Windows 10: the integrated OS for desktop and mobile users

With the release of Windows 10 now available, users who have downloaded the technical preview were relieved to see the return of a familiar Windows 7 user interface. Though when Windows 7 was released in 2009, mobile was not as prevalent as it is now; thus, the Windows 10 improvements and implementations of a mobile-friendly interface make it the ideal operating system for longtime holdouts still using Windows XP or Vista.

Windows 8’s interface was such a dramatic change from its predecessor; many thought its design was more restrictive than useful. While tablet users were given a great interface to experience on a touch screen, desktop users were paralyzed with the app-centric interface and moving icons. Running the Windows 10 operating system on a tablet will again be a great experience for users given its similar design to Windows 8’s tiles. But this system has a new flair to it, with knowledge Microsoft gained from the Windows 8 start menu. It’s my opinion that Microsoft worked hard at combining the two clashing worlds of desktop and laptop users with mobile tablet users into one integrative OS with Windows 10’s start menu and overall user design experience.

In the Windows 10 release, Cortana is being introduced to PC users. The voice recognition and text-assisted computer AI allows for ease of access and a different approach on completing tasks. But, it is not without its flaws. Personally, I have a deep voice and accent. Cortana has a hard time understanding the timbre of my voice, which is why I likely will not use Cortana. But for most users, Cortana on a desktop will improve the desktop PC experience: a touchscreen wasn’t a life-changing opportunity for desktop users. Cortana is likely to have a much bigger effect on users’ desktop experience.

Probably the best optimizations in Windows 10 comes with the very close integration with OneDrive, Office apps, and my local hard disk. With such seamless synchronization across the channels offline and online, I am able to work on documents at the office, and continue to connect and revise them over the weekends on my laptop while I am at home. In Windows 10, this experience is executed much more smoothly than it was in Windows 8.

Come July 29, I will be making the move to Windows 10, along with a lot of other eager users. If you are interested in an easy upgrade solution to migrate your files, settings, users, and even applications from your old operating system to the new Windows 10 OS without overwriting the system, you’ll want to read more about our product: PCmover Windows Upgrade Assistant here.

A Solution to the Windows Upgrade Dilemma

upgrade paths

PCmover supports 2 core migration scenarios:

  1. PC to PC Migration
  2. In-place Upgrade

1. The Standard PC to PC Migration

The easiest way to enjoy the latest Windows release is to buy a new PC loaded with the new OS, and to use PCmover to migrate all of the applications, data, and settings to the new PC using a Laplink Ethernet or USB Transfer cable, a network connection, or external media (e.g., external USB hard drive).

An alternative way is to either create an image on an external hard drive (PCmover provides the necessary functionality to do that) or to take the existing hard drive out of the old PC and to connect the old hard drive (or the image) to the new PC, load PCmover, and all applications, data, and settings will be transferred to the new PC.

2. The In-Place Upgrade: Custom Install without Drive Formatting

All Windows XP, Vista, and 32-bit Windows 7/8/8.1 users who upgrade to Windows 10 will be required to perform a clean (custom) install. The user will likely be able to choose between re-formatting their hard drive and installing Windows 10 without a re-format.

For users who have no external device or do not want to take the extra step, and still want to upgrade their PC to Windows 10 without losing all of their data and settings (without having to re-install all their applications), PCmover offers an easy solution.

Simply install Windows 10 without re-formatting the hard drive (customer install), subsequently install and run PCmover which will automatically restore all the applications, data and settings from the Windows.old directory. This is the only method to perform an in-place upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, and 32-bit Windows 7 to Windows 10 without having to re-install all your applications and without having to back up all your data in advance.

Users might insist on a clean install or need to have a pre-defined image of Windows 10 installed. In this case PCmover (Business Edition only) can run PCmover on the source PC and move all applications, data and settings to external storage.  After the PC is reformatted and Windows 10 is installed, the user can then re-install PCmover, which will automatically restore the applications, data, and settings to the PC.

Depending on the size of the installed data, it is recommended to use an external or network hard drive rather than online storage, as bandwidth and speed limitations can throttle performance dramatically.

Upgrade to Windows 10: Reasons and Considerations

Windows 10 is releasing today, and so I have listed my top 5 reasons for consumers and businesses to upgrade.

Top 5 Key Reasons for Consumer
1. Windows 10 is free for genuine Windows 7 and 8.1 users
2. Windows 10 will return to the more familiar and popular Win7 UI (User Interface) elements combined with improvements of Win 8/8.1 and the use of so-called “Apps”
3. Familiar experiences across multiple devices (Phone, Tablet, PC, Xbox)
4. Cortana can be a change agent of how user interact with a PC
5. Integrated experience with OneDrive and Cloud overall

Issues to be aware of
No “Windows Easy Transfer”
Not all Win 7 / 8 / 8.1 users can easily upgrade (particularly users running 32-bit systems)
After the Windows 10 Upgrade there is no restore facility / go-back
No Media Center Edition (plus no codecs to play DVDs)
Anti-Virus Software “Handling”
Problem of “Constant updates” not going away

