Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Windows 10: Should you upgrade?

While Windows 10 has been on the market since July 2015, Microsoft has stated that the free upgrade will only be offered until July 2016 on personally-owned computers. For users of Queen’s-owned computers that are managed and/or are running an enterprise version of Windows, your system will require a manual upgrade to Windows 10 when you and your department determine that the upgrade is desired. For users who have a managed system, contact your departmental Information Technology representative for direction; for users who have a non-managed system, the installation package can be obtained from the Software Centre at MyQueen’sU. The decision to upgrade to the newer operating system on Queen’s-owned computers is at the discretion of the employee and their department.

On a personally-owned computer, the decision of whether to upgrade to Windows 10 is at the device owner’s discretion.

Note: For many users of personally-owned devices, Windows Update may automatically download the upgrade and a pop-up message will prompt approval for the installation.  Although the upgrade to Windows 10 should be a seamless procedure for most users, it is still recommended that users ensure they have a current backup of local data before starting the upgrade.


Can’t decide if you should upgrade?

To help users decide whether they should upgrade to Windows 10, Information Technology Services (ITS) at Queen’s has compiled some facts to consider.

  • The free upgrade offer from Microsoft for personally-owned computers will expire in July 2016.
  • A Queen’s-owned computer may be upgraded at any time, even after the free offer expires in July 2016, due to the license agreement between Queen’s University and Microsoft.
  • Information Technology Services recently changed the support statement for Windows 10 from ‘transitional’ to ‘supported’. This was determined after ITS tested Windows 10 against core service offerings to ensure that networking, application and communication requirements for key business needs would continue to be met with a Windows 10-based operating system.

How do you know if your computer or device is compatible?

  • Microsoft has included a pre-installation compatibility scanner that is part of the installation package. The compatibility checker runs before Windows 10 installs, notifying users if problems are detected. You should read any notifications carefully to ensure that your computer or device is compatible before installation starts.
    • In the case that your computer or device is not compatible for Windows 10, Microsoft will present FAQs. It is important to review the options and decide if the upgrade can be completed or if upgrade notifications should be turned off.
  • For users with specialized software, it is recommended that you:
    • Review the ITS Support Software page
    • Review the ITS Windows 10 Testing Results page
    • Review your computer manufacturer's support pages
    • Review the support pages of any specialized software applications to determine requirements before upgrading to Windows 10

What should you know about Windows 10 security?

  • Security has been improved in the Windows 10 operating system. Visit the Windows 10 security overview page for detailed information on the security improvements and features.
  • It is best practice to be aware and understand the privacy concerns for any operating system you are running on your computer. The default settings in Windows 10 may be considered invasive such as tracking a user’s typing habits, what applications you use, browser history and personal information. Review the default settings and decide what information you are comfortable sharing with Microsoft. The following sites outline privacy concerns and how to control your settings.

Microsoft provides free support for any user that has questions or requires help on personally-owned systems when installing the update.

For additional information and/or support regarding upgrading Queen’s owned-computers, please call your departmental IT unit or contact the IT Support Centre by calling 613-533-6666 or by filling in the Online Help Form.