Windows 10 will be released on July 29th 2015 and is the latest and last version of Microsoft’s Desktop Operating system.
What does this mean for you and your business? Below are Get Support’s key points on Windows 10:
- The Start Menu is back. Microsoft have listened to its user feedback and Windows 10 brings back the start menu which was removed in Windows 8 to a lot of user irritation.
- It starts up and resumes rapidly and has more built-in security to help keep you protected.
- Good bye Internet explorer, hello Microsoft Edge. Microsoft have retired their web browser; Internet Explorer, and replaced it with a new, much improved Browser called Microsoft Edge. For people who rely on Internet Explorer for applications and systems, IE 11 can still be installed as an option, though this will be a key point for compatibility with many business systems.
- Just as Apple have Siri, Windows 10 will include a Microsoft Personal Assistant named Cortana.
- Good bye passwords. Windows 10 has built-in support for logging in via biometrics (Face recognition, Finger Print or Iris) instead of passwords. This requires compatible hardware so will not be a sudden switch over from day 1, but means we are moving towards a world without Passwords.
- Microsoft are moving towards a unified operating system which works on your PC, Tablet and Mobile phone.
Last ever Microsoft OS
Microsoft have announced that Windows 10 will be their last OS. This does not mean they are closing down but that they are moving Windows in to the Software as a service Model. Up until now, Microsoft released a new OS version every 3 years. With Windows 10, new features and upgrades will be released as and when they are ready, rather than a major change every 3 years. These ongoing upgrades will be free. The one catch is that everyone must upgrade and accept these new changes.
Where is Windows 9?
Microsoft never released Windows 9. They decided to move straight from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. It is suggested that this is due to it being the last version of Windows which they will release. It was also commented by a Microsoft executive that "when you see the product in your fullness I think you'll agree with us that it's a more appropriate name".
Windows updates with Windows 10 will also include new features that you would normally expect with new versions of operating systems as well as bug and security fixes. Microsoft want to try and get as many people running the same version of the operating system as possible. To achieve this, Windows Updates will become less optional. What this means is that home users will have updates installed automatically without option, and business customers will have a limited option to delay updates. Only companies using Windows 10 Enterprise will have an option to only install security updates and not install new features and upgrades. These upgrade options for Windows will be called:
- Current branch
- Windows 10 home edition
- Windows updates installed automatically as soon as they are released and cannot be postponed
- Current Branch for Business (CBB)
- Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise versions
- Windows updates can be postponed and customised but not forever.
- Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)
- Windows 10 Enterprise only
- Businesses can choose to delay all new features and install only security fixes if required to ensure compatibility with applications.
Free for the first year
Computers with a legitimate copy of windows 7 or 8.1 will be entitled to upgrade for free within the first year. Once upgraded there is nothing to pay, it’s yours to keep for ever. The qualifying requirements from Microsoft are:
- You must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability.
- Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.
- Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market.
- Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1.
If you are entitled and your machine is up to date then you should already have started to receive a notification that you can get Windows 10.
If your machine is joined to a domain (normally when you have a Windows Server environment) then the offer will be suppressed. Microsoft have not yet clarified if these machines are eligible for the upgrade. It appears that with some work, it may be possible to receive the free upgrade by removing the machine from the domain and then re-joining. We expect to have a further update on this in the coming month.
How to get Windows 10 / The Upgrade Process
Eligible machines for the free upgrade will get pop ups and an icon in the bottom right hand corner offering users to reserve their copy and also to upgrade when ready. If you don't get this then either the machine is not eligible (hardware, version of windows or domain joined) or requires Windows updates to be installed to get the notifications. Once ready to install, the upgrade will be performed like a Windows update and the machine will need to reboot. It may take some time to install.
We strongly recommend our business customers do not install the update without talking to us first. Before installing Windows 10, compatibility of applications and systems need to be verified and the work planned to ensure that the upgrade goes smoothly and does not cause ongoing issues. Windows 10 is a significant upgrade and although it will bring many benefits, it is more important as a business user to have a stable working environment and for upgrades not to cause disruption to work. For this reason, we recommend the upgrade is planned and tested and deployed in a controlled fashion.
For any more information or questions regarding Windows 10, please do not hesitate to contact us.