Windows 10 – is upgrading really worth it?

Britain’s SME community only has a few days left to take the jump upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10, before Microsoft’s mark-up fee comes into play, meaning there is likely to be much head scratching taking place in boardrooms across the country. There are a few considerations to remember when deliberating over whether to make the move, and here we run through some of the arguments for and against.

As you would expect, there are a few additions to Windows 10 that can make life considerably easier, depending on what line of work you are in. For instance, there is now a virtual desktop option – present on many Apple models for some time – that allows you to switch effortlessly between different desktops set up according to your choosing by changing tasks.

In terms of security, there are also some bright spots, with enhancements being made from the original Windows 10 release. As well as Secure Boot that has been adapted and improved from Windows 8, you can also say hello to brand new security elements such as Microsoft Passport, Windows Hello and Device Guard.

Long-term planning also comes into it. The fact is Windows 7, according to Microsoft, will only be supported until the year 2020. So if you are going to have to upgrade eventually, why not do it now?

Much of the opposition to upgrading here and now lies in companies that can already foresee problems. There might be programs which are specific to a company that haven’t been upgraded in the last few years, and could raise some compatibility issues.

The same goes for Microsoft Office, which many of us use in some context for work. If your company commonly uses older versions, they may not work with Windows 10. “Why make life harder?” will be the attitude for the naysayers, to which the reply of course is “because it will make life easier in the long run!”

Which school of thought companies side with is likely to come down to their size. For organisations without a dedicated IT department, it might be worth considering outside help to make sure a secure and effective upgrade, and advise on employee preparation.