After much anticipation, Windows 10 finally arrived on the market at the end of July. There are an assortment of new features, a range of welcomed system improvements and also Cortana, the Windows virtual assistant that allows you to use your voice to control elements of your PC.

Overall Windows 10 has been received favourably especially since the upgrade is free for most users and it replaces the not-so-loved Windows 8.

For those with genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets, the upgrade is offered free to Starter, Home, Professional and Ultimate versions. Those with Enterprise and Education versions with current Volume Licensing and Software Assurance are, as of 1 August 2015, able to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.

Windows 10

Should you update?
As with any new software, before upgrading it is necessary to ensure the software is bug-free, that your business needs have been considered and that your current applications are compatible.
According to a report by Spiceworks, an independent IT community which surveyed over 500 IT pros in North America and EMEA, concerns about adopting Windows 10 were consistent with general adoption patterns. Hardware and software compatibility and bugs in early releases ranked as the highest adoption concerns.

Adoption concerns Windows 10

Before deploying Windows 10 across your business, it is crucial to weigh the benefits, evaluate the concerns and involve your IT team.

The benefits
Windows 10 is being hailed as the best Windows OS yet. It is well suited for keyboard and mouse users on PCs and laptops, as well as optimised for touch on devices such as smartphones and tablets.
One of the most exciting feature seems to be the return of familiar desktop items such as the Start button and Start menu.
There are many other welcomed additions such as Virtual Desktops where you can create multiple workspaces using the Task View mode.
Let’s not forget about Cortana the fun and superior virtual assistant mentioned above and first seen on Windows phones.
Microsoft has also promised features in Windows 10 that will protect against modern cyber threats.

The concerns
Compatibility: When deploying a new operating system, the main question you have to ask is “whether your applications will work on the new version”. It is crucial to answer this question before upgrading otherwise you may find you and your employees are unable to do your everyday work.

This rings true also for certain devices such as scanners and printers that could potentially need driver updates in order to work properly.
You can install the ‘Get Windows 10’ application from Microsoft on your device to perform a compatibility check. It will check the device both for known compatible drivers and applications and notify the user of any known issues.

Bugs: As with any initial release, one can be faced with glitches or bugs. Despite supposed extensive testing, it is not unusual for these things to be uncovered only once software hits the market. Microsoft has already plugged their first series of security holes and released a number of cumulative roll-up updates.

As such, waiting several months is advisable so that any issues can be identified and resolved by Microsoft.
Current OS: The new OS is not available for all Windows users. For those running XP or Vista, there is not only no free update, but in order to update to Windows 10, a full and clean install is required.

Next steps
Upgrading to Windows 10 should definitely not be ruled out. Once your business needs and application requirements have been considered, get in touch with your IT professionals to discuss how you can go about upgrading your business.

Written by Emily White