While anything new and free can typically be seen as a great thing, when it comes to your computer, that isn’t always true. For most of us, our computer holds precious documents and software that help us operate and run our role. If anything messes with that ecosystem, or you are no longer able to access your computer, efficiency crashes and work gets delayed. Windows 10 is on the top of our list as being one of the most sensitive topics when people ask us whether they should upgrade or not.
The biggest reason for our hesitation is that Windows 10 is such a big leap (they skipped 9 for goodness sakes), it could either make your computer much better or cause you enough headaches to make you regret your decision. To be fair, this is not Microsoft’s fault. This is due to software manufacturers not making all of their software compatible with Windows 10. They only focus on the latest release or two of their software (e.g. Quickbooks 2016 vs Quickbooks 2009). We recommend a SWAT engineer do a computer assessment to be sure your upgrade experience is both a happy and smooth one.
After you have the green light from one of your SWAT doctors, you are probably wondering, “Why should I upgrade anyways?” “Can” and “should” are not always the same so we would like to point out a couple of big Pro’s and Con’s to choosing the Windows 10 lifestyle. Keep in mind these are the most-talked-about points and are not the only pros and cons of Windows 10. Ultimately, only you will be able to determine whether Windows 10 is a fit for you.
Windows 10 has beefed up its mobile device management capabilities inside Windows 10. This allows IT companies to implement Mobile Device Management solutions much quicker and easier while extending the reach of IT support wherever a laptop or tablet may be. Windows 10 has also increased its authentication and defense mechanism. For example, Windows Hello will offer biometric authentication, two-step authentication with Passport, and Device Guard will improve defenses against advanced persistent threats.
Whether you like them or not, part of Microsoft’s push for better security is mandatory updates. We highly agree that software and security patches are extremely important. Windows 10 is the foundation of your computer and we have seen Microsoft mess up their own machines time and time again with what they said would be an “update.” For the most part, Microsoft does a good job of quickly fixing their errors when they push out an update that caused more problems than it fixed. We would just like to be able to wait a few days to see how everyone else is reacting to these updates.
Windows 10 is going to be around for a very long time; much longer than any previous Windows. That is because Microsoft is changing the way it sees Windows in its portfolio of products. The biggest business model that is being implemented right now is the subscription model. Instead of flat-out purchasing something, you pay a small monthly fee and always get the latest and greatest. While Microsoft is not charging a monthly or annual Windows 10 fee yet, it is pushing out quarterly and annual “feature packs” to Windows 10 that add new features and capabilities to Windows 10. This means that Windows 10 is getting better and better overtime without having to purchase anything, like Windows 10.1 or Windows 11. The next big update will be in September 2016 and there are already some leaks and rumors that it will bring great features.
Microsoft knows that a connected ecosystem gives users the best experience. Google is a leader in this field with their Google search engine, YouTube, Gmail/Calendar and Google Play Store statistics. By collecting all of this information about a single user, it can give the user a much more personalized experience. For example, you can ask Google when your next appointment is and it can respond by looking through your calendars. When you are searching flights through Google, it can remind you of any flights you have booked in the next couple of weeks. Of course, the bigger focus for Google is the ability to statistically target ads and services that generate income for both itself and its advertising customers.
Microsoft now wants to flex its muscles in this area. Although Microsoft’s Windows Phone, email services and Bing search engine are nowhere near Google’s numbers, it does own one big market share: computer operating systems. It has integrated Cortana (Their version of Siri) and Edge, its new Internet Explorer, right inside of Windows 10. The privacy concerns started popping up when developers and power-users found Microsoft’s privacy settings set in a way that would allow Microsoft to track your Windows use and behaviors. Microsoft states that they are turned on to allow Cortana and other windows applications better serve you with relevant information, and that they can be turned off at any time. However, these settings are turned on by default and is difficult to find them during the installation or upgrade process. Most people don’t mind Microsoft’s snooping ways but if you are concerned with privacy and personal information, you will want to make sure you lockout your otherwise nosy computer.
Tablet and Desktop Mode
This is a really big deal since manufacturers are pushing 2-in-1 devices (laptops with removable screens). Windows 10 was designed with this type of device in mind. The Tablet Mode shifts the user interface design to allow finger interactions. Buttons get bigger and interactions utilize a one-tap open with tap-hold acting as right-click. The moment you are back on your laptop or dock, you can switch to Desktop mode. Desktop mode shifts the user interface design to allow mouse and keyboard interactions.
After reviewing the pros and cons, it’s time to decide. Do you go for it and upgrade? If your answer is, “yes”, read our next article titled,” How to Upgrade to Windows 10”.