Operating System Information
Windows 10 is the newest release of Microsoft's operating system from the middle of 2015. It takes design and appearance cues from Windows 8 / 8.1, but brings back some of the more traditional user interface from Windows 7 and earlier. Most importantly the Start menu makes its return, while integrating aspects of the apps that debuted with Windows 8.
Windows 10 comes in two primary editions: Home and Pro. This is the Pro version, which is aimed at enthusiasts and business users. It has as wide range of features to meet professional demands and expert user needs, and also includes support for dual CPU systems and high amount of RAM.
One of the differences between the Home and Pro versions that is new in Windows 10 is that the Pro version allows for upgrades to be deferred. This is good for businesses and users who value stability, since it means that feature upgrades are delayed for several months to allow Microsoft to perform more testing. You get the upgrades at a later date after they have been more thorough validated. Our experience has shown it to be a very good idea to defer feature updates, and so our PCs with Windows 10 Pro ship with that option enabled.
Puget Professional Advice:
|Christopher Crader (Customer Support) Says:|
I've used Windows 10 a bit pre-release and now since release. It's honestly a huge improvement over both Windows 7 and Windows 8. It takes the best design choices of both versions and pushes them together. There's a bit of a learning curve, as some things have chanced (the Control Panel is unrecognizable different, for example), but the overall fit and finish of the OS is pretty solid.
I do have one point of contention with Windows 10. It's their update model. It's more or less forced on end users now to update when Microsoft pushes an update. This might not be a huge deal, except that Microsoft's updates sometimes happen at inopportune time (despite the functionality that's supposed to wait until the system isn't in use), and Microsoft seems to have taken an approach to test out updates on customers. We've seen a few cases where things go wonky with a customer's system after an update. This leaves us scratching our heads, wondering why their system isn't working, only to have it start working again after a couple of weeks. It's gotten to the point where a common first step with a random issue after a Windows update is to try to do a System Restore to before the update. Only sometimes that doesn't work....
We do set Windows 10 Pro to use deferred updates, which mitigates the issue somewhat. Typically updates have been fairly well tested by the time they hit the deferred release point, but it's still possible for things to break.
Finally, if you intend to use Cortana or the Microsoft Store, you will be forced to make a Microsoft account and tie it to your user account. Not a huge deal, but it means you're feeding info back and forth with Microsoft. Some folks will be bothered by that. The other thing is that while Windows 10 has pretty solid driver support, there are going to be a few devices that won't have official support. Not common, but something to consider.
Windows 10 is Microsoft's current desktop operating system, with Home and Pro versions available. Windows 10 Pro is ideal for most of our users, but it does have some limitations: no more than 2 physical processors can be used, for example, and it cannot access more than 2TB of RAM.
It used to be that you had to move up to Windows Server to get past those limits, but Microsoft has now released Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. This version allows up to 4 physical processors and 6TB of RAM, which enable use of all the resources available on our highest-end, quad-CPU systems while maintaining a desktop-oriented user interface.
In addition to the wider hardware compatibility, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations also brings support for non-volatile memory modules and Microsoft's Resilient File System (ReFS). Those are rather niche technologies, and require additional hardware in the system in order to function, but may interest some power users. Click on the Manufacturer Specifications button, below, for more information about these features.