I am truly impressed:
The past few releases of Windows have been a game of give and take. You gave the OS more resources and money, and got more features and security. Meanwhile, older hardware sets had to go in the recycle bin before they were actually worn out. Useful, but no longer in production software sets had to be replaced because they no longer worked on the new releases of Windows. Windows 10 is better than XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 for a lot of reasons, and mainly because it performs much better than expected in the compatibilty and performance area, and because it is available to be activated for free to users with the home and pro editions of Windows 7, and 8.x. (Enterprise users still have to pay). What's more, the download and upgrade process is pretty painless, and I am 4 for 4 upgrading hardware which is from 5 to 7 years old to a working version of Windows 10. Recalling Hubert Humphrey, "I am pleased as punch". There are more reasons than this brief paen to upgrade and I will list them below.
Ten good reasons to like Windows 10
- Cortana - This is a tool like Siri but more fun. You can ask Cortana using a microphone questions and the program will search the web to find an answer. If the request is simple enough, the program will also answer back. E.g. "Hey Cortana, what time is it? " will answer back with the system time. Microsoft games division developed this algorithm and it is very useful as well as funny at times.
- More than just Desktops - This version runs on desktops, tablets and phones and is designed to work well on all these platforms. Windows 8 made design choices which were great for tablets, but make desktop users hate their life. This version has switches so tablets can be tablety and desktops can be keyboardy. There is a maturity about this design approach: It recognizes that users have definite preferences and should not be boxed in to a new approach. This will make Windows 10 easy to adopt by different generations.
- Start button is back. See point 2. The start button was "disappeared" by some dictatorial design team at Microsoft in Windows 8 and this was very unpopular. Its back but the best of the Windows 8 application start features are also back.
- Continual upgrades. 10 is meant to be continually upgraded in the background. For all but large installations, this will be the right choice - it works smoothly and reliably. For really large installation, you can turn the continual upgrade off. This is another version windows update but a version that doesn't make you stay up at night worrying about it. The aim is that there will be no windows 11, just continual upgrades to 10. I don't quite believe that, but you have to aim high to hit any kind of goal, and that is the goal.
- Edge Browser - Internet Explorer is still there for backwards compatibility, but there is a completely new, fast, browser called Edge which is amazing and I haven't yet seen it hang.
- Desktop is back - Windows 8 broke the desktop and made legacy users suffer because they never knew where their favority application was. Now this feature is back.
- Windows “Hello” security - Built in to windows 10, and primarily for enterprise level users, are voice recognition, fingerprint scanning, encryption, anti-rootkit tools and other security features. You no longer have to rely on passwords to secure your device.
- Built In Virtualization - Windows Server operating systems have had virtualization software built in for a half dozen years or so; this allows you to run multiple copies of different operating systems on the same piece of hardware. This in turn, lets you provision new servers in record time if the hardware needs to be replaced. The virtualization is now fully available in the Windows 10 OS. (Yes, you can set it up to run Windows 98 or Linux on a virtual machine hosted in Windows 10 if you want).
- Windows as a service - More hooks to the cloud have been provided so that when running cloud based apps, the OS knows what to do. For examply, One Drive is already loaded in Windows 10 giving users access to 5 gb of free cloud storage.
- Very compatible and easy to use - Last but not least, I expected to see a lot of applications break in windows 10, but so far haven't seen any. I also expected to see a slow down on things like Chrome when I upgrade from 7 to 10, but didn't see that. I expected to see more hangs, crashes and blue screens, but 10 is remarkably free of all those things. I am writing this article on a 8 year old Dell optiplex 780 with 4 gb of ram, and have had no issues.
So now what?
Windows 10 has great features and compatibility. Should you go ahead and upgrade ? Should you hire someone to to it for you? The answer depends on the use an upgrade candidate is being put to. If it is a mission critical system, then you will need to take care to make sure all the hardware and software which the mission is dependent on are Windows 10 compatible. There are some pieces of hardware (typically things like wifi controllers) that may not have 10 compatible device drivers. There are some software programs that won't run on windows 10. You may need to tweak the UA settings to get software to run. But for the most part, it will work and your performance may actually improve.
If you have the time and the patience to allow for the download and upgrade process which can take many hours, and the ability to make a reliable backup, then go ahead. Or, call us at the number above and we can discuss how many machines you would like us to upgrade and on what kind of timeframe.