Preparing your business for Windows 10

Microsoft is preparing to launch the Windows 10 operating system for PCs in July, with phones to receive the upgrade later this year. Here’s what you can expect from Windows 10 and how to prepare for the upgrade.

Photo from news.microsoft.com

Photo from news.microsoft.com

Photo from news.microsoft.comWindows 10 will be the most aggressive release of Windows for Microsoft, and the first major release under Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, as Microsoft continues efforts to retire Windows 7 (which is nearly 10 years old), and after the lukewarm reception for Windows 8 three years ago.

The company has kept most details of the release quiet. Windows 10 pricing information hasn’t been officially published, however, it is reported that at least the first year will be free for upgrading from Windows 7 and 8, and it will be free for Office 365 subscribers.

A few features of Windows 10:

  • Microsoft will offer one-click upgrades to everyone who is running older versions of Windows, promising to be the easiest upgrade of any version of Windows
  • Anything that is ‘certified’ to run on Windows 7 will run on Windows 10
  • Windows 10 is the leanest Windows ever released and technically it is faster than Windows 8 and much faster than Windows 7
  • Microsoft will have a unified store for phones and desktop to buy a single ‘app’ that runs on both platforms, beating Apple on this front

So what can your business do to prepare for Windows 10?

1. Review your hardware replacement plan

Sinu recommends that a 36-month roadmap be in place for office machine replacements and that this be the center of any discussion around plans to upgrade to Windows 10. If Windows 10 is more quickly adopted than anticipated, then this plan would be accelerated. 

We caution our customers that there are costs and risks to upgrading to Windows 10 on old equipment and, more importantly, any equipment that is out of warranty brings risk to your business and should be a priority in your hardware replacement plan.

Sinu can assist with creating a replacement plan using Business Intelligence reporting available to all its customers through the Sinu portal. For instance, the “My Computer Replacement Plan” report parses your hardware inventory and looks at the warranty expiration date, ship date, Operating System version and memory to make a recommendation about the machine: Retain, Replace or Update. (See Sinu blog on replacement plans.)

2. Know your business solutions and whether they are ready for Windows 10

You should have an inventory of all the business solutions your company relies on. When considering upgrading to Windows 10, review your hardware replacement plan along with each business solution to make sure it will run on Windows 10 without issue. This often means contacting each vendor to ask how your version of that business solution will work with Windows 10, and you may be encouraged by these vendors to upgrade to their newest version for maximum security and performance. Reviewing each business solution for Windows 10 compatibility is needed before a plan to Windows 10 can be put together. Sinu can help with all these steps, and strongly encourages you to let us assist you with any hardware or software upgrades.

3. Windows for home users

For employees using Windows at home, consider giving them a heads up that Windows 10 is coming in late July and that their home machines might receive an offer for free upgrade. Encourage them to do a backup before trying to upgrade. (While no company should make concrete recommendations on how someone should handle their personal IT, backup is a generally acceptedpractice.)

4. Consider training

Almost everybody resists changes to the systems they are accustomed to, but does a change in software cause prolonged loss of productivity with your employees and/or have they been uncomfortable with previous Windows software changes?  If so, your team might need some training in Windows and, more specifically, Windows 10. Sinu can help you gain in-person, over the web, or self-help training in these areas so that your team knows what to expect, can open the programs they need, and is more comfortable with Windows 10 before it is installed on their computer.

The bottom line is that technology solutions will continue to evolve and before adopting new technologies we recommend an inventory of your current solutions and careful planning for any upgrades. Sinu is here with the tools and expertise to help plan and implement those transitions to ensure your employees are productive and your data is safe.