I finally made it to Windows 10 - and can't really see why any businesses would do the same

Microsoft would be happy with me right now – I just upgraded to Windows 10. It was free, as a consumer, of course, so that helped. But frankly, the only reason I did so was because my seven-year old Windows Vista laptop was coughing and spluttering like a dodgy Volkswagen diesel.

Apparently I have followed the lead of more than 100 million people who have downloaded Windows 10 so far – that’s a little over 5% of all PCs in the world.

I would guess that my first experience of Windows 10 was not dissimilar to many other reasonably tech-savvy users: Where’s the control panel? Where’s the user account setup? Why do I have to create a Microsoft account to use all the services? Why is “shut down” hidden behind a feature called “power”? But you get there in the end.

And so, I can now happily continue using my Windows 10 laptop at home to do exactly the same things I used my old Windows Vista laptop for – which is basically anything that needs a proper keyboard. Maybe 80% of what I once used the home laptop for I now do on my not-Windows smartphone or tablet. I don’t think I’m at all unusual in that.

So the big question that remains for Microsoft as it applauds itself for the rapid take-up of Windows 10 is – how many of those 100 million users are businesses? Very few, for a bet.

What is the compelling reason for a company to go through the obvious pain of a Windows migration for all their users yet again? For the majority of organisations, there isn’t one. It’s telling perhaps, that when Computer Weekly asked an expert to write the first article in our forthcoming Buyer’s Guide to Windows 10 Migration, he wrote mostly about why you don’t really need a desktop anymore.

Nobody justifies IT purchases based on a three- or five-year payback period anymore – the length of a typical Microsoft licensing deal. It needs to deliver a return in a year or two at most, often less. It’s hard to make that case based on Windows 10. That’s even before you consider previous bad experiences with things like application compatibility.

The same questions now face Office 2016 – do you really need those extra features? Do they really justify the pain of a corporate migration? Almost certainly not.

The new Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella knows all this. Windows and Office today are simply vehicles to get businesses onto Azure and Office 365. The real question for IT managers is not how to upgrade to Windows 10 and Office 2016, but why?

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I might be out of line but, Microsoft does not offer Windows10 as an free upgrade to Vista. As I am a diesel coughing Vista laptop owner my self. I did though just purchase a Lenovo H50-90B70098US and an Asus VT207N Touch with the option to upgrade from the installed Windows8.1 to Window10 to replace my steam run Windows XP which was upgrades from Windows98. Since I went straight from Vista to the upgrade I have never experienced Windows7 or 8.1
I choose to run my Microsoft Office Essentials 2007 rather than go through the hassle of unsubscribing to the 1 month free Office 365, I'm hopeful it might come out as a free upgrade...lol So I just wanted to point out a consumer can't get Win10 as a free upgrade from Vista as your story points out. You could be leading consumers to a false hope of web searching for there free upgrade from outdated Vista.

John H.
You're absolutely right John - and on review I can see why the article might be misinterpreted. I bought a new laptop that had Win8 pre-installed, and then upgraded it to Win10 for free. Apologies if I mistakenly implied there was hope for coughing Vista users!