Microsoft announced this week that it’s new, Windows 10, operating system will be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. There’s only one catch: it’s only free if you upgrade within the first year of release. So how to do you get your Windows 10 free upgrade?
While the release date is still unknown, this poses an interesting question to business owners. Should your business take advantage of the free upgrade period at the risk of incurring other unforeseen costs as a result? Perhaps you should hold tight while some of the early bug are worked out.
How Should Your Business Proceed?
There are a number of factors that could suggest the best path for your business. Does your company use highly customized or niche applications? If you do, it might be best to wait. It’s absolutely critical that your business’s mission critical software can run on Windows 10. Until all potential compatibility issues are thoroughly tested, an upgrade should not be attempted.
Another consideration is whether your company’s current hardware is sufficient for running the new OS. If your hardware is older than 3 years, there is a good chance it might need to be replaced. In that instance it would make more sense not to upgrade, but to buy new hardware with Windows 10 pre-loaded.
Maybe your business has 20 computers that are all relatively new? In that case, it might be best to upgrade during the free period to save on the cost of buying 20 new operating system’s down the road.
Whatever the situation, this is not a decision easily made, and there are many more variables still unmentioned.
What is known for sure is that Windows 10 looks like the last major OS we will see from the Microsoft. As they begin to see their operating system more as a service, we will see incremental releases and upgrades. Features and fixes, much like Mac OS upgrades, will be added as we go.
This will allow Microsoft to improve it’s offerings on two fronts: application sales and continuity between devices.
Microsoft wishes so earnestly to offer a product that equals even half of the Apple App Store. A unified, unchanging platform could help. Application development becomes much easier when there aren’t two or three different Windows operating systems supported simultaneously. Other developments, such as Window Phone running full Windows 10 could mean that applications long absent for the Windows Store might start becoming available.
After a year is up, there is no telling if the Windows 10 free upgrade will be extended, so make sure you formulate your plan now.