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We’ve been promised that the new Windows 10 will be “… the Windows you know, only better.” It certainly looks like it from the outside – typical icons for closing and minimising windows, a Start-ish button, Recycle Bin, etc. Everyone loves an upgrade but now that is out there, when will you upgrade – if at all?
When it comes to upgrading, it’s usually the cost factor that deters the typical home user from taking the leap of faith. The good news is that it’s free… but only if you upgrade within the next year. Microsoft have sweetened the deal to encourage early adoption, since a staggering 61% of internet users still run Windows 7. Admittedly, I’m one of them, having decided to be a “late adopter” after the bitter pill we had to swallow with Vista.
Windows 10 sports 4 models: Home, Pro, Enterprise and Education. Home and Pro are released on 29 July 2015 and Enterprise and Education, which are volume-licenced, will be available from 1 August 2015. Pro and Enterprise are the business-relevant versions. Regardless of the version, Windows 10 promises to provide better integration between devices.
Since Microsoft haven’t made much mention of the new-and-improved data security features, here are a few things to consider before upgrading:
Although the software is tested extensively by members of the Windows Insider program, approximately five million users in the general public, there will inevitably be kinks to iron out after the official release as the OS gets used in real-world scenarios.
Now that Windows 10 is available, you can use the installation software to check whether your system is a “go” for upgrade. It will do preliminary checks for compatibility with your existing hardware before upgrading.
Aside from the hardware compatibility, not all of your existing software will necessarily run on Windows 10. This is of course a big risk to data security and daily operations for both the home and business user. Quite simply, there’s no substitute for having backups before upgrading. Make sure you have them before taking the plunge.
Larger organisations, like corporates and universities, will need to plan for massive roll-outs. Large-scale upgrades can severely interfere with current projects causing delays and data loss if not done with precision. An IT policy will hopefully advise those in corporate environments to take a cautious approach by assuring the viability of the new OS before implementation.
It appears that Microsoft are trying to create the same uninterrupted cross-device experience as Apple has already done. This could introduce changes to BYOD policies in companies hoping to leverage off the new features.
Changes to mobile device usage in a business can also pose a risk to data security. In addition to testing the viability, better data protection is needed when greater flexibility is provided to employees moving in and out of the office with confidential information in hand.
Exciting times lie ahead for the operating system – no doubt helping us move into the future of lifestyle technology. If your data is important to you, make sure it’s protected. Data protection and data security are the two things that will prevent a small thing like a Windows upgrade from becoming a nightmare.