It's Time for IT Managers to Prepare a Windows 10 Upgrade Plan

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2015-07-27 Print this article Print
Windows 10 Launch

Once you start getting upgrades on your test machines, it's essential that you test your critical applications. The chances are actually pretty good that everything will run properly.

But it's certainly possible that some applications make use of specific features of Windows 7 that don't work in quite the same way on Windows 10. If that happens, you'll need to get updates to your applications from the vendor before you can start using Windows 10.

Keep in mind that not every computer running Windows 7, for example, will run Windows 10. During my tests of the preview version of Windows 10, I found one type of HP workstation in my lab in which the Xeon processor will not work with Windows 10.

The Windows 10 upgrade logo will appear on computers that aren't capable of running it before the July 29 release date. However Microsoft plans to enable that logo and the "Get Windows 10 app" after that date so you can check compatibility over time.

Microsoft has a detailed FAQ for Windows 10 available on the company Website. It's worth the time to take a look at it. However, as your tests progress, and you're confident that Windows 10 will work on your computers, it's time to start phasing in the upgrade.

One good way to do this is to schedule the upgrade soon after your staff has completed training on the new version of Windows so that your employees have been acquainted with the differences and the training remains fresh.

For your users already on Windows 8.1, the learning curve will be substantially less than it will be for Windows 7 users. But Microsoft has done a lot to make Windows 10 easy to use for both sets of users. The Windows Desktop is now a permanent feature for computers that don't have touch-screens, for example, although you can enable the tiled interface that came with Windows 8.

You should be aware that the upgrade to Windows 10 will also affect tablets running Windows 8.1 such as the Surface Pro. But the upgrade is not coming now (and perhaps will never come) for tablets running Windows RT, although they will get an update with some Windows 10 features. Windows 10 is also coming to Windows Phone, but that set of updates depends on your mobile carrier.

The secret to a successful Windows 10 shift for your company is to take things one step at a time, starting with testing, then training, then a phased upgrade. Doing this should help you avoid the trap that happened with Windows XP, where large numbers of users were stuck without a ready upgrade path. But you do have to start planning now.



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