If you've held off upgrading your computers from older versions of Windows, know that Windows 10 has evolved since its debut in summer 2015 to be a safer and more efficient operating system. Here are eight reasons why it's time to finally update your business to Windows 10.
1. Microsoft ending support
Microsoft has announced that it will end technical assistance and security updates for Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020. After that, if you're still running that outdated operating system, you'll open up your company to hacks, malware, viruses and other potential future security flaws.
2. Ransomware prevention
Computers running older versions of Windows are more vulnerable to ransomware. Windows 10 has a feature to thwart ransomware from locking up a user's work and personal documents on their computer.
The Windows Defender Security Center tool in Windows 10 lets you whitelist, or approve, which apps can access and change files saved in the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders. [Read related article: Windows 10: How to Get Your Upgrade]
3. Stronger malware security tools
Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender Exploit Guard, which scans for, quarantines and removes malware. In addition to ransomware protection, it includes other tools that can be used to stop zero-day attacks, to block and quarantine malicious programs on your computer or office network, and to isolate infected computers on your network.
Upgrading to Windows 10 gives you the option of subscribing to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. It's a more sophisticated, cloud-based service for managing security threats across your business's Windows 10 computers.
4. Safer web browsing
Windows Defender Application Guard is available in Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional. It lets you use the Edge browser inside a virtual machine. If you or an employee unknowingly contracts malware by visiting a malicious website, it won't be able to damage the computer or the network, because it will be confined inside this virtual machine.
5. Keeping your frequent business contacts on the taskbar
The My People feature lets you pin your business contacts as shortcut icons on the Windows 10 taskbar. Click the icon of a person to email them or start a video call through Skype. You can pin up to 10 contacts on the taskbar.
6. More efficient updates for Windows 10
A technology feature in the Windows Update tool, the Unified Update Platform (UUP), significantly streamlines the update process. UUP identifies new changes to Windows 10 that your computer needs and downloads only those specific updates. Your computer won't have to download a larger package.
Microsoft says UUP can reduce the download size of Windows updates by up to 35 percent, sparing storage space on your computer and the time it takes to install updates.
7. Syncing your work between your personal and work computers
The Timeline feature saves "snapshots" of the Windows applications you were using at a given point of time. By clicking the Task View icon on the taskbar, you can select a snapshot to continue working on something where you left off.
These snapshots are synced across your different Windows 10 computers (if you are signed on to them with the same Microsoft user account). For example, you can create a new spreadsheet on Excel on your home computer and work on it later on another computer at the office.
8. Configuring your business's computers quickly
Windows Autopilot lets you set up system configurations that can be downloaded from the cloud onto your business's Windows 10 computers. For example, an employee can take a new computer, connect it to your office network, and it will automatically be configured to your business's required settings. A system configuration can be tailored for a particular employee. This Windows 10 feature makes configuring, managing, and resetting your business's computers easier, faster, and more secure.
Autopilot is available in the Education, Enterprise and Professional editions of Windows 10, and an account with Azure Active Directory is required.