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First glimpses of Windows 10 indicate it’s a breath of fresh air. Individual consumers and business users alike will welcome the return of familiar features, but added functionality makes this the most comprehensive (and useful) upgrade we’ve seen for a while.

Lower Retraining Costs

The return of the Start Menu will have users breathing a sigh of relief. Its demise was sorely mourned by just about everyone who couldn’t find their files or programs after the last upgrade. The familiar Live Tiles are still there, but now they’re in addition to the start menu.

The return to a more familiar Windows interface is good news for businesses. Lost productivity following a system upgrade is always a cause for concern. Despite new features that make it a more robust business operating system, the short learning curve for users minimises downtime and retraining costs.

Complete Compatibility Across Devices

Introducing what Microsoft calls a ‘converged application platform’, Windows 10 now adapts to multiple devices.

There is complete compatibility from the smallest Internet of Things devices right up to giant conference screens, and everything in between. It’s a seamless integration between devices that simplifies the work flow between desk, mobile, home or multiple branch offices. Plug a keyboard into a tablet, and Windows 10 recognises it and adapts. PC users are no longer forced to work with an operating system optimised for mobile, touch screen devices.

The converged platform also makes life simpler for developers, who can now write just one version of an app and have it work everywhere. In addition, a new, unified app store gathers everything in one place. Businesses can reclaim licences and even customise the store for employees to access business-owned apps.

Easy Upgrades to Windows 10

For businesses, finding the ideal upgrade time so as to minimise disruption can be challenging. Upgrading from either Windows 7 or 8 is a simpler, more secure matter than it used to be, since Windows 10 doesn’t need the wipe and reload process.

When the upgrade is complete, business users can choose when to allow future updates. It’s possible to lock down certain departments while allowing automatic updates through the rest of the network. It’s also possible to choose the level of update, allowing all or only those that are critical.

Enterprise Level Security

Microsoft has introduced enhanced security features in Windows 10 that are easier to manage. Identity protection through the creation of user identities work like virtual smartcards, preventing unauthorised access to devices or apps, thwarting phishing attempts or security breaches.

Data itself is protected at both application and file level through the use of containers and data separation. These security measures follow the data wherever it goes, whether it’s transferred to USB stick, emailed or uploaded to the cloud.

There are many more refinements and improvements throughout the operating system. Put together with the more familiar user interface, it adds up to a productive and robust, total business environment that’s both efficient and flexible.

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