Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Believe it or not, torching existing stock and starting over may work out cheaper

Upgrader beware

On the face of it the requirements are very modest and most PCs being able to cope with it there is some legwork to be done. Depending on your hardware in the office a refresh may be on the cards. An example of this is with machines that of a certain vintage may end up costing more money in labour and effort than it would to buy a new machine. Microsoft themselves state in the pre-release testing documentation that not all 64 bit CPUs will work as expected.

What the minimum specs mentioned leave out is the fact that even where users are concerned, time is money. A slow PC annoys not only the user but costs time in productivity and bad feelings. Sure, it may only be a minute here or a minute there but, if multiplied by several users over a standard working month, it’s a noticeable sum. I have worked at a company that gave the staff such bad hardware that you were expected to come in ten minutes early so your machine could be powered on and ready to do some work. I didn’t stay there too long.

Anyone looking to upgrade should perhaps bear the following points in mind:

New hardware can be less expensive

Without sounding obvious, if an engineer spends several hours trying to fix some badly upgraded system or trying to hunt down missing drivers for the PC in question, it could actually end up costing more than a new Windows 10-ready PC. This is especially true if we are talking about desktops rather than laptops. Tier 1 desktop systems with many times the minimum spec and Windows 10 ready can be had for less than £200 with a warranty to boot.

Clean installations are next to godliness

As any admin knows, systems accumulate cruft no matter what you do. This is doubly so if the users are allowed to install their own apps. Initially, a fresh installation may take more time. But, as sure as eggs are eggs, the machine in question will run better from a reinstallation rather than an upgrade.

Small-and-mid-sized businesses can also look to the future of application deployment. Love it or hate it, the app store is here to stay. What some administrators may not realise is that it can make life easier for SMB administrators in several ways.

An example is that within the Windows 10 infrastructure is the facility to not only have a company-wide application store but also that administrators can, with the appropriate infrastructure in place, deploy applications complete with the company's customised settings – without even visiting the user desktop. It also very much simplifies the tracking and management of licensing. With a few clicks of the mouse, an application can be removed from a user and kept – or even allocated to a new user.

Windows 10 Aero

It's almost as if my PC were still running Windows 8

At the end of the day the upcoming Windows 10 release gives administrators a chance to review and take stock of their current estate. If you have a rag-tag collection of desktops and laptops, maybe it is time to take stock and perhaps refresh the machines that could be considered of a certain vintage.

Newer hardware comes with larger disks and better power efficiency. Other positive aspects include the fact that the newer generations of modern CPUs have inbuilt extensions to speed up cryptography, desktop virtualisation as well as general performance.

This is doubly so if you still have a selection of 32-bit machines in the mix, as it will help reduce the support cost of effectively managing a mixed environment. ®

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