Maybe some of you took advantage of Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade last month, or perhaps you are still mulling it over. Adjusting to OS changes is always a process, and how valuable the new changes are to you is a matter of preference and how you utilize your computer. Much of it boils down to your internet use, integration of cloud based and online services, and if you like new bells and whistles or prefer to keep it old-school.
Windows 10 offers these changes and improvements:
- Faster boot up speeds
- Virtual Assistant, Cortana
- Facial recognition log in
- Integrated antivirus
- The return of Windows desktop and Start Menu
- Automatic syncing with cloud services
- Free updates until 2025
If you have questions about whether the Windows 10 upgrade is right for you – check out our Blog, “Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Is It Right for You?” for some advice before you decide.
Imagine if you came into the office on Monday, ready to input your payroll and fill some customer order, and boot up your computer only to see a big red notification box demanding that you pay $300 in the next 24-hours or everything on your system will be lost. Sounds bogus, right? They can’t do this! Well, unfortunately, this is the reality of Ransomware, a fast-growing form of malicious digital attack software.
While the impact of a ransomware attack on a business can be staggering, there are precautions you can take to ensure your system and network are as safe as possible. Make sure your Firewalls are configured properly, that all your operating software is updated accordingly, and that your Antivirus protection software is up to date and monitored for threats. Many businesses have these items installed, but no one pays any attention to them after hardware is set up and running. Without making sure you are keeping up with updates and monitoring any warnings and notifications, you are leaving your system at great risk.
At Network Knowledge, we keep ourselves current on all the latest Ransomware threats, and we use only professional-grade Antivirus software and Backup systems. Our Managed IT Services clients can rest easy knowing their systems and networks are being monitored consistently, and all updates are taken care of automatically.
Want more? Here is an article that expands on the Ransomware threat…
If you are a Windows subscriber, than you may have been getting notifications about the FREE upgrade to Windows 10 available through July 29th. Warning: DO NOT select “Later” or you will be upgraded automatically!
We typically take a cautious approach to recommending new Microsoft upgrades to our clients until at least the first service pack has been released, working out the initial “bugs”. However, Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 until July 29th – so should you take advantage of it?
So is upgrading right for you?
The reviews so far are lukewarm, but the operating system is stable and working well for many. Unlike many one-time upgrade offers, this is a solid upgrade meaning Microsoft will continue to keep your device current for the supported lifetime of the device.
Like any upgrade, there are pitfalls. You need to be sure your hardware can accommodate it, that your software can communicate with it, and plan for some downtime while you get everything configured and set up properly.
First: Be Sure Your Hardware is Compatible
The Windows 10 operating system is more demanding on processors and memory, so if you have older computers, printers or network devices you need to make sure they can handle this heftier OS. Failure to consider this factor can mean dramatically slower processing time or devices not working at all.
To be sure your hardware is compatible with Windows 10, be sure to review the System Requirements:
Second: Be Sure Your Software is Compatible
Before you upgrade to Windows 10 (or do any upgrade for that matter), take the time to call the third-party software applications that you readily use (QuickBooks, proprietary software applications) and ask if it is compatible with Windows 10. You certainly do not want to upgrade and find out after-the-fact that the software you depend on doesn’t work!
Can I go back to my old OS if I don’t like Windows 10?
One of the first questions we’re often asked when it comes to upgrading a system is how easily can you go back to your old one if you don’t like it. With Windows 10, it’s pretty easy.
Microsoft has built in a fairly simple process to have the system roll back to your previous version of Windows. HOWEVER, be sure you haven’t deleted the folder where your old version of Windows is stored!
Back Up, Back Up, BACK UP!
Of course, as with any major computer overhaul such as installing a new operating system – you will want to make a full backup of your data before you begin. There is always a chance that invaluable data could be lost during any upgrade (or downgrade), and you certainly want to guard against any problems. Not very good about doing regular backups?
The Bottom Line
As long as you are sure your hardware is compatible, and your software will work properly, than it is not a bad idea to take advantage of the free upgrade. If you plan to stick with a Windows OS, you will need to upgrade sometime.
If you have an assortment of operating systems currently running on your computers, or older hardware or software running, you may want to wait. Like any upgrade, there will be complications, and you should expect downtime as some configuration is required.
As always, you can call us and we’ll be happy to do the upgrade for you, or help you determine if it is right for you and your business.