The official release date of Windows 10 is July 29, 2015. Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be eligible for a free upgrade which Microsoft is pushing heavily. There is no shortage of information about what’s new, but here are some important points - particularly if you use Windows in your business.
This is a No Small “Windows Update”
This is not a small update. This is basically a complete reinstall of the operating system with your data migrated after the installation is successful. While this update is happening, your PC will be completely unusable and it may take a few hours to complete. The update also requires user intervention, so while you can start the update and come back later, it will not be complete and will require clicking through a few more options.
While the upgrade process has undoubtedly gone through a lot of testing, it is still a complicated undertaking that could go wrong. For this reason, it is highly recommend that you back up any data that is important to you. If you aren’t sure, do a complete backup to an external hard drive using a backup program such as Acronis True Image.
Windows 10 is supposed to be very compatible with previous versions. Chances are, if your frequently used applications and websites work in Windows 7 or 8, they will likely work in Windows 10. Still, if you use any older legacy applications, connections to hospital systems, or PACS (imaging), you should check with the vendor to verify that it works with 10 prior to updating.
Windows 10 comes with a new browser called Edge which is set to replace Internet Explorer. However, because some websites and plugins only work with Internet Explorer, it is still included. If you encounter any issues with the new Edge browser, simply run Internet Explorer instead. In fact, Edge will notify you if it thinks Internet Explorer will work better with a specific site and open it automatically.
Microsoft learned from the mistakes of Windows 8 and has really done a great job of combining the Windows 7 “desktop” feel with a new touch-friendly interface. It really is the best of both worlds and has been redesigned from scratch to eliminate most of the complaints about Windows 8. If you didn’t like 8, I highly recommend giving 10 a look. There are some significant changes but, for the most part, it is very familiar, easy to navigate, and intuitive.
Windows 10 and FlexMedical
For our customers, FlexMedical runs great on Windows 10. We’ve not discovered any compatibility issues and the performance has been excellent. If you are using FlexMedical with a tablet or touchscreen laptop, you’ll also benefit from the major interface improvements in the new UI.
Should You Upgrade?
While I recommend the update in general, the decision should be weighed carefully based on your individual needs. Make sure to consult your IT support people – they may have a different plan and perhaps aren’t supporting Windows 10 right out of the gate. It is going to be very “new”, and new things often have some unexpected issues. If you don’t want to risk business continuity, waiting a few months to upgrade may be the better choice.