The Microsoft deadline for a FREE Windows 10 upgrade from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 ends on 29th July, so what implications does it have for business customers?

According to Microsoft, Windows 10 is currently being used on over 300 million devices. So, for those who have already downloaded Windows 10 to your home computer, you will know that it is simple and easy to use. An overwhelming majority of independent reviews have claimed that Microsoft have really come up trumps with this latest version of their infamous operating platform, and with the disappointment that was Windows 8, this is pleasing to hear. In his review, Matt Egan at PC Advisor describes Windows 10 as ‘the best Windows yet’, whilst Dan Grabham from TechRadarPro gives it a top review stating that ‘it’s robust and pleasant to use’.

As with all new software launches, it is usually best to wait whilst the dust settles before rushing in and upgrading; there are always glitches with new systems and there have been a number of updates since Windows 10 launched in July 2015. Over the past 8 months, we have seen the platform develop to what is now a stable system, and great for business use.

bg2When Microsoft introduced Windows 8 back in October 2012, it faced widespread criticism for moving too far away from the familiar functionality highly valued by Windows 7 customers. As a result, the market was slow to adopt the new Windows 8 operating system and many either stayed with Windows 7 or waited until Windows 8.1 – particularly business users. Windows 10 brings back some of the favourite Windows 7 features, such as the Start Menu bar, which was dropped from Windows 8. For simplicity, the new version also offers a single platform across smartphone devices, PCs and tablets, also providing useful features, such as the virtual assistant app, Cortana in the desktop version and the new Internet browser, Microsoft Edge to replace Internet Explorer.

As some businesses may already know, Microsoft are offering a free upgrade to Windows 10, which is only available till 29th July 2016. Since Windows 10 will be the new standard going forward, with the latest features, performance and security updates, we recommend that businesses upgrade before the deadline to avoid the costs associated with upgrading at a later date. After the deadline your business will need to pay for Windows Pro for each device, which could set you back £189.99 per license. With just 2 months to go to take advantage of this offer, for businesses, now is the time to start putting steps in place to upgrade.

So what benefits does upgrading to Windows 10 offer to SMEs?

  1. Speed – The first thing business customers will notice when upgrading to Windows 10 is speed. “As soon as I upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7, I noticed a difference to the speed of my desktop. All my applications were operating more quickly and it took me no time at all to get used to the new interface,” says Tanya Haeffele, General Manager, M2 Computing.
  2. Security – The second most notable benefit is the added level of security Windows 10 can offer to SMEs. The new operating system is built with advanced security protection to guard businesses against viruses, phishing attacks and malware. Microsoft claims it to be the most secure Windows ever. For additional protection, you can turn on automatic security updates, which means your devices will always be protected by the latest software patches. Paul Kollnig, Director, M2 Computinge explains: “No business is invulnerable to malicious attacks. However, having the latest operating system available from Microsoft provides SMEs with an added level of protection against such threats.”
  3. Usability – The interface and new tiled menu is very intuitive, so employees find it very easy to use with minimal training right from the start. The Cortana app can quickly save notes and reminders, alert the user to flight delays for upcoming trips or help to locate specific documents on the hard drive – plus a lot more.

What’s the upgrade process?

Paul Kollnig_M2ComputingBefore upgrading to Windows 10, it is necessary to carry out an assessment of the current IT systems in place in your business. This is to ensure Windows 10 is compatible with the set up and runs smoothly from the outset. The upgrade will need to be carefully planned to make sure it takes place during a convenient time with minimal interruptions to the working day. In addition, each desktop upgrade can be conducted remotely, which reduces the need for an onsite IT Support Engineer, further reducing the project cost.

The team at M2 Computing have been using Windows 10 for the past 8 months and have upgraded a number of clients throughout this year. The team would be happy to help any businesses to understand a bit more about Windows 10, and to upgrade before the deadline.

Neill Thompson, Production and IT Manager, Hayhouse Publishing Ltd comments: “We have been running Windows 10 for over a month now. The integration into our existing network and current software has been very successful, thanks to M2 Computing.”

M2 Computing would be happy to help you understand how your business can become more secure and productive with Windows 10. Please contact Paul Kollnig at M2 Computing on 01293 871971 or email paul.kollnig@m2computing.co.uk

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