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Windows 10 releases this week!

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The release date of Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system, Windows 10, will begin showing up on new PCs starting July 29.  To make things interesting, Microsoft has stated that users with Windows 7 and 8.1 have the option of a free upgrade (until 7/29/2016).  With new features like an all new Internet Browser called Edge and the inclusion of Cortana, an intelligent personal assistant, Windows 10 will offer a new experience for the business user.

Naturally, you might be asking yourself:  Should I upgrade?  Maybe. We’ll come back to that question in a minute.  Let us first explain what happened to Windows 9.  The truth is: Windows 9 never existed.  Since the business world decided that Windows 8 and 8.1 included changes that were too drastic, Microsoft wanted a clear separation from Windows 8. “Windows 10 is not going to be an incremental step from Windows 8.1,” according to Microsoft Windows Corporate Vice President Education Marketing – Tony Prophet.  A new key strategy by Microsoft is to develop the same look and feel across all platforms. “Windows 10 is going to be a material step. We’re trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox.”

Early reviews indicate that Microsoft may be on to something.  Not only has the sorely missed Start menu returned in Windows 10, but it has been pleasantly enhanced.  In addition, Microsoft has added a personal assistant to Windows 10.  Cortana, the persona and voice used in the highly successful video game, Halo, is the new digital assistant in Windows 10 (much like Siri on Apple iPhones).

So back to our original question, should you upgrade?  Possibly, but not without having a well thought out plan in place.  Let us help you assess the risks and develop a plan.  This is not something you want to dive into on your own.  Think about it.  If you upgrade without the proper procedures in place, will your applications continue to function?  Will there be bugs that will impact your productivity?  Will your hardware device work with Windows 10?  Do you have the proper procedures in place to ensure your applications continue to function?  Do your users need training on any aspects of the new user interface?  These are just some of the questions that need to be considered and testing may need to be done to address these risks in your workplace.  Furthermore, most new releases of software need some time after their release to reach a stability level that satisfies the business environment. This makes a slow, well planned rollout the preferred method for incorporating a new operating system into your business.

Integrity IT will be evaluating the new version of the OS as it becomes available to determine its stability.  If your company is interested in upgrading, contact our sales department and we can work out a plan to test for your environment and roll out the new OS in a controlled fashion that provides the new benefits but avoids the pains that a poorly planned upgrade can bring.  If you are a managed services client of ours, please call us before you consider installing the new operating system.  Also, let your staff know that if they see pop ups from Microsoft asking them to upgrade to Windows 10 not to initiate the upgrade.  We can help you make a smooth transition when the right time comes.

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