Business leaders spend little time thinking about Operating Systems (OS) because they usually fall within the domain of the IT department. However, this July happens to be one of the few times when C-level executives might also want to pay attention to this investment.
Why? Because most Microsoft computers running an older version of Windows are eligible for a free upgrade to the newest version if completed by the end of July. The regular cost to purchase an Operating System is $200 so this adds up to tremendous savings when you do the math.
Windows 10 has been installed on over 350 million devices in one year and Microsoft says that customer satisfaction is higher than all previous versions.
So remind me why I should care about an Operating System? It provides the underlying foundation that all software uses to communicate with the world around them. The OS is the secure ears and eyes of your powerful software applications and it facilitates the data flows in and around your business. Newer Operating Systems also support hardware advances and help stay ahead of the latest nasty security outbreaks. A new OS also introduces innovative features that support business software enhancements so improves every little business function. And last but far from least, Operating Systems work with your browser to provide access to the Internet. A smooth on-ramp to the global business marketplace is essential to a successful company.
One key difference with Windows 10 is the shift to subscription-based purchasing instead of a one-time charge. With it, Microsoft makes a strong commitment to continually provide both security and feature updates. Called SaaS (software as a service), it reflects a current trend in the software industry that has become the new standard. SaaS is a boon to budgeting because pricing can flex depending on the number of users so it becomes a regular OPEX cost.
In the past 12 months, Windows 10 has been installed on over 350 million devices. Small business leaders are just now thinking seriously about Windows 10. The initial “break-in” period has ended and “field tests” have taken place around the world. All signs point to this being an OS that delivers what businesses need today and for many years to come.
If you haven’t yet made the switch, your IT person will likely have a recommendation that will fit into one of these categories:
Strategy #1 – Just duck the issue
Wait until your software no longer runs on your old OS or has a catastrophic failure such as a major security event. Then do a hasty upgrade that may cause some significant disruptions. This will likely be at the full cost of the software and at a higher expense than a proactive plan.
Strategy #2 – Do a long term transition
Continue your normal replacement pace and new devices will come with Windows 10 pre-installed. This may take several years to accomplish and older computers will be vulnerable during the transition time.
Strategy #3 – Develop an upgrade plan
Determine which PCs are worth upgrading and execute the upgrades in July. Replace the other PCs on an accelerated schedule to reduce the risks of an unsupported OS.
Strategy #4 – Replace all the PCs within a year
Yes we are talking a CAPX investment but keep in mind that financing programs are another option.
Still not sold on making the move this month? Review these advantages with your technology team to see if they are enough to point toward a full conversion initiative.
- Windows 10 returns to a Windows 7 style desktop complete with a Start Menu that features optional live tiles.
- Modern type applications run in windows on the desktop, and the newly introduced Universal apps mean that you purchase something once and then have it available on all Windows devices–be they a PC, tablet, phone—which makes business connectivity easier
- The Cortana Virtual assistant is similar to Google Now and Apple’s Siri and allows you to control elements of your device by using your voice and search functionalities tailored to your specific needs.
- It’s much more secure than all previous versions.
Consider all implications: workplace disruption, possible complications with installation, employee pushback, etc. All of these are possible but take it from me: a free, highly secure, long-lived OS upgrade makes smart business sense.