10_windows-128The Windows 10 release day is less than a week away, but there is nothing typical about this launch.  Because the majority of PC users will receive Windows 10 as a free upgrade, Microsoft has staggered the release of the operating system.  Current opt-in upgrade users will get first access, with everyone else following later in the year.

Windows 10 will be officially released to the public on July 29th, but unlike previous versions of Windows, this will not be a Wide-release (yet).  For the last month, anyone who has a valid upgrade candidate for Windows 10 should have received a notification in their Windows Task Bar.  This notification allows users to “reserve” their free upgrade.  On July 29th, anyone who pre-reserved their copy will be granted the option to download the upgrade files and (hopefully) make a smooth transition to Windows 10.  Users who didn’t reserve their upgrade in advance will be given a chance to upgrade at a later date, presumably after the majority of opt-in users have downloaded their copies.  The final phase of the Windows 10 roll-out will occur later this fall, with a full release for all devices and OEM retail sales.

The fall release of Windows 10 will coincide with what is being called “Threshold 2”.  While Microsoft insists that the version of Windows 10 released to the public next Wednesday will be a finished product, there are some features absent from the launch.  Perhaps the most notably absent feature is the promised Enterprise Data Protection, a feature that is intended to offer additional security and protection against data leaks.  Microsoft has made mention that other enterprise features will be absent from the initial launch as well, but what they are has yet to be seen.  All of these features, as well as further optimization is expected in the Threshold 2 update.

All of this begs the question, should you upgrade to Windows 10 on launch, or wait?  Understand that there will be millions of users on Day 1 who take the plunge and attempt to upgrade.  If Microsoft did their job well, it will be a smooth transition, but more likely, there will be a few bugs to work out.  Enterprise users in particular should use caution before committing to the upgrade; with many key feature potentially left for the fall update, the initial upgrade may be more trouble than its worth.   So the short answer is there is no need to rush, the product will only get better with time.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Webmaster and Lead Designer