Considering Whether to Upgrade
I have had several people ask me whether they should upgrade their computers to Windows 10, the latest version of the nearly ubiquitous computer operating system from Microsoft.
On my personal computers, I have upgraded and recommend that people consider upgrading for all the great new features available in the new system. However, on work-related computers you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of performing any operating system upgrade.
CaseWare Working Papers is a one of a handful of mission critical applications for me: without a stable, properly functioning installation of CaseWare Working Papers it is very difficult for me to perform my day-to-day work. No matter the benefits of Windows 10, any risk to my use of Working Papers is just not acceptable.
CaseWare International is officially supporting Windows 10, so you can be confident that if you have any problems, you will be able to speak with their Technical Support department and have them work to resolve any problem you have. However, you must acknowledge that the risk of a problem occurring is higher when using Working Papers with Windows 10 than with an earlier version of the operating system.
The Risk is Real
On August 11, 2015 CaseWare International sent out an email to all users warning them of a critical issue preventing SmartSync and the CaseWare Cloud service from working correctly for Windows 10 users. The fix for the problem was released on September 1, 2015 (3 weeks later) in the form of CaseWare 2015.00.142 (Release 3). For more information on this issue, check out CaseWare’s Knowledge Base article.
That is an extreme example that is not likely to be repeated, but consider what effect a 3-week interruption in your access to Working Papers and your client files would have on your work.
As of the date of this writing (October, 2015) F.H. Black & Company Incorporated is recommending to our clients to postpone upgrading to Windows 10. In the future and as CaseWare International continues to improve compatibility with the new operating system, the risk differential between Windows 8 and Windows 10 will diminish and we will reconsider our recommendation.
One Final Thought
If you are one of the estimated 250 million people still running Windows XP on your computer, it is quite important that you upgrade to a more recent version of Windows as quickly as possible. Windows XP is no longer supported by either Microsoft or CaseWare International. That lack of support means that you are exposed to significantly higher risk of security breaches on your computer, and a lack of support when problems occur.
Immediately discuss with your IT specialists how to upgrade to Windows 7, or 8, or perhaps even 10 after a consideration of the risks described above.