The next operating system from Microsoft, Windows 10, is expected to be officially released later this summer. Some advisors might be thinking, “Wait a minute, what happened to Windows 9?” Actually, Microsoft decided that since Windows 10 was a significant improvement and not just an incremental update from Windows 8, it needed more impactful branding.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows 8 faced similar challenges to what the company experienced with Windows Vista. Adoption numbers from NetMarketShare show there are more desktops running Windows XP than Windows 8. This is an amazing statistic considering support for Windows XP ended in April 2014. Also interesting to note, Windows 7 adoption is over 58%, which is the operating system that immediately followed the troubled Windows Vista. The introduction of Windows 10 might follow the same story, i.e., replacing an inferior predecessor.
If you are considering upgrading to Windows 10, the first step is to inventory the operating system and hardware currently used in your firm. Often, it is actually the age of the PC that influences the timing of the upgrade rather than an outdated operating system.
However, Microsoft’s strategy for introducing Windows 10 might speed up the rate of adoption. Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 during the first year of availability for qualified PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
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One of the big risks for advisors when upgrading to a new operating system is whether or not your current programs will function without any issues. Lots of promises have been made that if your programs run on Windows 7 or 8.1, they should run on Windows 10. However, I highly recommend that you upgrade one PC to Windows 10, then put that machine through its paces. Test every program and software package, every process and procedure to ensure everything is working as expected. Your technology providers will be doing the same thing with their programs, so lean on them to get a complete understanding of what your firm should expect. Being an early adopter can sometimes have its challenges and frustrations, but it can also lead to nice benefits and efficiency gains that come with leveraging the latest technology.