Windows 10 – Need to know

Windows 10 – Need to know

News Windows

It looks like Microsoft has a winner on its hands with Windows 10. Over 75 million computers have already been upgraded. Not only will it be replacing the operating system on your personal computer but businesses are likely to pull the trigger and upgrade from the good ol’ Windows 7. Let’s take a look at its most important features:

It’s a FREE Upgrade (with a small catch)

Microsoft wants everyone to install Windows 10. To help this along it will be a free upgrade for a year (until of July 2016) for all Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 computers. The upgrade will come via a Windows update. You will see a small white Windows icon in the lower right taskbar (near the clock). Just click on it to register (takes under a minute) for the upgrade (downloaded in the background). You will need 3GB of free space on your system.

Win10upgrade

The Start Menu and Desktop are back. 

Windows 10 automatically switches from desktop mode to tablet mode depending on if a keyboard is attached to your device. An updated start menu will now be shown instead of the Metro tiles in Windows 8. This is really an improvement that all desktop users were asking for.

Virtual Desktops.

Current desktop cluttered with icons? No worries, you can now have multiple desktops (e.g.one for business apps and one home).

multiple-desktops

Goodbye to Internet Explorer.

Microsoft new web browser is called ‘Microsoft Edge’. It has many modern features found in other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. Internet Explorer will still be around if you need it though (but you might need to dig around to find it).

New Personal Assistant.

Microsoft’s Cortana integrates right into Windows 10. It (She?) lives on the taskbar and will help with all your search needs. Think Google Now or Siri but integrated and personalized. Go to a restaurant’s web page and Cortana will show the menu. You can even say “Tell me a joke”.

This is the last “version” of Windows.

Going forward Windows will receive rolling updates as fixes and new features are added. No more service packs. This is basically the same model as Apple.

The above items are some of the biggest updates in Windows 10. There are others welcome features such as being able to log in via your face (Biometrics), full integration with OneDrive (cloud storage), Universal Apps, Xbox streaming, and a few others.

If you or your business has any questions about Windows 10 or need some assistance with planning and implementing a smooth rollout, please give us a ring.

-Tim

Why to migrate from Windows XP in One Chart

Why to migrate from Windows XP in One Chart

Security Windows

As we have mentioned before Microsoft’s end of life for Windows XP is approaching quickly (April 2014). After that time no more support or security updates will be available for the 12 year old operating system. Hackers are not wasting anytime though.

Here is the Reason to Migrate *Now*

The below chart shows the infection rate of different Windows operating systems. It shows that the infection rate of Windows XP is double that of Windows 7 and six times the rate of Windows 8. If your PCs are running Windows XP you’re asking for trouble. In business, trouble equals loss of income and/or productivity. After April 2014 it may also mean loss of industry security compliance standings (e.g., MA 201 CMR 17) which means possible legal issues if something does happen.

Source: Microsoft Intelligence Report, vol 15
Source: Microsoft Intelligence Report, vol 15

What should my business be doing?

If you have not already started the migration process you (or your IT department) need to start taking the following steps:

  1. Contact vendors to make sure any business critical applications that are on XP systems now are compatible with Windows 7. Upgrading may be necessary. Don’t forget to test software compatibility before rolling out new systems to everyone.
  2. Determine how many new systems you will need to purchase (you cannot upgrade from XP to anything. Systems running XP are generally at their end of life anyway). You should budget around $550 per new PC (no monitor) to estimate upgrade costs.
  3. Make sure you have access to installation media, download locations, and licenses so you can install your software on any new system.

Other things to consider

If you will be replacing a significant portion of your hardware you may want to consider looking at other aspects of your infrastructure

  1.  The Cloud – Is now a good time to move to the cloud (e.g., backups, email, antivirus, etc.). It may make fiscal sense to do this instead of having to purchase new software licenses. Microsoft Office365 has been excellent for hosted email. Symantec Endpoint Protection SBE 2013 is equally good with anti-malware.
  2. Virtualize – Instead of new PCs maybe virtual workstations should be considered if you have 20+ computers and/or a large remote employee base.
  3. Outsource IT – We might just be a *little* biased on this one but if your IT support consists just of a desktop support person they may not have the skills or manpower to implement new technologies or large upgrades. Outside expertise may cost less then possible downtime.

Like anything else planning is key. If you would like help or just need some free advice please give us a call or shoot us an email.