The Pros and Cons of WIndows 10

  • Aug 20, 2015
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Pros and Cons of Windows 10

Microsoft has released Windows 10 in a bold attempt to keep the PC — and Microsoft — relevant in today’s mobile age. But should you rush to install it?

The new operating system has met with generally positive reviews and as the upgrade is free for existing users of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, on paper the decision seems a no-brainer. Indeed, as the upgrade is only free if its downloaded online in the next 12 months, you shouldn’t delay too long.

But you might want to first find out what all the fuss is about. The most obvious improvement with Windows 10 is that it brings back the Start menu which had been a defining feature of every version of Windows until Microsoft bizarrely got rid of it in Windows 8. The Start menu is now back where it should be, on the left-corner of the screen, though Microsoft has also added the tiled apps feature from Windows 8 to the Start menu, presumably in an attempt to offer the best of both worlds.

The other big difference is that Windows 10 includes Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to the Siri voice assistant that has proved such a hit with Apple users. Instead of having to click your way through folders to find the photos you took last month, you simply say “show me the photos from July” and Cortana will obediently do just that.

Windows 10 also comes with a new Microsoft browser, Edge. This replaces that old warhorse Internet Explorer, which although it has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent releases, lacks the cool features of Google’s Chrome — and also the latter’s third-party extensions.

In terms of “killer” features, the Cortana voice interface may appeal to beginners who have never mastered using a keyboard and mouse, but Windows 10 probably will not make a huge difference to how most people’s use their PC. Indeed, as more more users adopt cloud-based software, the features of the hardware platform and operating system matter less and less.

The concerns of most business PC users are likely to centre on whether they will still be able to use their existing applications and data. One of the reasons that Windows XP remained popular for so long, is because many businesses baulked at the high cost of upgrading not just the operating system but buying new application software as well.

Today, there is no excuse not to upgrade to Windows 10 on cost grounds alone, as the upgrade is generally free and existing recent applications should still work. If it ran on Windows 7 or Windows 8, its highly likely that it will run on Windows 10, as the nuts and bolts of how programs interact with the operating system are very similar in all three.

The incompatibilities with Windows 10 are most likely to involve specialized applications or obscure peripherals for which up-to-date support is difficult to obtain or non existent.

As with every major operating system upgrade from Microsoft or anyone else, upgrading is not a decision to be taken lightly. Its the PC equivalent of performing open heart surgery, so you should always back up data you cannot afford to lose, just in case the upgrade goes wrong. And choose a day when the computer will not be needed for more urgent tasks.

But before taking the jump with Windows 10, businesses should ask themselves if they really need to go through the time-consuming and risk-prone process of upgrading all their desktop PCs, simply so that each one can run its own version of Windows 10.

People are working very differently from how they worked when Windows XP was still young. As the need for fixed workspaces declines, so too does the need for employees to have desktop PCs.
By hosting your desktops in the cloud rather than on desktop PC hardware, users can access their applications and data on any device, and remain productive wherever they happen to be.

To the end user, a hosted desktop is indistinguishable from a traditional Windows-based desktop PC, but is much easier for your IT department to manage, particularly when it comes to upgrading the software.

For more information on how Cloud2Me can help your business use Windows better, please get in touch.

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