Windows of Opportunity Opening for Microsoft?
Microsoft has announced Windows 10, and it can’t be coming to a computer near you soon enough if you have Windows 8. We believe Microsoft is finally on the right track with a new operating system that creates a cohesive environment across all platforms. Here’s what you can expect.
For home users, you’ll get a lot of the look and feel of Windows XP back – along with the ability to use the tiles of Windows 8 and 8.1. You will be able to upgrade to Windows 10.
Except for one business client, who had no option but to go to Windows 8 because of poor service from a previous support provider, all of our business clients are on Windows 7 – or are surviving with XP. If XP is making your business life intolerable – or difficult – you can upgrade to Windows 7 Professional, which is the version we provide.
We don’t know at this time what upgrades Microsoft will make available for Windows 7 users. We’re hoping they’ll be liberal in their policies because we believe they damaged their reputation and because we believe there are still a lot of Microsoft users out there.
Despite all you hear and read about Apple and the Mac, Windows is still the dominant operating system, but it is a fast-changing world. A lot of what you’ll see in Windows 10 is a refined version of the attempt Microsoft made with Windows 8 to better integrate with the iPhone and iPad worlds. The touchscreen capability was a big part of that strategy, and you can expect to see that continue in Windows-based tablets and phones. We believe many laptop users will migrate toward lighter-weight tablets as they make more use of the cloud and as habits change over time.
Accounting for the timing of habit changes is one reason for Microsoft to upgrade its OS so quickly. A vast majority of business users – as well as many home users – could not easily adapt to the tiles and the lack of the “start” button in the lower left corner of the screen. Windows 10 will restore the “start” button and other familiar navigation cues, and it will help Microsoft integrate with the “swipe” capabilities of device touchscreens. A lot of PC users have iPhones and iPads, but businesses have been reluctant to change complete office systems, and home users have been cost-sensitive. The argument that Macs are virus-free has lost steam as their infection rate has increased.
However, we caution you not to expect to be up and running immediately. Microsoft still needs to work out the bugs that plague any new system. As it stabilizes, we’ll start testing it and begin to formulate our recommendations.
In the meantime, we believe the new OS will be part of other upgrades from Microsoft. These could include a new version of Office – especially Office 365, which we continue to recommend – to remain up to date with software changes and changes in the way the world does business.
We hope Microsoft will push out a new Office for the Mac world, especially with the coming of Yosemite, Apple’s new OS for the Mac. Otherwise, Mac users could migrate to Pages, Keynote and Numbers, the Mac’s version of Word, PowerPoint and Excel. We usually see leaked images of changes such as this, and the rumor mill is churning. In addition to Yosemite, we expect to see a new iPad and the official rollout of Apple Pay.
With so many changes coming and so many possibilities, it’s critical to make sure you plan your technology acquisitions with great care. We can help you plan and budget for your business and home needs and help you phase in and integrate the systems you need to make business and home life efficient. Call us at 973-433-6676 or email us for answers to your questions or to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.