Windows 10, the latest and last ever version of Windows, has arrived. After the much-publicised issues surrounding Windows 8 and 8.1, the software giant will be hoping that Windows 10 helps restore their reputation and helps it establish a degree of dominance in the cloud-based market. Arguably the most significant problem with Windows 8 was the reluctance on the part of users to familiarize themselves with an unfamiliar interface, which meant that many decided against making the switch from Windows 7.  With the experience of Vista and Windows 8 still fresh, many businesses and consumers will be asking whether the step to Windows 10 is one that’s worth making. After a number of more positive Windows 10 reviews, should businesses upgrade?

Old Habits

In its attempt to embrace ‘live-tile’ functionality and touch technology, Microsoft underestimated the impact it would have on how users worked and interacted with their devices. Over the years, we had all grown accustomed to interacting with the screen with certain input devices, and Windows 8 didn’t fit well with many people’s workflows. Suddenly the shortcuts and navigational habits that had been built up over years no longer worked. The return to the Start Menu for Windows 10 can be interpreted as tacit admission of this error, and it will be welcomed by Windows 7 users.

Windows 10.1

A Cross-Platform, Multi-Device Interface

Windows 10 reverts to a more familiar, user-friendly form for users with a mouse and keyboard. One of the real strengths of the new upgrade, however, is its adaptability. A genuinely cross-platform interface, Windows 10 recognizes which platform a user is running it on, adjusting the interface and functionality accordingly. In this way the Surface Hub, smart phone and desktop experiences are all intelligently adapted to how users will interact with the OS on different devices.

Moving Towards Cloud-Based Business

This multi-device, universal compatibility is arguably the strongest selling point of Windows 10. Because all devices run on the same code, it’s now possible to run the same apps across all of your devices. As a result, it’s much more straightforward for Windows users to share documents between devices on the cloud. Of course, it’s still very early days, but Windows 10 looks to be an operating system that offers greater flexibility than its predecessors, and one which is therefore well suited to the demands of BYOD.

Windows 10.2

Updates: Continual Evolution

Sources at Microsoft have said that there ambition is for a billion copies of Windows 10 to come into use over the next three years. On the face of it, this goal seems to be overambitious. But the prediction is based on assumptions about the new distribution model for Windows 10. Microsoft’s switch to incremental updates in place of labour-intensive and time-consuming installations makes the process much simpler for businesses and consumers – and, of course, is closer to how Android and Apple operating systems are upgraded. Crucially, businesses are able to choose which of these upgrades to adopt, giving IT departments the ability to tailor the operating system more closely to a company’s needs.

By making these changes, Microsoft are taking a big risk. Commentators and reviews have been consistent in pointing out that, in a sense, Windows 10 represents the end of the Windows line: there will not be another Windows operating system that replaces it. This is a big step for Microsoft. But by building an OS that makes it easier for businesses to work with multiple devices and across different platforms, it is surely a move in the right direction.

Has your business upgraded to Windows 10? Let us know your thoughts by commenting via LinkedIn or Facebook.

Images via Flickr: Roger, okubax, Clive Darra.