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Windows 10: Pros and Cons

The long awaited release of Windows 10 from Microsoft has arrived. Many of you have seen that little icon on your desktop computer screen, by your clock, prompting you to reserve or update your system to Windows 10. Brady’s has been testing this new operating system in our labs for several months and would like to share our thoughts, experience and opinions of the operating system with you.

GetStartedApp_Image_1xThe Pro’s

Windows 10 is a vast improvement over Windows 8 – It’s a vast improvement in  both in function and design. Many users were frustrated with Windows 8. It also featured a new “Start Menu” and the users were forced into utilizing the touch screen layout. Windows 10, however, integrates both the touch features of Windows 8 and the business desktop functions of Windows 7. Windows 10 also has a different look and feel than 7 or 8 does, but it is much easier to find the common things that became so easy to find in the older versions of Windows.

IT’S FREE – Well, kind of. Microsoft is providing a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualifying Windows 7 and 8 installs. The upgrade will correspond with your current version; whether it’s Home or Pro. In the future, you will have to subscribe to receive updates and support. While the subscription pricing has not been released yet, the retail price for a new install is $110.00 for Home and $150.00 for Pro.

 

The Con’s

Updating Too Quickly – Being an early adopter is always a bad move. They haven’t worked out all the kinks yet. My professional opinion is to wait at least 6 months or until the first major service pack is released. I caution especially those dealing with Healthcare, Finance or any company that needs to be PCI compliant.

I upgraded too quickly and I paid the price when Windows Millennium, Windows Vista and Windows 8 were released. Windows XP and Windows 7 were vast improvements and were almost apologetic for their previous versions. Windows 10 shows a great deal of promise but I am still skeptical.

win10Lack of Privacy – What I found continues to be true, “On the Internet, free stuff is never free…the cost is your privacy.” One of the security lists that I monitor had an article that articulates the same security and privacy issues I discovered during the install. The default privacy settings offers NO privacy and assures excessive disclosure of your information to Microsoft and their affiliates; including contact information, internet browsing, voice/typing/usage attributes, search and web tracking, etc.

For example, to enable Cortana (Microsoft’s version of Apple’s Siri) you get the following scary agreement (image to the right)

In addition, the following statement is in the Privacy Statement:

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

 

The Not So Good, Not So Bad

SAAS (Software as a Service) – SAAS is a monthly/annual agreement to utilize software for a fee. Most software companies are migrating to this pricing model. The negative to this is that once you stop paying you lose the ability to use the software. This new form of licensing is to combat using old software. Many of us have resisted upgrading our accounting software until the book keeper says we absolutely have to. Some of us have also avoided switching to the latest version of Microsoft Office until we get a new computer. We all do this to save on costs. Microsoft, and many other software vendors, want us on the latest versions of programs both to make more money and to reduce the need to support older versions. Unfortunately, the more money part comes from you and I. SAAS is not going to go away. We soon will have another line item on our monthly budget for software. It will be like paying the cable bill or cell phone bill.

Sounds bad, right? Not entirely. The SAAS method is actually more cost effective in the long run and increases security by running the latest versions of all the software we rely on every day.

Notes on System Requirements –Windows 10 does have system requirements in order for it to be installed on your computer. Here are the minimum requirements:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800×600

 

Looking to upgrade your business or personal computer to Windows 10? Have questions regarding Windows 10? Brady’s would love to assist you in making choices. Please feel free to reach out to us and I would love to answer any of your questions.

by Peter Avery, Chief Information Officer
Brady’s Business Systems

For more information on our Managed IT, see here: http://bbsbradys.com/managed-it-services/

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