7 things small businesses need to know about Windows 10

Windows pros discuss what small business owners and managers should know about Microsoft’s latest operating system before they upgrade, purchase or roll it out to employees.

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You can also schedule when Windows 10 updates are installed. No more annoying forced restarts.

[ Related: How to handle Windows 10 updates ]

4. You don’t have to use the Windows 10 interface. “Download the free software called Classic Shell to make Windows 10 look familiar to users,” says David Eichner, CPA, ICAN Software Corporation, a CPA firm focused on technology solutions. “This software lets you choose what the interface look and feel should be. The options include Windows 7, XP, 95 or even 3.1. By doing so, you gain the speed and performance of Windows 10 while retaining the familiar interface of prior versions of Windows.”

5. Back up your computer/essential files and do a test before rolling out Windows 10. “While an upgrade shouldn't cause any data loss, make a backup of your document and media files beforehand just in case the process doesn't properly complete,” says Tim Margeson, president, CBL Data Recovery. “While specialists can help recover missing files, getting data back after an OS overwrite can be difficult.” Also, before rolling out Windows 10 to the whole company, “run a small test deployment,” says Michael Kachanis, engineer, Coretelligent. “A small test deployment will enable small business owners to check compatibility with business critical applications and functions, and provide a feel for the new operating system.”

6. Don’t assume that employees will know how to use Windows 10. To help smooth the transition to Windows 10, prepare employees (Microsoft provides a free Windows 10 Readiness Kit) and provide training.

“Before considering the jump to Windows 10, small business owners should have proper training and coaching in place to make sure that users fully adopt the software [and] utilize it to its maximum potential,” says Nick Wilkinson, CEO, Vitalyst, which provides support services to Microsoft business users. “With ongoing skill training and problem-solving resources in place, businesses will see increased individual proficiency, which will quickly translate into company-wide productivity.”

[ Related: Why IT Will Love Windows 10 ]

7. Remember you can always downgrade. “Computers being upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8 can easily be downgraded to the previous version as long as certain components aren't removed by the user after the upgrade,” says Kachanis. “This is a fairly seamless process that Microsoft supports.”

To learn about going back to a previous version of Windows, click here.

This story, "7 things small businesses need to know about Windows 10" was originally published by CIO.

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