Microsoft’s latest PC operating system has received overwhelmingly positive reviews so far, but is it ready for your business? What’s new in Windows 10?
The Slickest Windows Experience Yet Since a lot of people didn’t care for some of the changes made in Windows 8 and 8.1, Microsoft toned down what wasn’t working. The Metro Live tile interface that received a lot of flak has returned, but it’s less intrusive. Unless you’re using a tablet-like device or you want it front and center, the brightly colored tiles stay tucked away.
Cortana Microsoft’s answer to Siri, Cortana, is integrated with Windows 10. Cortana brings voice search capabilities to Windows in much the same way Siri does for the iPhone. She can help search for files, open applications and search Bing. It’s nice to see this technology finally hit desktops and laptops, but it’s pretty clear smartphones are the ideal environment for Cortana.
We don’t foresee many people talking into their PCs microphone the way they might on their mobile device. Also, Android users will immediately feel out of place without any integration with Google. As expected, Microsoft’s Cortana is solely partnered with Microsoft Bing for Web searches. It’s not a terrible interface, but power users are going to feel a little odd not having the choice. Asking Cortana to “sing a song” almost makes up for this shortcoming though (give it a try).
Lots and Lots of Little Tweaks There are new keyboard shortcuts, better window controls, improved notifications, and a lot of other little improvements. Most users probably won’t dig into these very deeply, but if you want to get the most out of your gadgets, Windows 10 delivers users a lot of nifty improvements to explore. One of the most interesting additions is virtual desktops, which allow you to spread your work across multiple desktops that you can cycle through quickly.
The New Browser Microsoft Edge, the long awaited replacement for Internet Explorer, is a huge improvement. The browser is faster, more secure, and has a lot of modern features reminiscent of smartphone browsers. It’s easy to share information, take notes, and get access to relevant information. Edge might not convert any die-hard Firefox or Chrome fans, but it should improve the experience of users who just use what browser the operating system gives them. Furthermore, you can take notes and draw on Web pages for future reference.
Tighter Integrations with Office 365 It’s easier than ever to work on, collaborate and share Office 365 documents. Your Office 365 files sync seamlessly, making Windows 10 ideal for Office 365 users.
Windows 10 is Fast Typically, with every new operating system Microsoft has launched, the hardware requirements have gone up. More capable operating systems require better hardware to run, so some older systems don’t handle the upgrades well. With Windows 10, the system requirements are almost comically low. You probably can’t get away with running Windows 10 on a decade-old PC, but a laptop that wasn’t handling Windows 8 all that well might get a second wind with Windows 10. That said, I do not generally recommend performing operating system upgrades to existing hardware, particularly in an office environment due to the potential amount of upgrade labor and risk of issues involved.
Sounds Great! Should I Upgrade Today? For many users, upgrading to Windows 10 is going to be relatively painless. Where many businesses completely skipped Windows 8, we expect most to ultimately embrace Windows 10. However, we recommend treading carefully before introducing any new operating system into your office. Your IT should evaluate to make sure that there won’t be a problem that pops up with the rest of your IT environment. What applications are you using? Are they compatible with Windows 10? I recommend you evaluate your situation and then consider a pilot system deployment for your next PC purchase.
Want to know if Windows 10 will work for your business? Email me at [email protected] or give me a call.