Windows 10 and small businesses: is it useful?

Image: Windows 10 and small businesses: is it useful?

Jack Smithson is the Content Editor for The Formations Company, a leading UK formation agent that helps budding entrepreneurs to start their own business.

Windows 10, has been dominating the media (especially if you’re in tech like us) recently and comes at a much-needed time for small businesses. With the operating system industry ever growing, it is getting harder and harder to differentiate between each system. Is a Mac truly more powerful? Should we all be using Lynux? Will Windows help to advance your business?

As a much more streamlined version of its predecessor, Windows 10 significantly builds upon what Windows 8 tried to achieve for businesses: creating a more efficient working process through increased productivity and security, amongst other features. So, what does Windows 10 do to improve on this?
Microsoft Edge

With Internet Explorer potentially heading for retirement, new browser Microsoft Edge is being hyped as the upgrade Microsoft really needed to make. Perhaps the biggest improvement, and one that will benefit many small businesses, is the increase in speed – especially in a mobile environment. Mobile has now become a force to be reckoned with in business, with on-the-go services now becoming a must-have in the modern world.

What we are primarily looking for in Windows 10 is how it can improve a small business’ efficiency, and Edge has a couple of features up its sleeve that should do just that. The first one is ‘web notes’. This is a tool that lets you make notes directly on a web page or article, and your annotated notes can be instantly shared to your team. This is essentially a time-saver for small businesses: it lets you get things done quickly, and allows you to share important and precise information to your team at a speed that email can never really hope to achieve – think of it as cutting out the middle man.

Cortana is there to help you and organise your hectic life. Cortana claims to not only reminds you of important emails to send, meetings to attend, and essentially what you need to be doing that day, she is also customisable. Essentially, you can customise her to provide information solely in relation to your business and your business goals. For example, she can report on what your rivals are doing. She will, over time, learn more about you as well: what you like, dislike, and more about your business, by providing more relevant information. Alternatively, if you don’t want her to learn too much, you can limit her capabilities. However, if you want her to be, she can potentially be the eyes and ears for your business, allowing you to focus on tasks more important than updating calendar invites.

Windows 8 was often criticised because it was optimised for tablets, so desktops often experienced performance problems and were limited by its capabilities. The flexible hardware options for Windows 10, however, means businesses can now choose which platform will work best for their needs: no longer committing to one platform at the expense of another due to differing capabilities is a very good thing. So, what businesses will be looking at is Windows 10 Pro: a fully connected system that links all devices together.

This not only provides a seamless interface that can switch between tablet and desktop mode with ease (allowing for fast, on-the-go business), but also deliver protection for sensitive business data through a brand new secure login option. This is called ‘Windows Hello’, and has a biometric login that uses facial recognition to unlock your device – modern security at its best. However this feature is only useable on the right hardware, specifically those with 3D imaging functions.

So, is it worth it?
Windows 10 delivers on what Windows 8 promised: higher productivity. It’s an efficient operating system that makes the transition between desktop and tablet a seamless affair, ultimately helping you to do business if you’re on the move. The personal assistant, Cortana, helps you along the way and the work-friendly tools, such as web notes, Microsoft Edge brings to the table can add real value and efficiency to your business.

Tell us what you think of Windows 8 on Twitter by tagging @altodigital and @theformationsco

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