It’s Not Time to Upgrade Yet

On July 29, Windows released its latest operating system as a free upgrade for existing Windows users. It is a more simplified system than Windows 8 and brings back familiar features, like the start button. It’s not ready for prime time, though! Here are ten things you need to know about Windows 10:

If you haven’t upgraded, hold off for now.

Like any new product, Windows 10 has few bugs to work out. As such, Aldridge is not supporting Windows 10 at this time. We recommend that you wait until we give the all clear, which usually occurs sometime after the first Service Pack is released. This typically gives Microsoft the time to work out the major kinks, thus providing you a smoother transition, which is particularly important in large network environments.

Just because Windows upgraded, doesn’t mean your software or hardware did.

Many programs, and even some hardware providers, have not upgraded to be compatible with Windows 10 yet. While Microsoft has provided a backwards compatibility feature, if you’re running programs you’ve had for a few years, they might not play nice with Windows 10. When it is time to upgrade, it will be important to check your software compatibility requirements to see if new drivers have been released.

Development continues on Windows 10.

After Microsoft launches a new operating system, it typically pushes out security patches and major updates. Windows 10 is a very different release. Development will continue over the course of the next months and years with entirely new features, in addition to security patches, added to Windows 10 with each build. This ensures that the product will continue to advance as technology advances, and pesky features may disappear more quickly.

New security features make your data much safer.

Microsoft Hello allows you to use a camera or fingerprint scanner on your PC or tablet to log in rather than using a text password. According to Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Operating Systems, “You — uniquely you — plus your device are the keys to your Windows experience, apps, data and even websites and services, not a random assortment of letters and numbers that are easily forgotten, hacked or written down and pinned to a bulletin board.”

Online apps change the way your machine talks with Microsoft.

When accessing apps, including searching from the Start menu or connecting to a new network, your machine pings the Microsoft server for information. This isn’t a new feature necessarily, but the occurrence may be higher with Windows 10. Even when your machine idles and the feature is disabled, the system occasionally sends data to a Microsoft server that runs OneDrive and other services. This traffic is harmless and, indeed, necessary to ensure effective operation of many of the Internet-based apps used to run Microsoft 10.

Cortana is now your personal assistant.

Cortana was originally released for the Windows phone in 2014 and has now expanded to Windows to upgrade her search ability. PC users in your organization can use her to help manage their calendar or tracking packages using personalized voice commands.

The upgrade will not always be free.

Current users of Windows 7 and 8 are eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade for one year (Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1 are excluded from the free upgrade). After upgrading, the device will be supported for a lifetime. There will likely be a fee to upgrade to Windows 10 after it has been on the market for one year.

Organize your workspace with virtual desktops.

Third-party applications introduced the idea of virtual desktops a long time ago, and Microsoft catches up to speed with this OS. You can now cordon off your apps into multiple desktops all on one system. For example, you could have three different desktops open at the same time with files and apps for work in one, your next Rotary meeting in another, and your fantasy football team in a third.

No more Internet Explorer.

After 20 years, Microsoft has killed off IE and introduced its successor, Edge. They made the break up official when Edge replaced Internet Explorer in Windows 10. The browser is intended to be a more secure and compatible browser to compete with Google Chrome and Firefox. If a software that you utilize relies on IE, it will still be available in a compatibility-only capacity.

You didn’t miss out on Windows 9.

There was no Windows 9. Reasons for this vary from the joke written in Microsoft’s code that “Windows 10, because 7 8 9” to the number 9 being unlucky in Japan where Microsoft has a large presence. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that Microsoft didn’t produce Windows 9, so you’re not behind on upgrades.