June 5th, 2015


Microsoft announced to the world that the release date of Windows 10 will be July 29th, 2015. During the first year of availability it is being offered free for current Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1, Update 1 users for one year. If you do not choose to upgrade within this first year, then it will cost you $119 for Windows 10 Home, and $199 for Windows 10 Pro. If you are on Windows XP or Windows Vista, this offer does not apply to you and you will need to pay the above mentioned price to upgrade. In the following summary is a description of Windows 10 as well as the features lost and gained plus reasons as to why one should upgrade or not.

Windows 10 combines the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8 into one platform. From Windows 7, the Windows Start Menu has returned, as well as Jump Lists. From Windows 8.1, Modern style APPS are brought over, including live tiles, settings app, and log in screen. This combination provides the best compromise for both fans of 7 and 8.1. However, many new features have been also added.

Windows 10 provides many improvements and new features to the Windows ecosystem. With Windows 10, a notifications panel has been added to alert users of various things, stemming from system update alerts, to news and items of interest to the user. It also provides quick access to commonly used settings and shortcuts.

Another major feature in Windows 10 is Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft’s personal assistant. She is designed to help you with everything from organizing your schedule, to keeping you informed on things that matter to you. She is also integrated into Windows to help you search for anything and everything, whether it’s located on your PC or on the web.

An additional innovation is the Microsoft Edge Web browser. It is designed to replace Internet Explorer. It is a much faster, lightweight browser that discards the legacy support that was weighing Internet Explorer down. Nevertheless, Internet Explorer is still included for legacy applications such as specialized intranet applications. It has also been announced that sometime after release, extensions from Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome will be supported.

Some more minor features include Windows Hello, multi-desktop support, and tablet mode with Continuum. Windows Hello is a new native login method using either a fingerprint reader or webcam to log in with your biometrics. Multi-desktop support allows users to better organize applications into virtual desktops, allowing for different views. Continuum and Tablet Mode allow for an experience that is optimized for touchscreen computers. Tablet mode simplifies start menu for use with fingers. Continuum allows for the experience to be automatically switched between desktop and tablet modes in 2 in 1 devices when a keyboard/base is connected. This is by far, not an exhaustive list of all the new things that Windows 10 has to offer.

However, there are some lost features and drawbacks to moving to Windows 10. If you’re on Windows 7, You will be losing desktop gadgets and the system games. If you are coming from both versions, you will be losing Windows Media Center, native DVD playback, and kernel support from Floppy Drives. Also, if you are upgraded to Windows 10 Home, you will no longer have the option to defer or not install windows updates of any kind. If you are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro, you will only be able to defer updates for a limited period of time. Only Windows 10 Enterprise has the ability to completely reject updates, but is not offered for free.

Windows 10 Upgrade Matrix

So, how is it determined what version a specific machine will get? If you are using Windows 7 SP1 Starter, Home Basic, or Home Premium, you will get Windows 10 Home. If you are using Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate, you will get Windows 10 Pro. If you are using Windows 8.1 Update 1 Home, you will get Windows 10 Home. If you are using Windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro, you will get Windows 10 Pro. If you Are on Windows 7 RTM, you will need to update to SP1 before you can upgrade. If you Are on Windows 8 or 8.1 RTM, you will need to update to Windows 8.1 update 1 before you can upgrade.

So who should not upgrade? Any business using an intranet website that is not compatible with Internet Explorer 12 should not upgrade. Additionally, any business wishing to be able to reject updates from Windows Update should not accept the free upgrade.

Conversely, it is the opinion of ASON that small businesses with capable hardware that always want the latest updates should upgrade. It is also recommended that you ensure that you are on a Pro version before upgrading. Your business, of course, does not have to opt in on day one. You have until July 28th, 2016 to complete your upgrade in order to avoid paying for it.

We hope that this has helped to give you an understanding of the upcoming Windows 10 upgrade. Should you have any questions or need assistance coordinating the upgrade or blocking it if it is decided that upgrading is not ideal for your business, we would love to help you.