**Update (2/23/2016): Beginning February 1st, Microsoft began marking Windows 10 as a “Recommended” update for all Windows 7 and 8 users. Prior to February, Windows 10 was marked as an “Optional” update which meant that the upgrade was not automatically downloaded unless users specifically requested the upgrade. However, now Windows 7 and 8 users may find that the Windows 10 upgrade is downloaded automatically as part of Window’s automatic updates process. This does NOT mean that Windows 10 will automatically be installed, rather, only that the upgrade files will be downloaded and users may be prompted to proceed with the actual upgrade. We continue to strongly advise our clients to refrain from performing an upgrade to Windows 10 at this time. We continue to be very optimistic about Windows 10 and are actively evaluating it as a platform for our various POS systems and devices. We will keep clients informed of WAND POS devices that we have successfully certified with the Windows 10 operating system.
Windows 10 is finally here! Microsoft has recently announced that this widely anticipated next generation of the
Windows operating system will be available beginning on July 29th. In addition to many new features, Windows 10 will attempt to deliver an updated interface optimized for both touch and traditional mouse and keyboard users – the lack of which has been attributed to the lukewarm reception of Windows 8. Much of the buzz around this release, however, stems from Microsoft’s announcement that for a limited time it will offer a free Windows 10 upgrade for those that have a valid Windows 7 or 8 license. In fact, on many Windows 7 and 8 devices a new taskbar notification has already appeared giving users an option to reserve their free Windows 10 download. All-in-all there are many reasons to be excited about the upcoming release of Windows 10.
Unfortunately, there are also reasons to hesitate before jumping in and upgrading your Windows systems. In fact, we believe these reasons are substantial enough that we are advising our clients to take a wait and see approach and to not upgrade their POS manager workstations to Windows 10 at this time.
At the top of the list is the potential for compatibility issues of your applications and devices with Windows 10. There are a lot of moving parts on a typical POS system (think registers, back office systems, credit card terminals, biometrics, kitchen displays, etc., etc.) and any of these components could be negatively impacted with a hasty upgrade. By holding off on upgrading, you will be allowing WAND, and your other vendors, an opportunity to evaluate and certify our applications and devices on Windows 10 before you upgrade your mission critical systems.
In addition, there are still many unanswered questions surrounding Microsoft’s free upgrade that should give you reason to pause before upgrading. Questions such as:
• Do users who upgrade receive a license key? If so, can this be transferred to other devices? This is an important question to consider for devices under maintenance contracts that may be “swapped” out.
• Since Windows 10 is only free for current devices, how much of a PC can be repaired or upgraded before Windows thinks you have a new PC and Microsoft asks you to pay?
• How much will Windows 10 cost for new devices? What about existing devices after the promotional period?
Many of these questions will likely be answered over the coming months. However, at this point we strongly advise our clients to refrain from upgrading their POS systems to Windows 10. In fact, it is likely that devices upgraded to Windows 10 will not be able to be supported by our technical support, service, and repair teams.
Although there is reason for much fanfare surrounding the release of Windows 10, we here at WAND recommend a wait and see approach. Over the coming months we will certainly be evaluating Windows 10 as a suitable platform for our POS applications and devices. In the meantime, if your organization has a significant business reason for upgrading sooner, let us know so we can work together to address your needs.