IT rushed to Windows 10, but users may regret it

Free upgrades and a big public relations push have helped make Windows 10 a popular option for end users and businesses alike. But many of those surveyed recently by SpiceWorks seem to have buyer’s remorse.

According to the Windows 10 Adoption: Sprinting out the Gate report, 38% of businesses have made the move to Windows 10 roughly one year after its official launch. In addition, 68% of those surveyed said they expect to have the bulk of their laptops running Windows 10 in the coming year, and 63% said the same for desktops.

Predictably, tablets and smartphones lagged behind in Windows 10 adoption, at 34% and 11% respectively.

The top reason for making the switch from other supported versions to Windows 10 was that it was free. Two-thirds (66%) indicated this was a driving force.

Other lures that brought businesses over:

  • improved performance and stability (49%)
  • end of life or support for previous OSs (48%)
  • new features and functionality (43%)
  • upgrading to new devices (36%), and
  • security requirements (21%).

Users don’t love Windows 10

The learning curve for Windows 8 was notably steep. Many people flat-out hated the operating system’s quirks and shortcomings.

Users are lukewarm

So how is Windows 10 doing? A little better, but not that much.

Windows 10 was second in terms of overall user satisfaction among operating systems. Nineteen percent said it had the highest satisfaction rating.

That’s a far cry from the 69% of users who prefer Windows 7, but well ahead of the now-defunct XP (6%), Windows 8 (3%), Mac OS (3%) and Linux (1%).

IT is a bit more optimistic

Of course users are only half the equation. IT also has a big say in how well an operating system is meeting the organization’s needs, and in the case of Windows 10, the results seem to be fairly positive.

Comparing the OS to its most popular alternative, Windows 7, 71% of IT pros said that the OS offered better performance, 61% said it offered better security, 58% said it was more flexible across all devices, and 46% said it offered improved implementation options.

On the other hand, 25% said the compatibility with hardware and software was worse than with Windows 7, 24% said data privacy concerns were worse, 23% preferred the old Start menu and 16% said bugs were more prevalent.

And implementation didn’t always go smoothly. The top challenges of switching to Windows 10 were:

  • compatibility issues (56%)
  • time required to upgrade (45%)
  • control over updates (37%)
  • bugs in early releases (32%)
  • time/resources required to train users (27%)
  • lack of third-party vendors (20%)
  • data privacy issues (19%)
  • management pushback (8%), and
  • cost of upgrading (8%).

What to take away

Most companies that haven’t already upgraded will eventually. Since Microsoft has strongly suggested they won’t offer new OSs again, just updates and changes to Windows 10, upgrading is probably an inevitability.

So if you’re among the 52% who haven’t yet made the switch, you could be in a good position to learn from others’ experiences.

Three things to take away from their upgrade:

  1. Leave yourself time. Length of implementation may not have been everyone’s top problem, but leaving yourself extra time to play with during an upgrade can help with almost every other aspect.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the update schedule. Updates come fast and furious with Windows 10, and you don’t have the same level of control you used to. Make sure you know the various options for upgrades so you don’t wind up stuck with one you don’t want before you’re ready to handle it.
  3. Talk to those who have gone through it. You probably have at least one or two professional contacts who have gone through the upgrade process and know what it takes. Find out what worked for them and what didn’t so you can steal ideas that work and get expert guidance.