my first clue that our fall soccer season is right around the corner. I have to admit that nothing seems to give my second son more pleasure than flipping through the well-timed soccer catalog that arrives in the mail. He has a passion for sports, especially soccer! Even at six years old (should I be concerned?), he has an incredible eye for spotting the newest or brightest ball or the latest player-designed shoe. Just last month, he begged us for a new Nike ball that he promised was the coolest thing around (it wasn’t even out yet and needed to be pre-purchased), and sure enough that ball turned out to be the ball displayed on next’s month soccer catalog cover featuring Team USA. My son’s anticipation each month to what’s new in the soccer (equipment) world got me thinking about the world’s anticipation for Microsoft’s new Operating System, Windows 10.
As the owner of Thirtyseven4, a leading provider of Windows, Mac and Android security solutions, my anticipation for the scheduled release was likely different from that of the average consumer. You see whenever Microsoft plans to release a new Operating System (OS), software companies need to immediately drop their current and future product project lists to develop, test and receive certification for the new platform, because Joe Public’s first concern is “What about existing applications/software?”.
Every new OS comes with new features and enhancements, and security products like Thirtyseven4 utilize Windows System Services, and are therefore dependent on many/most system core components e.g. Windows Security Center, Kernel (file system drivers, network drivers), binary signing process, etc. and the above is true with Windows 10 as well, so we tested our existing builds using the provided “Windows 10 Developer Preview edition” and performed the following:
1. Applications that were not compatible under the new Windows 10 format (like OS version check, functionality, etc.), were made compatible.
2. Windows Security Center integration-related changes were performed and tested per Microsoft guidelines.
3. Other functionality-related bugs were solved (specific to the new features and additions within Windows 10).
The process takes months and sets software vendors back in reference to releasing their own product upgrades and improvements, because resources are taken away from certain projects and placed on the Windows 10 project. Of course I know better than most people that technology does not stand still, but can you tell that I don’t get super excited about new OS releases? I warned you that my anticipation for the release was not high.
As many of you know, Microsoft began rolling out Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015. And just like my son with a new soccer catalog, I was actually quite surprised how many people immediately downloaded and installed the new OS. I was even more surprised how many inquiries we (Thirtyseven4) received on that first day regarding Thirtyseven4’s compatibility with Windows 10. All the necessary preparations paid off, as we were ready and fully compatible on release day.
Should you go out and download Windows 10 right away?
I’m not convinced. My son often tells me that a particular shoe in the catalog is the best shoe he’s ever seen, and that he “loves it!” My advice to him is the same advice I am giving to friends, family and colleagues asking me similar questions regarding the new “best ever” Microsoft OS: Wait. Regarding my son’s shoe, I tell him that if it is truly the best shoe he’s ever seen and that he needs it badly, wait one season. You have a very good pair of soccer cleats now, they fit and aren’t broken and if these shoes are truly the best shoes you’ve ever seen, next season they’ll be 50% off or more, as the new arrivals for that season show up. With the Windows 10 case, if you are still running Windows 7 or Windows 8, your computers are still in full Microsoft support. They still are receiving all their critical security updates from Microsoft, and the free upgrade to Windows 10 lasts until July 29th, 2016. I say wait and let Microsoft work out all the kinks and bugs that are sure to come with any new OS (you can read about all the already discovered flaws online). If it is not broke, why feel the need to fix it right away? Let the millions of other users “test” Windows 10 for you for a while. Yet, I say again, I was blown away with how many of our users immediately downloaded the new OS, and dropped us an email making sure we were supporting the new OS.
One more bit of caution: be careful for phishing scams relating to downloading the new Windows 10 updates. We have seen a dozen or more variations at this point tricking users into downloading malware. The scheme used by cybercriminals is simple- create an email disguised as coming from Microsoft. The subject lines of these emails have included things like – “Get Your Windows 10 Update” or “Windows 10 Update For FREE”. These emails are directed towards the users who are anxiously waiting their Windows OS upgrade.
What about the security protection offered by Windows 10?
The built-in security module, known as Windows Defender, is very similar to the version of Windows Defender found in the previous Windows 8 OS. As a security solution, Windows Defender acts as a basic level protection scanner for file based malware like spywares and viruses. While of course my opinion will be biased, professionally I feel the detection is limited and weak as compared to other competitive and dedicated Anti-Virus or Endpoint Security solutions like Thirtyseven4. Apart from weak file-based malware detections, Windows Defender also doesn't provide any protection settings against Phishing Attacks; Network based attacks, SPAM or Malicious URL links while browsing. That being said, it is worth noting that Windows 10 does also integrate Smartscreen technology embedded inside its browser Internet Explorer that does offer a level aid against phishing websites, however, it only works for Internet Explorer and not other browsers.
Thirtyseven4 not only protects users from the above mentioned threats but also provides additional security through features like Secure Browser, Firewall, Behavior Detection, Anti-Rootkit, Anti-Malware, etc. Lastly, Thirtyseven4 prides itself with its customer service and offers our technical support experts to our valuable customers in case of any issues at no additional charge.
So the Seasons are beginning to transition. Summer to Fall. Swimming pools to soccer fields. And for Windows users the latest transition has occurred—Windows 10 has been released. Are you seduced by the allure of the latest and greatest in the Windows line? The way my son is mesmerized by skilled product placement in soccer magazines?
There’s no shame in upgrading now to Windows 10. But I also argue that there is possible gain in patience and delayed-satisfaction. Such as the benefits of patches/upgrades/ and solutions that will come from the experiences of those “first-in-line” if you will. Maybe I am jaded, but on the Windows-side of things, I recommend letting others work it out, and then we can settle in when it is tweaked and well-oiled. Just my opinion, but you are still reading, so you must trust me on some level. ;-)
The choice is really yours, and either way (Windows 10 now or later): you will be fine. But being prudent has often proved a steady course for me, and believe me, they will still have a pair of Windows, size 10 for you in a few weeks or months. But they will be broken-in and a better-fit because someone else will have gotten the blisters. See you on the field!