As with any software upgrade, your church will need to consider the costs versus the benefits of upgrading. At first glance it appears there is no cost to upgrading for “most users”. However, you must consider whether or not the software you use like your church management software, presentation software, graphics programs, word processor and spreadsheets will run on that operating system. I would highly recommend contacting the publishing companies to find out before you click that “upgrade now” button. Another area to consider is any driver upgrades (video or printer) that might be required. Again be sure to check with your vendor to see if those drivers will be compatible with Windows 10.
Our church management system, Roll Call is not yet officially certified to run on Windows 10. We are currently waiting on a certified version of our underlying database to do that. However, we have thoroughly tested Roll Call version 13 on Windows 10 and it is running well. We did notice that the print preview was very blurry, but that seemed to be the only problem. Also, with Windows 10, there are no print drivers available for the Dymo 400 Labelwriter. If you are using child check in and the Dymo 400, you’ll need to upgrade to the Dymo 450.
Our plan is to release version 13.5 that will be certified on Windows 10 as soon as possible. This version will be a free upgrade for those churches/ organizations that have a version 13 license. Please note that once you upgrade to version 13.5, Windows 7 or higher is required (no more Windows XP or Vista)
Enhancements in Windows 10 that may make your team more productive
The Start Menu is back. Hallelujah! I used the Start menu constantly to find the control panel, devices and printers as well as, commonly used programs. That alone maybe a reason for you to upgrade to Windows 10 from 8. The Windows 10 Start menu gives you even more flexibility. It also displays the Live Tiles from the Start Screen and is customizable. Here’s a great blog post on customizing the Start Menu.
Internet Explorer has been replaced with Microsoft Edge. It looks like there are some nice features in this browser. It allows you to create a reading list for articles you’d like to read later. The reading view is also very nice to eliminate distractions. Not only that, the reviews I’ve read on this browser all indicate that it is extremely fast.
Another feature of Windows 10 is the ability to create virtual desktops. You can create up to 40 different desktops. By using different desktops, you can separate different “work areas”. Maybe you’d have all your social media pages open on one desktop, your work for the next newsletter on a different desktop and your church management tools on another one. This is just another way to get organized and not clutter up the task bar with tons of open applications.
It appears this will be the last “numbered” version of Windows. Instead, new features and enhancements will be released regularly along with security updates and patches. This will allow Microsoft to update faster and stay current.
Should your church upgrade to Windows 10 … you will need to weigh the potential costs of upgrading existing software and the benefits of upgrading to Windows 10.