Windows 10There has been a lot of press lately about the release of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10.  Whether you’re thinking about it from a personal or business angle, you may be wondering “Should I upgrade?” The short answer I would give you is: Eventually, yes, but you should talk to your IT provider first.

If you’d like a more detailed answer, keep reading. If you’d like to talk about it, give us a call.

Your Applications May Not Work

We all have special applications (programs) we use to run our businesses. Applications that significantly impact our business if they aren’t working properly or at all. When a new operating system such as Windows 10 is released, it takes time for application vendors to catch up. Some vendors get their hands on a copy of the new OS early and begin testing it with their applications, finding issues and preparing updates or patches to make their software compatible. That is the ideal scenario. Some vendors start that process on the actual release date. And unfortunately, some vendors don’t start that process until they have people start calling in with problems because their software isn’t working on the new OS. In any case, you should check with your IT provider or software vendor(s) to find out if the applications you use are compatible with Windows 10 before trying to incorporate Windows 10 into your network. If you upgrade before your applications are compatible, you may end up frustrated and unable to work until you can roll back to your previous version of Windows or until the software is updated and supports Windows 10.

Your Peripherals (printers/scanners) May Not Work

In addition to software, you may have peripheral devices on your network or connected directly to your computer such as printers or scanners. These devices should also be checked to make sure they will function with Windows 10. Aside from applications, printer incompatibility is the next most common issue we see when testing a new operating system. As with applications, you should check with your IT provider or the hardware vendor to make sure the device you are using is, or will be, compatible with Windows 10 before you upgrade. You don’t want your payroll department finding out that their printer doesn’t work with Windows 10 when they’re trying to print checks!

But the upgrade is free for the first year! I have to hurry to take advantage of that!

Microsoft has made the Windows 10 upgrade look really attractive from a price standpoint. Free for the first year! For a Microsoft operating system, this is unprecedented. Most computers running Windows 7 and 8 are eligible for the upgrade, although some restrictions do apply. However, looking at the upgrade based on price alone may not be the best thing. You should also consider the cost, and the distinction is very important. What will it cost your business for you to upgrade to Windows 10? To answer that, you have to look at both the likelihood of an issue occurring and the cost of downtime for your business. Here are some questions to ask when evaluating making the move to Windows 10:

  • How much is your time worth?
  • If you are unable to use your computer at all, or the primary application you use to run your business, how much that cost? What is the impact to your business?
  • What would your customers think if you had to tell them “I’m sorry, I can’t help you at the moment because I upgraded to Windows 10 and our systems aren’t working properly”?
  • How frustrated would you feel having to deal with software or hardware that isn’t, and may never be, compatible with Windows 10?

We are helping the businesses we serve upgrade to Windows 10 using a process designed to minimize the impact on their business while still moving them forward with their technology. If you would like to find out how we can help your business, please contact us. We’d love to help!