Updating to Windows 10

Updating to Windows 10

If you are frustrated by the Microsoft insistence you upgrade all your computers to Windows 10 by January 14, 2020, you are not alone!  There are a lot of fairly new Windows 7 machines out there running just fine and I am a strong believer in if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  However, given that no one at Microsoft is likely to pay any attention to what I think, I have some thoughts and recommendations I hope will help you make decisions best for your business.

First, it is probably best to take upgrading to Windows 10 seriously.  While Windows 7 will continue working just fine, it won’t break anyone’s heart if Microsoft stops releasing updates to it and I’ll bet you can’t remember the last time you called Microsoft for support, the important piece is there will be no further updates to your firewall and virus protection.  This does represent a risk to your business both in terms of PCI/PADSS Compliance and in more concrete day to day ways.  Unless no computer in your store is on the internet, you need these two pieces to be current and not being connected to the internet is just not practical.

Second, this is a good moment to consider replacing old equipment.  Anything older than an i3 (see footnote) is probably not worth investing any money in updating.  Get rid of the older machines on your network and move the new ones into the more critical positions in your line up – like as the Server for LiquorPOS and your main registers.  As you consider replacing older machines remember to check how your existing devices connect to your computer so that your new computer either comes with the right ports or you are prepared to replace some older equipment like parallel or serial printers.

Third, you should be able to run a windows 10 Pro upgrade on a number of your newer Windows 7 machines.  Any i5 or i7 with 8GB of RAM should do just fine.  Some of the newer generation i3s – also with 8GB RAM – will do well also.  I have found the extra RAM really makes a difference in how things run between the demands of Windows 10 and LiquorPOS. If your machines only have 4GB you should be able to upgrade that for a lot less than a new computer.

Now, there are various ways of getting Windows 10 updates for free but I should probably steer you down entirely legitimate paths as you do want to be sure that however you get Windows 10 you get a legitimate product key.  However you acquire Windows 10, make sure it is a Pro version. These folks seem to sell bundles of licenses at a very reasonable price — Good deal on Windows 10 Pro.

Fourth, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to buy a number of new computers you might consider some refurbished machines.  I’d recommend any computer that plays a key role in your network be a new, quality machine.  But for those machines that are simply registers you could watch places like www.woot.com for deals on name brand (Dell, IBM, HP) refurbished computers.  If you go that route, make sure you check how many USB ports are available on the machines and buy one or two extra as the failure rate is always higher with these refurbished PCs.

Finally, every version of LiquorPOS (other than DOS) seems to be perfectly happy under Windows 10 Pro.  If there are issues, it is something other than the operating system and you should not need to update to a new version of LiquorPOS.  Also, LiquorPOS runs just fine under the new Server 2019 if you have a larger store. 

Footnote: i3, i5 and i7 are processor model series names used by Intel who makes the chips.  The higher the number, the newer and more powerful your computer is.

To check the specs on your computer first click on the Windows button, then right click on Computer and left click on Properties.  The screen which pops up gives you all the information you need on the type of processor and RAM your machine has under the System section.

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