Posted on: February 2, 2016
Revisiting Windows 10 Operating System
Posted by: Rob Reilly
It has now been roughly six months since the public release of Windows 10. According to one of our previous blog posts in July of 2015, it was best to wait; “A juicy, tender steak notwithstanding, most things are better when they have reached their full maturity. A fine wine needs aged properly and no one wants to eat an undercooked hamburger; salmonella and e-coli do not add to the flavor of the meat.” Today we will revisit Windows 10; its technical wonders, and downfalls, and shine a little more light onto what your course of action should be.
Windows 10 – an Overall Impression
Since its release in late July, we here at B2 Technology Solutions have had plenty of time to test the ins and outs of Windows 10. But first, let’s take a look at what’s on the surface before getting into the nitty gritty. The overlay of operating system combines the start menu and task bar that we’ve all grown to love from Windows 7, but includes a fresh app styled look from Windows 8.1. The overall impression is refreshing, simple, and intuitive.
The start menu now includes apps that can be adjusted to your liking such as news updates, weather, stocks, and even your mail. While they have added the new Edge browser, Internet Explorer is still available. If you right click on the Windows Icon you will see an updated version of the computer management type shortcuts from Windows 8.1. Overall the layout and fundamentals in Windows 10 are appealing and easy to understand.
Different Versions of Windows 10
When you upgrade your free version of Windows 10, it will be based on the current version of Windows 7 or 8.1 that you are running. Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will all upgrade to Windows 10 Home. Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. This process is a little different with Windows 8.1 as portable devices have been popular with this operating system. Windows Phone 8.1 upgrades to Windows 10 Mobile. Windows 8.1 upgrades to Windows 10 Home. Windows 8.1 Pro and Pro for Students upgrades to Windows 10 Pro.
But what does this mean for you? In short the Pro and Enterprise versions include more features, but most are directed towards businesses. The ability to join a Domain, to use Active Directory, or Group Policy all require Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. If this topic raises any questions, please ask an IT professional and they should be able to quickly decide if the version you are eligible for will be the correct one for you.
Windows 10 is Keeping Up With the Joneses
With the Home version of Windows 10 updates are automatically installed, which could be both a blessing and a curse. The benefits with this new feature are huge as your computer will now keep itself up to date and will theoretically run more efficiently and safely. On the flip side; in the past bad updates have been given out causing many issues and sometimes not being resolved until a day or so later through the means of a new update. As for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, this process is a little different. Windows 10 Pro is able to postpone updates for a limited amount of time, which could work well as the fixed updates would more than likely be available if there was an issue by the time you did install the update. Windows 10 Enterprise allows updates to be postponed indefinitely, which is perfect in a business setting as some updates may interrupt or break delicate business applications and settings.
Technical Analysis of Windows 10
It may not be as easy as simply upgrading and having everything work properly. There are certain hard set requirements that must be met for Windows 10 to work properly and it is highly recommended that you check this Microsoft link before moving ahead. In short, the following requirements must be met for it to function; the latest version of Windows 7, or 8.1. This one is as simple as making sure your computer is up to date which can be done through the control panel and windows update. As for the hardware; 1GHZ or faster processor, 1GB or more of RAM, and a 16GB or larger hard drive for the 32-bit operating system or a 20GB or larger hard drive for the 64-bit operating system. Most modern computers will surpass these requirements, however you shouldn’t upgrade just because you meet these requirements.
Should You Upgrade?
In a business setting it is best to check with your current IT provider or department before making this decision. Their guidance should be taken as certain programs may not be compatible or work properly with Windows 10. In most cases, it is also recommended to have your IT partner perform the upgrade as well. On a personal laptop or your home computer, you should go ahead and upgrade while it’s still free which will be for roughly six more months. Most home users will not have programs that aren’t compatible with Windows 10 and the upgrade should go smoothly. In fact, the upgrade process will migrate any current data (documents, pictures, music, etc.) and programs (aside from incompatible applications) over to your new operating system automatically. However, in the end a simple yes or no may not be the correct answer for you. At that point is recommended to talk to a professional before making the switch if you have any questions or concerns.