Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Or Wait For Windows 10?

by Stephen Cole on February 2, 2015

Many small businesses using old computers will be faced with major upgrade decisions in 2015. Windows XP was removed from extended support in 2014, which means that Microsoft is no longer releasing security updates for it. Windows Server 2003 will lose extended support in July of this year, and Vista will lose support in 2017.  Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 are entering the last five years of extended support, which will end in 2020 for those products. If  businesses want to upgrade their computers now, they can still go with Windows 7, knowing that in 5 years Microsoft will stop releasing updates for it. They can also upgrade to Windows 8.1, which will be supported through 2023. Or they can wait until later this year for the release of Windows 10.

Windows 8 logo Customers have been avoiding Windows 8 due to its poorly designed interface and emphasis on touch screens, which office users don’t care about. Microsoft fixed some of those problems with the release of 8.1. Windows 10 is supposed to fix all the problems with Windows 8/8.1 and add new features that will make it very attractive to businesses. In addition, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for existing Windows 7 and 8 users. Windows 10 logoThis assumes, of course, that the existing hardware will have sufficient power to run Windows 10. System requirements for Windows 10 are supposed to be the same as for Windows 7 and 8.

If you need to upgrade your computers now, get Windows 8.1 and upgrade for free later this year to Windows 10. Why not go with Windows 7 and then take the Windows 10 free upgrade? Chances are that the upgrade path to Windows 10 will be a lot smoother with Windows 8.1 than with 7, due to fewer compatibility issues.

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