Even though Windows 10 has enjoyed major success since launch, and has been installed on over 500 million PCs worldwide as of May 2017 (source: Engadget), some businesses have not yet installed it.
So in an effort to clarify why business should look at upgrading their systems to Windows 10 – the Professional edition, in particular, that comes with all manner of enterprise-enhancing features – Microsoft put out the following advisory explaining in detail what the benefits are.
Why is now the right time to move to Windows 10?
Windows 10 Pro provides more robust security, manageability and productivity capabilities than any other version of Windows. Windows 10 Pro was designed to be our most secure platform ever. With features like Credential Guard, Device Guard, Windows Hello, and Enterprise Data Protection, Windows 10 offers unique defenses from attacks.
Windows Defender, our free anti-malware service, provides protection to over 350 million devices – every day and Windows continues to raise the defenses in the system every month as any security issues are investigated and proactively updated through Windows Update.
It can take an enterprise more than 200 days to detect a security breach and 80 days to contain it. During this time, attackers can wreak havoc on a corporate network, stealing data, breaching privacy, and destroying the trust of customers.
These attacks can cost an average of $12 million per incident with broader impact to a company’s reputation. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, will help enterprises to detect, investigate, and respond to advanced attacks on their networks.
Is Windows 10 compatible with my existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 applications?
Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the most popular business hardware and software products you use every day. Thousands of worldwide business applications have been tested and will work with your new Windows 10 PC, and the list keeps growing.
How do I start deployment to Windows 10 Enterprise?
A Microsoft-commissioned report by Forrester demonstrates how deploying Windows 10 can help reduce costs and provide significant benefits to your organisation. The report found an ROI of 188% with a payback period of only 13 months. Download now to read more!
Your OEM reseller and/or Microsoft Account Executive can provide you with all the information you need to understand how Windows 10 can benefit your business. Including the ability to manage Windows and security updates to users on schedules that meet your business needs with our Long-Term Servicing Branch and Current Branch for Business.
How does Microsoft plan to provide support for new processors and chipsets when they are released?
As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon. For example, Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on 7th generation silicon from Intel and AMD.
Additional information available on the official Windows blog..
Can I still downgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro?
Yes. There are several downgrade options available. Device cost and service charge may vary based on the downgrade option the end user chooses. Microsoft Software License Terms Downgrade Rights
The Windows 10 Pro Microsoft Software License Terms provide end users the right to downgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro until the end of extended support for the downgrade product is reached. The end of extended support for Windows 7 Professional is January 14, 2020 and the end of extended support for Windows 8.1 Pro is January 10, 2023.
If an end user does not have media to downgrade, OEMs may provide downgrade software media upon end user request until October 31, 2018. The downgrade software media can be acquired from an OEM, for Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro.
The media will be sent directly to the end user. Downgrade media may only be provided directly to an end user (not to channel partners or retailers).
Licensing agreement to the OEM. Additional Information on downgrade rights through Microsoft Volume Licensing can be found in the Licensing Brief for Downgrade Rights on the Microsoft Volume Licensing website.
OEMs may install a custom image that includes downgrade software for end users upon request. The end user must have a Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement that includes the appropriate downgrade rights and they must expect to procure a minimum of 25 devices annually with the same custom image. Microsoft Volume Licensing customers will need to provide verification of their Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement to the OEM.
OEM Downgrade Facilitation
End customers can purchase OEM devices that are licensed for Windows 10 Pro that are pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro downgrade software through October 31, 2018. This date has been extended by one year (it was previously October 31, 2017).
While Windows 10 Pro adoption remains strong among our commercial customers, some customers are still in the process of migrating to Windows 10 from the prior two versions of Windows. To support these customers, Downgrade Facilitation will be available through OEMs until October 31, 2018 however, the cost of devices licensed for Windows 10 Pro and downgraded to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 Pro may be higher than the same device licensed for and pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro.
End users can engage with a service provider who can install the downgrade software on end users’ behalf in accordance with the Microsoft Software License Terms, using downgrade software media provided by the end user to the service provider.