Is a Windows 10 Upgrade In Your Immediate Future?

More than 200 million users are currently running Windows 10 and that number is growing rapidly. The temptation to save money with Microsoft’s free upgrade might be so strong that you’re ready to upgrade now.

Should you upgrade now? There are certainly many great reasons to upgrade but a word of caution before you proceed.

Now may be the perfect time for a conversation about upgrading your Windows operating system. This newsletter is designed to make you pause and give serious deliberation to your decision to implement the Windows 10 operating system at this time. As a Microsoft business partner we certainly see the benefits to Windows 10 for many people, but some businesses may want to take more time and do more planning because once you upgrade there is no turning back. (Well, you can downgrade, so long as you have not deleted the windows.old folder. Users have a month to go back without any change in files, on best case installations.)

As you probably know, Microsoft is offering a free Windows 10 upgrade available through July of this year. Upgrading to Windows 10 seems like an easy process, with just a couple of clicks you are up and running.

The decision to upgrade should be made very carefully as it will impact your business and the performance of your IT environment. While it certainly makes sense for Microsoft’s business model and moving to Windows 10 is likely to be inevitable at some point for your business, we recommend that you take the time to more fully understand what is involved in moving from your current operating system to the new Windows 10 environment.

Here are some things to consider:

1. There are different editions of Windows 10. There’s Windows 10 home and Windows 10 Professional. If you choose the free Windows upgrade, you have no choice in the version that you will be receiving. It depends on what you’re upgrading from but in any case it may make sense financially to take advantage of the free upgrade.

2. You also have the ability to control whether your upgrade will take place automatically or manually. I recommend “manually” performing the upgrade just so you are the one in control of the process rather than be surprised the next time you turn on your PC.

3. If you are planning to purchase new PCs or notebooks, we recommend that you consider purchasing a Windows 10 PC. It might be tempting to shop for Windows 8 PCs and upgrade for free but we are not convinced this is the smartest option. Individuals should seriously consider the Windows 10 operating system. In the business world you are likely using a Windows 7 system and possibly considering upgrading for free, while it’s available. It all depends on the line of business applications your company is running.

4. As with any upgrade or downgrade plan you will want to complete a full backup of your data beforehand to avoid any potential problems.

5. Keep in mind that not all PCs can support Windows 10. Before a PC will be upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft uses a vetting process to help insure your system can handle the upgrade. If you’re buying Windows 10 compatible hardware, then you’re going to be assured of a successful migration.

In summary, you have until the end of July of this year to take advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade. Deciding whether or not to upgrade now is an important decision for you, especially if saving money is a consideration. To plan the upgrade you’ll need to have a strategy in place very soon.

Windows 7 and 8 are fast approaching their end of sales date for PC’s with Windows preinstalled. That means that as of October 2016, major OEM’s like Dell and HP will no longer be selling PC’s with Windows 7 or 8 preinstalled – so if you replace a PC after this date you will only be able to get one with Windows 10. Keep that in mind especially if your primary line of business application is not supported under Windows 10.

We believe Windows 10 is a solid upgrade for most users, but it’s not for everyone just yet. In some cases, if your primary business software is not compatible with Windows 10 then it may not be for you at all.

Below is a chart showing the Microsoft Windows End of Sale lifecycle to help with planning you upgrade.
Windows Life Cycle

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