Why Accountants Want to Upgrade to Windows 10

Despite what you may hear, Windows 10 is not a revolutionary operating system … “evolutionary” might be a better description. If you’re using Windows 7, Windows 10 should be an easy transition. If you’re using Windows 8 and love it, you might feel Windows 10 takes a small step backwards, depending on how you use it.

First, most QuickBooks ProAdvisors® and accountants will want to know how QuickBooks® Desktop operates with Windows 10. I’ve installed Windows 10 on two computers at home, and on the network at my office, and all seems to be working well at this point. I’ve also tested QuickBooks versions 2002-2016, and all work as expected. I’ve had no issues with any version of QuickBooks running on Windows 10.

There are 3 versions of Windows 10: Home, Pro & Enterprise. For businesses, you want to stay away from the Home version and go with either the Pro version or Enterprise. While there are minor differences that affect a small number of people between Pro and Enterprise, the biggest issue is the licensing.

When you purchase the Enterprise edition through Microsoft Volume Licensing, you purchase licenses that can be installed on any computer and can be transferred to another computer. When you purchase the Pro version (or upgrade for free from a prior version), you’re purchasing a license for that computer only. As of the writing of this article, it appears that a Windows 10 Pro license cannot be transferred from one machine to the other because the license is tied to specific hardware included in that computer. So, if your computer dies, you would need to either purchase a computer with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled or purchase another copy of Windows 10 Pro to install on the new computer.

There are some new features in Windows 10 that will certainly be of interest to most. First off, the START menu is back. Probably the biggest complaint Microsoft heard from Windows 8 was that people liked the START menu and did not really like the tiles. Even though the START menu is back, it’s kind of a hybrid between the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 tile system – but it is better! You can also resize the new START menu by just dragging the corners of it just like a normal open window. And, if you are still not happy with the way the START menu looks in Win 10 (or Win 8 for that matter), you can still download a free program called Classic Shell that will make the START menu in either operating system act like the START menu in Windows 7.

“Cortana” is the cousin to Siri for Apple products. The voice recognition and Cortana’s search capabilities have been greatly enhanced with Windows 10. I’ve never really been a big user of voice recognition, but if that’s what you’re into, then you should be really pleased with how far it has come in Windows 10.

You can now log into your PC with facial recognition using Microsoft’s RealSense technology; no more needing to key in passwords to log in. And, don’t try holding up just a picture of the person because the camera knows whether it’s a real person. There are quite a few newer laptops that have this technology built in, but I know of only one RealSense camera (Microsoft’s own) that allows desktop users to implement this feature at this time.

Out with the old Internet Explorer and in with the new Edge web browser. It’s cleaner, slicker and faster than IE. However, there are currently compatibility issues with some third-party add-ons, namely my favorite browser add-on, Roboform, which does not work on Edge at the moment. If you don’t want to use Edge, you still can load up your favorite web browser or hunt around for the old IE because it’s still available in Windows 10.

Of course, privacy is very important, so be sure to review the privacy settings; Windows 10 gathers a lot of personal information that has never been gathered before.

You may be sad to know that Windows 10 does not install with Solitaire, but it is available in the App Store for free with ads or for a price to remove the ads. Whatever it is you plan to do with Windows 10, it is estimated that nearly 14 million people downloaded the new OS when it became available. It might be time to join them – if you haven’t already done so!

For more information on upgrading to Windows 10, click here.