Why upgrade to Windows 10?

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Image: Microsoft

All eyes are on Microsoft’s next generation operating system (OS) this year. The tech giant recently announced that the full and final version of Windows 10 will be made available later this year. Currently the Windows 10 Technical Preview (TP) edition is available to users and is expected to expire on April 15.

The preview edition has helped Microsoft resolve around 1,300 bugs that users or beta testers have reported and/or up-voted. Business users in particular will benefit from improvements that Microsoft have implemented following the trial period.

So what will Windows 10 deliver for business?

1. Free Upgrade! If your machines or devices currently run on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8.1, you are getting the upgrade for free according to Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of operating systems. This offer is available for a full year from the time of the commercial release. Unfortunately, those using versions prior to Windows 7 such as Windows XP or Windows Vista will need to purchase the new OS. It has yet to reveal the pricing structure for the new OS once the free upgrade offer expires. To work out if you’re ready for the upgrade check out the hardware/software requirements to install Windows 10.

2. Business will be forced to upgrade their legacy operating system. Maintaining legacy OS is a common practice across many companies. In fact according to CNET, “More than half of all desktops in the world still run Windows 7. Almost 20 percent still run Windows XP, a 14-year-old operating system. Windows 8.1 has yet to reach 10 percent.” If you are one of these companies, you should be worried by now. Using a really old system will do more harm than good to your business.

3. Access the same Microsoft interface across multiple devices. Windows 10 will deliver the same OS across both desktop and mobile devices so working from one device to another will be seamless. This is great for businesses who’ve embraced BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Users can download Windows 10 from one app store for both desktop and mobile and many apps will be optimised to work on any device.

4. It will support a password-free single sign-on. Microsoft most recently announced that its adding support for the Fast Identity Online (Fido) standard to Windows 10 to enable password-free sign-on for a number of applications. Fido supports biometrics such as face, voice, iris, and fingerprint or dongles. Members of the Fido Alliance include Samsung, Visa, PayPal, RSA, MasterCard, Google, Lenovo, ARM, and Bank of America.

5. The old Start Menu is back! Believe it or not, the redesign of the Start Menu in Windows 8 was a deal breaker for so many Windows users. So this time around, Microsoft is restoring the Windows 7 Start Menu we are all familiar with, with an updated look of course, including Metro-style apps.

Windows 10 menu

6. It will support virtual desktops. Microsoft is finally bringing virtual desktops to Windows. You can now work on as many desktops as you want. This could greatly improve workflow on the operating system.

7. There’s a new, streamlined and fast Web browser. Don’t like Internet Explorer (IE)? Well, Windows 10 has developed a new web browser, and it’s called “Spartan”. To quote Jason Weber, group program manager for Internet Explorer, “…Spartan is designed for interoperability with the modern web.” Spartan is believed to be more reliable, uncluttered, and has advanced features including the ability to annotate on web pages, offers a great reading experience, and tied with Cortana (Microsoft’s personal assistant) for quick online searches.

IE will not be actually replaced in Windows 10. As a matter of fact, the new OS is expected to offer both IE 12 and Spartan to its users. According to Weber, IE is necessary for displaying Web sites that use older Microsoft technologies, such as ActiveX.

8. It is Cortana-ready. Microsoft’s digital assistant debuted in Windows Phone 8.1. so it’s fitting to include Cortana to Windows 10. You can now look forward to being able to type or talk to get information through your PC.

win10_windows_cortana

9. You can work with windowed Metro Apps. If Windows 8 users were forced to use Metro-style apps in full screen, Windows 10 users can now open these apps in windows. This makes it easier to open multiple apps at same time. This also means that mouse-and-keyboard users of Windows should be able to use Metro apps.

10. 3D computing is now within your grasp. The new OS paired with Microsoft HoloLens will enable you to enjoy high-definition holograms! This may not be useful for your business for now, but it is exciting to know you can experience 3D imaging and create your own holograms.

win10_holoLens

So far much of Windows 10 features is still a mystery. Microsoft say they’ve revealed only around 10 percent of the features. So expect more to be included in the final version.

You don’t have to wait for the commercial release of Windows 10 to try it out. You can still install the latest beta of Windows 10. Download the Windows 10 Technical Preview for free.

If you’d like to know more about Windows 10 and the impact on your current system, contact us for more information.