I’ve been dealing with a few instances of users moving to Windows 10 either through updating an existing system or a new PC with 10 pre-loaded. The user experiences are somewhat mixed, both at the prospect of switching and after hitting the Win10 desktop for the first time. In IT, you see a lot of pushback when it comes to OS and software upgrades. Why is that? Well, let’s face it, change is hard sometimes. But it’s also necessary. The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way”.

Technology, in general, is a very interesting space. It’s moving at the speed of light. New tools are constantly popping up. People crave technology. They want the newest phone, TV, car, etc., because they want to take advantage of the newest features. Sound familiar? So why is that the newest operating system or version of Microsoft Office makes a lot of people curl up their nose? Software that may or may not improve on what you have now doesn’t seem all that appealing. It boils down to the computer being the vehicle to get work done…done right…done efficiently. Your phone, TV, and car don’t carry that same responsibility. You embrace learning the new features of those things because you can do it at your own leisure. Your current software is like your kitchen. You know where everything is. Have you ever gone to a friend’s house and needed to find something in the kitchen? It’s not always easy is it? But, just maybe, what if your friend’s system of organizing their kitchen is better? What if you just need to try a similar system?

Windows 10 is definitely different. For some (me included), Win10 is fresh, modern, and includes features that we will definitely take advantage of. At the same time, we can’t ignore the fact that some users have spent up to 8 years on Windows 7 – an operating system that itself was a big change, but also a great operating system. When it comes to technology, change can sometimes be a steep hill to climb. Daily tasks at work such as data entry in Excel, running reports, and working in specific applications become old hat when the user experience remains consistent. This is evident if you’ve ever watched over someone’s shoulder as they bounce around the desktop on their PC. It’s similar to taking the same route to and from work each day. You know exactly where the turns (and the potholes) are. These landmarks aren’t always apparent in a new operating system. Continuing with the ‘daily route’ analogy, what if a co-worker could show you a better route that had less potholes and would help to reduce wear and tear on your car? Would you consider it?

This is where Windows 10 adoption comes in. Microsoft’s philosophy has gone through a major shift with the advent of their cloud platform (Azure/Office365) and a concerted effort toward being a big player in the Cyber Security space. Windows 10 is an extension of this. At its core, Win10 is designed and intended to be always up to date and as secure as possible while still maintaining usability. Microsoft operating systems of the past had this same goal but fell short. Microsoft wants their users to be safe and productive. Sometimes being productive means installing patches to fix bugs in software. Windows 10 presumes automatic updating unless you put provisions in place to patch on your own schedule. Updates mean reboots…we’ve all be hit with that random restart during the day. Well, Win10 gives you a quick notification that the reboot is required and will be scheduled for after-hours. A great feature if you ask me. Security updates for Windows are especially important. Recent attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware rely in part on user awareness, but patches are important. All Win10 systems that aren’t updated through an organizations internal patching service received the critical updates from Microsoft that were needed to help protect systems from the threat.

Let’s move beyond security and future-proofing. Windows 10 is actually a pretty great user experience. Sure, it’s different that Win 7, 8, and 8.1, but is that such a bad thing? People aren’t trying to hang on to their iPhone 4S or Blackberry Torch, so why hang on to your aging operating system. After a few days of Cortana, the new Search bar, and the updated Start Menu, you’ll forget all about Windows 7. Even better, you’ll grow as a person by embracing change and conquering your fear of a new operating system. I, for one, will be proud of you!