A note on Windows 10

Windows 10.

Everyone is asking about it. So, we hope to answer everyone’s questions here.

Should I install it? In short: Wait. We’re not recommending broad deployment of Windows 10 at this time. As with any new major software release – an especially with regard to an operating system – we recommend waiting 6 months after the product release before implementing into a production environment. A “production environment” is any system or group of systems that is responsible for the core operations of a business. In other words, if you make money or save lives with your computer, it wouldn’t be a wise choice.

But it’s free “for a limited time” don’t I have to act now? No. Systems that are getting the prompt to reserve the Windows 10 Free upgrade have until June 2016 respond and install.

It’s better/faster, right? That depends. The upgrade represents a significant change to how Windows functions and operates from Windows 7. Although we have seen people upgrade without any issues at all, we have seen it cause older computers to loose key hardware drivers (like networking or printing), which makes them an instant brick. We have seen newer systems – even those certified by their manufacturer as being Windows 10 ready – behave in unpredictable ways after being upgraded. This can cause undue downtime having to restore functionality (like reinstalling or upgrading Office or other programs) or even having to restore systems back to Windows 7. Older systems can actually run slower on 10 then they did on 7. Each system’s lifecycle should be taken into consideration before performing the upgrade. If it is near end-of-life (3 years old), the upgrade should be avoided. We also have seen some very strong privacy concerns with the OS and its embedded relationship with Microsoft. Although it’s possible to opt out of the sharing of information with MS and its advertising partners (among other entities with which they “partner”), doing so limits many of the features that make the OS attractive to some people, like voice recognition and application purchase (MS Store).

Other considerations: Our customer’s productivity is paramount. We’d rather not subject our customers to such unknowns the come with a new OS and let the issues get discovered and resolved by others first. If it works, don’t fix it. This is especially true when you environment contains software that is custom or non-standard. Until we have the blessing from your software vendors that the versions of their products you’re using are 100% compatible, supported, and fully vetted for Windows 10, we do not recommend that you proceed with an upgrade.

If you’re still interested in proceeding with Windows 10 after January, I suggest we take a quick assessment of your computers before doing so.

As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!