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Can Windows 10 tip the upgrade scales?

Much of the buzz around Windows 10 has been about how it atones for the sins of Windows 8. Experts say that the new operating system is more similar to Windows 7, while still including some of the updates that came in Windows 8 — the ones users didn’t completely hate.

Users will have the final say on how much better 10 is than 8. But until the jury delivers its verdict, there are a lot of Windows 10 features and benefits IT managers and administrators can look at to determine if an OS upgrade or hardware refresh is the right move for their shops.

In Windows 10, the Start menu is back, the Action Center makes it easier for admins and users to keep track of OS notifications, startup and shutdown times are faster, authentication is tighter, and the Command Prompt has been improved.

But no matter how many cool, interesting or useful new features are packed into Windows 10, migrating to the new OS or refreshing PCs has to make good business sense for companies to get on board. Shops that just got off Windows XP or recently upgraded hardware might not be in a position to make the leap. Migrations can be costly and take a lot of IT’s time and energy. So before getting wrapped up in all the newness of Windows 10, it’s a good idea to check out what features benefit admins and users, then ask some important questions to figure out if an upgrade is the right move. Start with our new handbook, a guide to Windows 10.

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Did Microsoft jump from 8 to 10 because if they published a 9 no one would upgrade, since a 10 was likely? If so, can we anticipate an 11?
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Any idea how we can stop Windows 10 sending so much data back to Microsoft?
Also scheduling Windows Updates on Home & Pro versions would be useful
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Interesting comment, Cloud Watcher. Can you or someone else detail what information is being sent back? What is the purpose?
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Hi LaymanDon -- To the best of my knowledge, Microsoft never came out and said why they chose to go with 10 instead of 9, the SearchEnterpriseDesktop expert who wrote the handbook (link in the last graph of the blog post above) mentions that it might have been because the company wanted to avoid confusion around Windows 9x references (95, 98, for example). I think Microsoft's idea with Windows 10 is that it will be the last big OS upgrade, and from now on we'll see small rolling updates rather than a huge new OS every few years. You can read a little more about that here -- but who really knows what Microsoft will do!

@Cloud Watcher -- there are some settings in Windows 10 that let you tweak what information the OS sends back to Microsoft, but they're not granular or widespread by an stretch. We have a recent news story on it that you can check out here. At the end of the day, there's not a lot you can do to stop Windows 10 from sending data back to Microsoft. And other major companies -- Google and Apple, for example -- do the same thing, just in different ways for different reasons.

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Hi @LaymanDon – Great question. I don’t think MSFT ever came out and said why they chose to go right from 8 to 10, but as the author of this handbook (link in the last graph of the blog above) said, it could be to avoid confusion around lots of Windows 9x references. They probably didn’t want customers to confuse versions of Windows 9 with Windows 95 or 98. 

As for whether Windows 11 will ever come to be, MSFT has said that Windows 10 is going to be their last big OS change and that customers can expect small updates on a rolling schedule, rather than huge changes every few years. You can read a little more about that in this Answer from a SearchEntepriseDesktop expert: http://searchenterprisedesktop.techtarget.com/answer/Is-Windows-10-really-the-last-version-of-Windows

@Cloud Watcher – another great question! It seems like there are some places where you have control over what information Win10 sends back to MSFT, but those settings are few and they don’t seem very granular at this point. We have a news story on that where you can get some more info: http://searchenterprisedesktop.techtarget.com/news/4500252448/Windows-10-data-collection-sparks-Microsoft-privacy-concerns

That being said, other big companies like Apple and Google collect your information, too. Each company does it for different reasons in different ways, but at the end of the day it seems like they’re all just looking for ways to make more money. Certainly doesn’t make it right – I’d keep an eye out for changes to the controls you have over what Win10 reports back to Microsoft.

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