Windows 10 is here. Many of our clients have been asking us about this new release and if they should adopt the new operating system from Microsoft. Here's what I think about it and what we're recommending...
The Windows 10 Start Menu
Windows 10 is an exciting release garnering lots of media attention, being advertised as having a better experience for users and a “no-cost” (free from a Microsoft software perspective) upgrade. These are undoubtedly reasons why decision makers are considering a project with Lewan to upgrade their electronic fleet.
But remember, nothing is truly free. Along with a handful of potential positives, this upgrade brings with it a risk to productivity, stability, and user acceptance—all business-impacting considerations that must be properly planned for long-term success. Lewan Technology doesn’t want to see a free upgrade compromise your business’s security and stability.
Here are four areas of impact your business should consider before upgrading:
1. Application Compatibility
Have you taken the time to thoroughly test all of your business applications in Windows 10 and verify those applications are advertised as certified for the new environment by their vendor? At this time, not many are, including titles from Microsoft. Windows 10 is optimized for the Office 365 experience, which could hinder those using Exchange on-premises. Microsoft has even issued a warning that while many applications will migrate, some applications and their settings may have issues.
2. Security Concerns
Security concerns have arisen in two key areas—anti-virus support and a new feature called Wi-Fi Sense. As with your business applications, anti-virus software needs to be certified for Windows 10, and many titles aren’t yet (Lewan is on track switch to a certified AV provider by mid-September). Wi-Fi Sense has made national news for its troubling ability to share secured wireless access passwords with friends and family of your employees. They may not see the password due to encryption, but joining them for lunch at or near your business means they get an automatic connection to your business’s secured environment. Wi-Fi Sense is turned on by default—users must take steps to turn it off. Many businesses find this level of access unacceptable, and will wait for more clarity and proof of security to be realized.
3. Cloud-Based Application Compatibility
Windows 10 adds a new default browser called Edge to the operating system. If you access cloud-based applications, this browser will need testing to ensure correct and acceptable application performance. If issues are found, they need to be reported to the appropriate vendor or programming team for remediation.
4. Hardware Compatibility
Windows will include drivers for the majority of PC/laptop hardware, but it is very possible that older hardware will not work correctly. Fingerprint readers are particularly being reported as unreliable. More recent patches and service packs should remedy this and other hardware incompatibilities, as will accepting that Windows 10 may not be appropriate on older hardware, even if it is no cost to upgrade.
Have you conducted the testing for your business and are ready to discuss an upgrade? Or need help planning your testing? We can help!
Lewan is a Microsoft Silver Partner, and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).