Upgrading your business computer operating system is a big decision, especially after the experience of Windows 8!
In this article, we will walk through the choices you have regarding Windows 10. Its fair to say it will change the way we all work and making the right and timely choices will ease the inevitable transition.
Upgrading Before 1st August 2016:
If you are running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1, you can update to Windows 10 free, for one year – from the time Windows 10 becomes available. After a year it will cost about £80. This is an approximate figure as there are a wide range of editions. Windows 10 has four Intel processor versions and two Arm versions. For this article we’ll be discussing Windows 10 Professional with BitLocker, Hyper-V, Remote Desktop hosting, the ability to join Active Directory and other business-oriented features. If you take the free upgrade and you’re running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro, you will get Windows 10 Pro. Do keep in mind that an upgrade will be far more cost effective if you do it before the one-year clock runs out!
IF YOU’RE BUYING A NEW PC:
Without doubt, if you’re buying a new Windows PC, you need to choose a Windows 10 PC. Microsoft has committed to a 10-year support lifecycle for Windows 10. If you’re able to get a relatively recent Windows 8.1 machine for a great price and update it to Windows 10, that’s not a bad idea, however keep in mind that you may run into compatibility issues as manufacturers are unlikely to be maintaining Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 machines and their drivers well, so it’s likely your machine may orphan a lot faster than if you spent slightly more and bought a new Windows 10 PC.
In summary: if you’re an individual buying a new PC, get Windows 10. If you’re in an enterprise, that should be a decision best left up to your corporate IT team. If you are the corporate IT team, you should know the trade-offs and make your decision accordingly.
IF YOU’RE BUILDING A NEW PC:
Drivers are the issue. While some most vendors are likely to maintain their Windows 7 drivers for a long time (it’s the majority of the market, after all), new hardware will begin to move off of Windows 7 soon – especially gaming hardware. If you’re going to build a new Windows PC now, we’d make it Windows 10. Note: don’t drink and install drivers!
IF YOU’RE RUNNING WINDOWS 8 OR WINDOWS 8.1 ON A TRADITIONAL PC:
If you’re running Windows 8, you should update to 8.1. If you’re running Windows 8.1 and your machine can handle it, we recommend updating to Windows 10. Windows 8 and 8.1 support will be virtually non-existent soon, so it’s well worth doing the upgrade, and doing so while the Windows 10 option is free. Windows 10 will involve adjustment but fortunately, nearly everyone is familiar with the old Start menu interface and Windows 10 supports it. Even so, very few Windows 7 users will be as lost on Windows 10 as on Windows 8.
IF YOU’RE RUNNING WINDOWS 8 OR WINDOWS 8.1 ON A TABLET:
The big question is whether you’ll have enough space. Microsoft says the Windows 10 upgrade requires 16GB for 32-bit OS and 20GB for 64-bit OS, so make sure you have space before you try to upgrade. That said, tablets are pretty self-contained, so if you like your Windows 8 tablet, don’t rush to upgrade. There’s no guarantee that the new version won’t drag down performance. Yes, there are improvements in Windows 10, but keep in mind how you use your tablet and make your decision accordingly.
IF YOU’RE RUNNING WINDOWS 7:
Do not update any Windows 7 machines. They work as they are, they’re rock solid, and all their drivers are perfectly tuned to the hardware they’re running on. If your organization exclusively uses Microsoft products, phones, tablets and desktop PCs, then you’ll probably want Windows 10. Other that, move to Windows 10 when you get a new machine.
IF YOU’RE STILL RUNNING WINDOWS XP:
If you’re still running Windows XP, it’s either because you never wanted to move off of it or your machine isn’t compatible with newer versions. You’re unlikely to be able to make the move to Windows 10. Note: never, ever connect to the Internet with an XP machine.
IF YOU’RE RUNNING WINDOWS VISTA:
If you’re still running Windows Vista, as with XP, you can’t upgrade to Windows 10, but you could move to Windows 8. From Windows 8, you could update to Windows 8.1 and from Windows 8.1 you might be able to go to Windows 10. As you can imagine, going through that marathon is not going to be a worthwhile use of your life!
- If you’re buying a new PC: Go ahead and get it with Windows 10. Windows 8 and 8.1 machines are about to become obsolete.
- If you’re buying a Windows 8 or 8.1 PC and looking for bargains: Probably too much work to buy an 8 or 8.1 machine and upgrade to Windows 10. There might be driver and compatibility issues. That said, if you want to be frugal and can live with the probable pain….
- If you’re buying a PC with Windows 7: If you’re buying a Windows 7 machine now, it’s because you want Windows 7.
- If you’re running Windows RT: Give it to the kids! There might be a chance you can upgrade to Windows 10, but you’ll probably run into storage and other hassles.
- If you’re running Windows 8 or 8.1 on a traditional PC: Upgrade right away. Windows 8 and 8.1 are about to be forgotten.
- If you’re running Windows 8 or 8.1 on a tablet: Stick with 8.1. If you’re running Windows 8, move to 8.1. Windows 10 might work but it’s not worth the risk.
- If you’re running Windows 7: Unless you absolutely love one of the Windows 10 new features (most notably Cortana) stick with Windows 7.
- If you rely on Windows Media Centre: Windows 10 will remove it.
- If you’re running Vista: Throw it away today!
- If you’re running XP: See above…
Remember: take action before Windows 10 stops being a free update! Speak to our Techies for further advice.