I wanted to talk about Microsoft and how much their Windows 10 operating system has surprised us over the past three years. Now They absolutely still have a problem with users switching over to their newest OS, but that problem is quickly fleeting. In my experience over the last year multiple clients of ours who were reluctant to make the switch have finally taken the next step and there are most definitely many more users making the switch or thinking about it.
The first question is why? Why are users willing to start switching now rather than when it was released? In my experience the biggest step forward from Windows 7 that draws users to want to switch is the driver support. This is one of the ways that Apple wins people over and Microsoft is realizing this; people want their machines to work flawlessly and Windows 10 does that well compared to older systems. With Windows 7, drivers were finicky and only the most basic of hardware would be detected by Windows and actually work. Now Windows 10 is far more sophisticated with acquiring drivers and for the average user this can make all the difference. One thing that users have been saying about Apple computers for coming up on 20 years is that “they just work”. They aren’t saying this because their hardware never fails, they’re saying that because being able to plug in any device and have it pop up on their desktop without error as well as being able to freely drag and drop files to and fro’ makes it feel like the device always works. This is something Microsoft was striving for going in and it’s made all the difference, especially in the recent months. Although it has taken time Windows 10 is finally gaining solid ground. Some would argue that this is because Microsoft has declared they will be discontinuing support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020 but I would disagree because in 2016 Windows XP still had 10% of the market share and had been out of date for almost two
Another area where Microsoft impressed us, and this also coincides with the driver support we spoke about above but is also important enough to be talked about on its own is the operating systems support for mobile devices, especially Apple based devices. I know this is obvious, but it can’t be overstated how important being able to plug an iPhone in and manually drag photos off of it as well as having support for iCloud and or iTunes. The reason this is so important is it doesn’t shy Apple users away. Yes, I know this has a lot to do with Apple writing the programs but Windows 10’s photo viewer also has support for automatic photo downloads/syncs if you didn’t want to drag/drop the files and for many of our clients this has made all the difference.
The last positive of Windows 10 I wanted to talk about is its ability to be installed on basically any PC. This was a smart and important move by Microsoft because users don’t want to upgrade if it’s going to be a lot of work, or a lot of money which doing hardware upgrades isn’t cheap or easy for the average user. A lot of people don’t realize just how low of requirements Win10 actually are; A 1GHz CPU or SoC (System on chip), 1GB of memory for 32bit and 2GB for 64bit, 10GB for 32bit and 20GB for 64bit, DirectX9 and 800X600 resolution. With how far chip speeds and memory sizes have come over the last decade these requirements can be meant with ease. Microsoft has even released guides to install Windows 10 on supported mobile devices. Even though it’s not directly designed for them it shows just how low the hardware requirements are for how along hardware has come in the last decade. Even legacy machines that are not supported by their manufacturer will generally work with Win10 because of the low hardware requirements for entry and the solid driver support that we spoke about above. These two factors together make the difference, if it was one or the other it would not be making nearly the same impact.
Overall this is not a knock on Windows 7, as solid as an OS as it was Windows 10 is overall a big improvement. Of course, it is not without its hiccups but in almost every area it has had steady improvements especially in the areas I’ve outlined above. Windows 7 still holds an OS market share of 41.59% which is a 5.79% lead over Windows 10. However just 12 months ago this was a 10% lead and Win10 had been steadily gaining since before then.
In Conclusion these steady improvements combined with Win10’s OS market share gains show just how far along it has come since it was released as well as how much of an improvement it is on other older Windows operating systems. Those are the things that impressed me.