Windows 10 has been adopted quickly by home users but even at the end of 2017, two and a half years after its launch, around only half of Microsoft's Enterprise customers have taken the plunge. This is down to a number of factors; it's a more complicated proposition to migrate when you have a dedicated application and infrastructure ecosystem you have to work with, but it's also fair to say that a lot of users and techies still love Windows 7.
But, there are a huge raft of reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 10 as quickly as you can. Over the following weeks I will be covering off some of the key reasons and benefits for the modern Enterprise customer, starting today with the top 10 headline reasons below...
Reasons to upgrade to Windows 10
1. It's evergreen
Microsoft marketed Windows 10 as the last version of Windows they will ever make, and currently this is still true - there are no plans to launch a new version of Windows. Instead, Microsoft's engineering teams are squarely focused on improving, securing and optimising this desktop operating system to deliver the best performance and user experience possible. There are regular scheduled in-flight updates, with bi-annual feature updates, which enable Microsoft to bring new innovations to the user community. So, in theory at least, this should be the last major Desktop or Laptop OS upgrade you ever need to do.
2. It's fast
Clever software engineering across the Windows 10 build has enabled it to match or exceed the performance levels of Windows 7 on the vast majority of Enterprise level machines. The minimum hardware requirements are very meagre, enabling users a wide choice of devices and offering some truly low-cost hardware options for businesses on a tight budget, or who have use cases where machines can be easily damaged or lost.
3. It's secure
There are at least 10 reasons to upgrade from a security standpoint alone, and I will do a separate article with a list of Security Reasons to upgrade later this month, but in essence, security is a top consideration and has been baked into the Windows 10 OS from the ground up. If you work in any regulated industry, or in the Public Sector, you really should be upgrading from Windows 7 or 8 as quickly as you can, because Windows 10 will add additional protection against data being stolen from your device.
4. It's optimised for the cloud
Windows 10 was born at the beginning of the mass market adoption of Cloud services, including Office 365, and its no surprise that it has been designed to tightly integrate with the Office 365 platform. When coupled with Office 365, the security wrapper around your device and data is impressive, but it also provides a seamless user experience which is a great way to keep your users optimally productive.
5. It's intuitive
While on the subject of user experience, the Windows 10 User Interface, especially in the Settings areas, got a huge overhaul, and now the non-technical user is presented with a simple and welcoming set of menu options for connecting to networks and devices that shouldn't scare even the most techno-phobic of users. One other massive improvement for those users that experienced Windows 8 - the home button is back!
6. It's compatible
Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with well in excess of 95% of applications that work on Windows 7, which means that, barring a small number of Legacy applications which may or may not exist in your Enterprise environment, the cost and complication of migrating to Windows 10 from any of the recent previous versions of Windows should be minimal. Over 2 years into life with Windows 10, there is also a healthy ecosystem of Partners and solutions for helping to port your applications onto the platform.
7. It solves some Enterprise challenges
Windows 10 has a few great features that are designed to solve some very real challenges for Enterprises in today's global marketplace. One great example of this is Windows 10 Autopilot, which allows Enterprise users to pick up a new or replacement machine in their home country, connect it to your environment and have the machine automatically configured and built "over the air", without any need to find a local IT resource to help them. For businesses with small satellite offices in multiple countries with no local IT support presence, this is a huge time saver.
8. It's easy to manage
The development and release cycles have been designed to support the needs of the Enterprise user. All mainstream patch releases and upgrades are delivered on a pre-planned, programmatic schedule. Enterprise users can sign up for the Preview programme, which enables them to get the next feature update 6 month before release, at no cost, to test and plan any changes needed to support the upgrade. Each feature release is then supported for 18 months from mainstream release. You can choose how you plan your upgrade and release schedule to meet the demands of your business.
9. It's familiar to the user
While there is still a significant Enterprise user base on the older Windows versions, when Windows 10 was launched for retail customers, it was offered as a free upgrade, and as a result the vast majority of home users upgraded to Windows 10 in the first year of its release. From an Enterprise perspective, this means that most of your users will be familiar with Windows 10 and used to working with it at home. This breaks down another key challenge of upgrading - User training and adoption - if they aren't already using it at home, the look and feel is still common with previous versions of Windows, (if you ignore Windows 8), and its intuitive design mentioned above will remove almost all the friction from the users perspective.
10. It's the future
I thought for a while about calling this one "It's Not Compatible", but decided against it. At the launch of the last batch of Intel processors in 2017, all of the major hardware vendors announced that their new devices would not come as standard with with drivers required to run any version of Windows apart from Windows 10. It is completely possible and not too challenging to configure a new machine to work with Windows 7 or 8, but there is some work and cost involved. Windows 7 will lose its mainstream support in 2020, so you may as well bite the bullet now and benefit from being on the latest platform where all of the development expertise is pointed.
If you want to make the leap and upgrade to Windows 10, Core can help you. We have helped a wide range of customers in the Private and Public Sector take their first steps into Windows 10, and supported the full adoption across their Enterprises. We offer ongoing services and support to help customers manage their devices and transition through the updates and feature releases.
Read about how Core's Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can help you to get your organisation on to the latest version of Windows 10.