Time to upgrade to Windows 10?
Windows 10 is now nearly four years old, having been first released in July 2015. Four years is a long time in the world of digital technology, but nevertheless, many individuals and organisations alike are still to upgrade to this latest iteration.
According to statistics from March 2019, just over half of desktop computers worldwide were using Windows 10, compared with around a third using Windows 7. Although Windows 8 and 8.1, released in 2012 and 2013 respectively, are newer operating systems than Windows 7, they caused much consternation on launch thanks to an interface favouring touch over traditional keyboard and mouse inputs. Yet extended support for Windows 7 will end in January 2020, leaving only a paid for ‘Extended Security Updates’ service to run for the professional and enterprise version for a further three years.
Rather more recently, in March, Google warned that a serious flawhad been revealed in core elements of the operating system, potentially enabling malicious cybercriminals to combine it with a flaw in the Chrome and take over targets’ computers. As Clement Lecigne from Google’s Threat Analysis Group posted, the clearest mitigation strategy is to upgrade to Windows 10.
If, then, your organisation is still using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 (or if you feature some of the 2% or so of computers worldwide still running Vista or XP!) then the answer to the question ‘Is it time to upgrade to Windows 10?’ is a resounding ‘yes’. Sit back on an older version of the operating system and you are playing an increasingly risky game.
Nevertheless, some organisations may still have other questions or concerns about undertaking an all-company upgrade. Here are some of the main areas to think about.
Cost: The Pro version of Windows 10 costs £219 and don’t forget that this includes all of the updates that have been added since it launched four years ago. If you need to upgrade any of the desktops or laptops within your organisation at the same time, you could of course put that budget towards the cost of new machines also.
Usability: Some organisations may be concerned about productivity or the ability of staff to adjust to a new operating system, but Windows 10 actually has far more in common with Windows 7 then 8 or 8.1, with its return to a Windows 7 style desktop and start menu. Should your staff be using tablets or 2-in-1 devices, a feature called Continuum will sense this and adjust the interface accordingly, switching to an entirely touch-based system if needs be. Meanwhile, nearly all software going back to Vista and XP will still work in Windows 10, and it is worth remembering that some software is already obsolete for those older operating systems – like the Google Chrome browser. Using an old operating system could in fact hold your organisation up if you wish to deploy software in the future that only works on the newer operating systems.
Data backup: Any operating system installation project should involve a careful backup of your data before you begin, for easy restoration should anything going wrong.
Privacy: Some concerns have been expressed regarding data collected by Microsoft pertaining to individuals’ and organisations’ use of Windows 10, but there is actually a great deal of transparency around this. As Microsoft itself explains, the only data collected is ‘necessary to keep your Windows 10 device secure and up to date’, and a full list of the collected data is available too.
Any organisation still using older versions of Windows needs to get its house in order now and plan for an upgrade – but this does not need to be costly or disruptive, and there is a huge amount to gain from doing so. For more guidance, get in touch with APH today.