Windows 10: Attractive Options for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business owner worried about moving to another new version of Windows, relax: Windows 10 will return you to the familiar environment of the Start menu while also providing mobility and enhanced security features.
With Windows 10, you’ll never have to think about updates again — from now on, they’ll automatically be installed (unless you don’t want them to be).
And businesses that have Windows 7 or 8 can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free.
After hearing complaints about the missing Start menu in Windows 8 (it was actually there, just not on the desktop), Microsoft has put it back in plain view in Windows 10. That means you won’t have to train employees on tasks like finding the settings, rebooting or launching apps — they’ll see them right in the Start menu. The new interface makes it easier for users to find files, adjust resolution and place frequently used apps in the taskbar. There is still a “Metro” tile interface, but it’s off to the side, not in your way if you don’t need it.
Unlike Windows versions of old, Windows 10 is primed for mobility. It’s smart enough to know if it’s installed on a tablet or phone, and will automatically display in the tiled Metro mode so you can make selections without using a keyboard. If you decide to connect a keyboard — with a Surface tablet, for example — it goes back to the desktop configuration with the Start menu.
Windows 10 comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Skype and OneNote, as well as apps for photos, videos, maps and music. All are configured to work on any device.
Apps, documents and files display to fit the medium, whether that’s a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. If you open an application on your PC, then get called away from your desk and re-open it on your phone, it will display to fit the phone.
The default setting for storage is OneDrive (Microsoft’s new name for SkyDrive). If you use OneDrive, you can work on documents on one device and open them in another with changes saved.
Windows 10 also allows for virtual desktops, allowing employees to share a virtual screen for video presentations without having to shut down apps or messages that pop up on their regular desktops.
In addition to providing the default apps, Windows 10 comes with a Windows Store for apps, games, movies and music. Of course, you may not want your employees to download all apps, so the system allows your IT team to adjust it to your preferences. The store can also manage licenses.
Windows 10 introduces Edge, Microsoft’s new browser. Internet Explorer is still available — at least for now — but it’s a good idea to get started with Edge so that you don’t get left behind later. Plus, it has some exciting new features.
Edge represents Microsoft’s new commitment to interaction. It lets you annotate, save and share web pages. If you turn on Reading Mode, you’ll view web pages free from ads and links to other articles, enabling you to better concentrate. You can toggle it off and on if you want to see what you missed.
You can also create a list of content for reading offline.
Windows 10 comes with Cortana, a “personal assistant” that can remind you to call a customer, track a package, find a file — or tell you a joke if you need to decompress. To activate Cortana, you type a question in the Edge search box or use the microphone icon for a voice question. Any reminders you set through her will pop up on your other devices, a useful feature for mobile workers.
Cortana is not only smart, she has personality and a sense of humor. Ask her, “Who is your creator?” and she says, “If I knew that, I’d have self-awareness. And that might be dangerous.”
Windows 10 is strong on security, approaching it from several angles:
- Device Guard scans apps and blocks those that haven’t been approved by Microsoft.
- Secure Boot goes further, allowing devices to run only apps approved by your own IT administrator.
- Hello identifies authorized users thorough biometric scanning — fingerprint readers or iris scanners — instead of passwords. Your computer needs to have biometric capability to use this feature.
- Passport allows Hello users to access apps or files without using passwords on any device connected to the system.
Such an abundance of new features makes Windows 10 attractive for small businesses — especially when it’s free.
Gain a greater understanding of emerging software and how they can impact your business by visiting Insight online. Get in touch with to learn more about Windows 10 at 1.800.INSIGHT.