up to Windows 10. Like upgrading, that’s a decision best made after careful consideration with a trusted IT advisor.
Now for Windows 10’s top 5 features…
1) The Start button is back. Hiding the Start button was a big point of contention for Windows 8 users, so bringing it back for Windows 10 was considered a necessity. Microsoft has also modernized it — now, clicking Start brings up groups of tiles that can be tailored to your preferences. And frequently used programs can easily be pinned on it. Personalization plus familiarity equals a great start for Windows 10.
2) A new (and fast) default web browser comes built in. Microsoft Edge replaces Internet Explorer, which experienced several security issues last year. And early tests indicate Edge can run significantly faster than Google Chrome, the most popular web browser available right now.
3) Windows now offers a virtual assistant. Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri, which is a staple of most Apple products. Users can type a query or recite a command into their computer’s microphone; for instance, “Pick up dry cleaning tomorrow” will set up a reminder notification, while “Plan meeting for Friday at 3:00” will create an appointment on your calendar.
4) Security features have been significantly enhanced. Microsoft has stepped up to the plate in this department, particularly with Microsoft Edge, which includes malicious website and software scanners and automatic upgrades for critical add-ons like Adobe Flash. Chris Hallum, a senior product marketing manager for Microsoft, even told The New York Times that Windows 10 would include a full-fledged antivirus solution. Time will tell how strong these new enhancements are — and extra layers of security are always recommended.
5) Upgrading is free (for one year). In advance of the official launch of Windows 10, Microsoft announced a broader shift in strategy — away from charging $50-$100 for the new version of its operating system and toward giving it away for free. That decision is certainly meant as a major incentive for more users to more quickly adopt Windows 10. But it’s not entirely clear how business licenses will be renewed after the initial one-year free period.
Windows 10 looks to be a strong contender as the best new OS Microsoft has offered since Windows 7. However, CMIT Solutions advises that business users proceed with caution when considering an upgrade. Have questions about the new software’s capabilities? Curious about whether an update to Windows 10 is right for you? Ready to consider new equipment? Contact CMIT Solutions today — we understand the benefits and consequences of new operating systems and can help you determine what’s right for your organization.