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When Windows 10 was released around this time last year, Microsoft was so eager to get users to upgrade that they offered free upgrades and were all-in-all more aggressive with this rollout than any others.

Well, fast forward and it’s been over a year since the rollout. You’ve inevitably heard both the good and the bad pertaining to the update, BUT if you haven’t taken the plunge and are considering it here are a couple things we think are worth taking a look at.

Upgraded User Experience

With Windows 8 in 2012 Microsoft’s plan for a “revolutionary” user interface failed… hard. Important features were taken away and the interface proved to be a disaster for anyone using a desktop.

Windows 10 in a way reverted back to before 8 and was designed to be familiar to anyone who had used a Windows interface in the past.

One of the more major aspects of Windows 10’s release was Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri. Cortana can be used to search for files, pages, and to help streamline work and manage tasks. Before launch Microsoft began calling Cortana “your clever new personal assistant” available on both smartphones and desktops running Windows 10.

A year later Cortana has been met with mixed reviews, from those who love it and those who hate it, to those who love it when it works and hate it when it fails (obviously). While it’s not perfect, Cortana does represent the future of intelligent voice user interface that can only get better over time.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft used Windows 10 to address the hot mess that was Internet Explorer (more specifically it’s security issues).  Cyber-criminals had a reliable, long-standing target in Internet Explorer because of its long-standing security issues and support for legacy web features.  This left users susceptible to viruses, malware, and online attacks.

Microsoft, having learned the hard lessons associated with IE, designed Edge with modern security standards at the forefront and broke away from outdated protocols and legacy compatibility features that created A LOT of issues.

But did it work?

Essentially, yes. It’s fast, simple, safer than IE, and also offers integration with Cortana. It reality though it’s still generally behind other browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. Without a deep stable of extensions and integrations with other applications, Edge will take time to challenge for users that take picking a browser seriously.

Will Windows 10 Work with Your Current Systems?

Probably… throughout the rollout compatibility issues have been relatively small. Going from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was actually a smaller change technically than when businesses made the switch from XP to Windows 7 in 2009. Most upgrades went smoothly and had few disruptions.

That’s not to say there won’t be any problems at all though, as with an OS there are a couple exceptions to the above that are worth nothing. Some applications and proprietary drivers may cause some issues. These can include medical scanners, engineering applications, printers, and tools that have their own unique hardware. As always, every business is different and taking the time to thoroughly examine the upgrade with an IT professional is a good first step.

Overall Windows 10 had a successful first year, proved by Microsoft’s announcement in May that they had 300 million PC’s running Windows 10. The addition of Cortana, increased security, a more familiar user interface, and a better – although not yet perfect – replacement for Internet Explorer helped push users toward upgrading.

P.S. Stay tuned for some follow up posts about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that just came out this month!  We’ll be back to you with our overall impressions as well as deeper information on some of the geekier features like the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Reach out to our IT experts to see if Windows 10 is right for you, and how you can streamline your IT processes!