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Windows 10 Upgrade Advice

Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free! The old saying "you get what you pay for" actually does not apply here. This free offering is, in part, Microsoft’s way of competing with their rivals at Apple, who do not charge for operating system (OS) upgrades. It’s also seen by many as a way to get people to use the new platform, touted as a noticeable improvement over Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Typically, every other version of Windows has been a good product. Windows 7 was a solid and well received OS (after the debacle that was Vista). Windows 8 didn’t go over well, for some valid reasons, mostly related to a poor user experience. So there is much anticipation surrounding Windows 10, which promises to return to a User Interface more resembling the beloved Windows 7.

One thing business users and office IT administrators need to be prepared for is that Microsoft has been pushing the Windows 10 upgrade with the Windows Update tool. Windows 8.1 (if current updates have been installed) even displays a Windows icon on the right side of the Taskbar, encouraging users to sign up for the Windows 10 upgrade. The trouble comes when users choose to upgrade without regards to software compatibility with the new OS.

It is always good practice to run compatibility checkers on any system before upgrading the OS. When an OS upgrade is first released, it normally takes several months for developers to release updated code for drivers and applications. Updating to Windows 10 without checking compatibility could result in applications not working, printers not being recognized and security software not functioning properly.

Running Windows Updates daily is good practice, but an OS upgrade should not be taken lightly. Companies and individuals alike are well advised to consult a technology professional before attempting the upgrade to Windows 10. Any expense incurred will pale in comparison to down time due to incompatibilities, or paying a professional to revert the system back (with fingers crossed that the reversion is successful, which is not a given).

Windows 10 is also signaling the end of the much maligned Internet Explorer. While IE11 will still be available, Windows 10’s default browser is Microsoft Edge. Described as a “light-weight” browser, which should mean it runs faster, it also means Microsoft is stripping away legacy support for outdated technologies such as Active X. That means applications and sites built with those old technologies may fail to run. That is why Microsoft is including IE11 with Windows 10, but be warned, the future is now. It’s time to update those old legacy applications

So what’s the good news about Edge? Well, have you ever wondered why many modern websites seem to run better on Firefox or Chrome? Have you ever tried to open a site with IE, only to see a message (or be told by customer support to download Firefox instead? This is due in part to IE not supporting some newer Internet development technologies. HTML5 and other modern development standards aren’t compatible with older browsers. Most reputable web designers code sites to compensate for this, but all that extra code slows load times. Browsers like Chrome brag about being faster because they are not encumbered by the legacy code IE has had to lug around. Edge leaves the legacy behind and embraces the future (that most other browsers have been holding hands with for a few years now.

The bottom line is, there are many considerations to take into account and decisions to be made before upgrading your company to Windows 10. Consult with an experienced Information Technology professional from Computer Networks and Design to help plan and implement your upgrade.

Written and Copyrighted by Computer Networks and Design, LLC. ©

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