Steve Resnick
Capitol Computer & Network Solutions 
518 Old Santa Fe Trail #6

Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 10 until July 29, 2016. In fact, it’s not just an offer, but a strong push from Microsoft to upgrade everyone possible to their new operating system. Given that the upgrade is free and Windows 10 is the “latest and greatest” – should you go ahead and say “Yes” to Windows 10? Well, like so many things in life, the answer is, “it depends.”

Windows 10 does combine the best of Windows 7 along with touch-screen enhancements introduced with Windows 8. If you currently use Windows 8, then Windows 10 will feel familiar. If you are a Windows 7 user, then you will have a small learning curve with Windows 10, although it can be made to look and feel just like Windows 7.

Microsoft will be focusing its development efforts over the coming years on Windows 10 as they consider this the “final” version of Windows and will phase-out support of earlier versions over the next five years or so. Furthermore, all new Intel, AMD and Qualcomm processors (i.e. the CPU or brain of your computer) will need to use Windows 10. So,
there is lots of push from Microsoft to get on the Windows 10 train. Do you get on now, or wait for a later train?

Upgrade to Windows 10 before July 29, 2016 if you (1) want the latest and greatest, (2) want the software for free where available, (3) don’t mind some time and possible hiccups with the upgrade process, (4) know your computer is compatible, and (5) are comfortable with learning some new ways to work with your computer.

Do NOT Upgrade to Windows 10 if you love what you have now and don’t want to mess with it. Recognize, however, that sometime in the future (your next computer purchase or five to seven years, whichever comes first), you will be dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Windows 10.

If you are a business, it’s best to consider this as a strategic investment decision. In other words, given that you will eventually need to do this, the question is when and how. While the software is free from Microsoft, there will likely be other “costs” associated with this project. For example, your computers will be off-line for a period of time while the upgrade happens, potentially affecting your sales. Consider scheduling the upgrade for the evening or weekend when your business may be slower. Furthermore, not every computer or software package may be compatible with Windows 10. This is definitely a case where you want to know what is lurking in the water before you dive in. Finally, things do sometimes go wrong with the upgrade. When this happens, you will likely need expert help to recover or repair your system.

There are three strategies to consider as you make this investment decision. (1) Upgrade all your computers on your network to Windows 10 before July 29, 2016 to benefit from the free software. (2) Only move to Windows 10 as you purchase new computers for your business, but keep existing computers on their current version of Windows. Or (3) move all existing computers to Windows 10 only at the time when you purchase new Windows 10 computers for your business.

Capitol Computer & Network Solutions can help you through any aspect of your Windows 10 upgrade decision or project. Our advice and equipment assessments are always free for Windows 10 questions – we want to help.

Capitol Computer & Network Solutions staff