Top 5 Key Reasons for Businesses
Windows 10 will return to the more familiar and popular Win7 UI (User Interface) elements combined with improvements of Win 8/8.1 and the use of so-called “Apps”
Familiarity across devices and universal apps
Mobile Management and enhanced security
Cortana can be a change agent of how users interact with the desktop PC
Cost of ownership

Issues to be aware of
No “Windows Easy Transfer”
Constant updates
Integrated experience with OneDrive

Tablet and PC sales in 2015

The PC market is clearly not what it used to be. Demographic changes and new form factors like Tablets and Phablets are distorting the numbers. Sales of PCs took a significant hit during the first quarter of 2015, according to new reports from Gartner and IDC, but the research firms say it’s not necessarily cause for concern. According to Gartner, sales worldwide sank by 5.2 percent year-over-year, while IDC reported that sales dropped by 6.7 percent year-over-year.

IDC graph

New PC shipments will remain moderate throughout the year, but in late 2015, the arrival of Windows 10 is expected to lead to a small increase.That’s in line with predictions from earlier this year made by both firms that PC sales would decline in 2015. Part of that has to do with heavy sales in 2014 as companies replaced computers running Windows XP with newer devices. The biggest drop came from desk-based PCs, but laptops and other portables continued to show promise.

IDC graph 2

“More significant product refreshes from the likes of Intel® and Microsoft® (Windows 10) will be released later in the year, shifting OEM product updates and consumer interest toward later in 2015,” IDC says.

What about new Tablet Sales?

IDC published a new report that indicates that tablet makers will ship 234.5 million units in 2015, up only 2.1 percent from 2014. Though Android® is currently the leader in number of tablets shipped, IDC expects its market share to drop. Android shipment volumes will only grow marginally this year, from 154.7 million in 2014 to 158.1 million in 2015. But its expectations for 2019 are dismal. IDC predicts that Android will make 169.5 shipments in 2019, but its market share will drop to 62.9 percent from 67.3 percent in 2014.

However, iOS® tablets are the biggest losers according to these estimates. IDC thinks that iOS tablets will lose traction this year, with shipment volumes declining from 63.4 million to 60.1 million in 2015. In 2019, the corporation only expects Apple® to see 61.9 million tablet shipments. Furthermore, IDC says, Apple will see its market share atrophy from 27.6 percent in 2014 to 23 percent in 2019. The only company for whom this report is not totally bleak is Windows. The report says that shipments will actually grow from 11.6 million in 2014 to 16.3 million this year. By 2019, IDC says, Windows tablets will be shipping a volume of 38 million. It also sees Windows tablets claiming a larger share of the market in the years to come, from 5.1 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2019.

What does this mean for PC Migration?

While the overall market predictions are mostly cautious, new form factors (2 in 1 PCs etc.), new technology from Intel and others, and obviously Windows 10, are likely to increase the demand for PCs.

There is a need for a simple but comprehensive solution to help you:

  • Move (migrate) from existing PCs to new PCs (or other Form Factors);
  • Upgrade to a newer version of the Operating System (OS) with or without hardware upgrades;
  • Migrating (saving) data, programs and settings from hard drive of a broken PC, etc.

PCmover is the ideal solution for PC migration. It is the only software to move all files, folders, settings, and applications to a new PC without overwriting or deleting anything.

Laplink saved a state department $300 per PC deployed

The State of Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare is a government organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idaho residents.

The department itself uses around 3,000 PCs across seven regional centers, and replaces about 900 PCs annually; each with sensitive, confidential data, unique software applications, and hundreds of individual settings per PC.

Taking into account the most critical factors related to their PC migration process, Laplink Software’s corporate sales team worked to devise a list of features that would benefit the state department in its next migration:

  • The need for a customizable upgrade solution that could deploy across multiple regional office locations.
  • An easily manageable migration software program.
  • A solution that could migrate full applications, eliminating the need to manually reinstall each application from a remote location.
  • A software that could transfer personal settings and preferences on each individual’s PC, so end users were not tasked with these steps.
  • A software that did not necessitate “babysitting” and was a light-touch migration solution that could deploy overnight, rather than slow down employee productivity during regular business hours.

Laplink’s team recommended PCmover Enterprise as the optimal fit for the state department’s PC replacement and refresh needs.

Idaho state capital

Barry Crane, the department’s IT Helpdesk coordinator, said: “I was quite skeptical that this type of solution would be workable due to the amount of non-standard, custom software we have on our desktops. But after evaluating PCmover within our environment, we see it becoming a strategic part of our upgrade activities.

Crane and his team of technicians were able to quickly and easily set up hundreds of new PCs with PCmover Enterprise.

PCmover Enterprise Blog

“The Laplink corporate sales team was tremendous throughout our evaluation process. They provided us with evaluation copies and made time for several conference calls in order to understand our needs and make sure that PCmover would assist us with our migration requirements. We felt very comfortable after that process in selecting PCmover to help,” said Crane.


  • Total cost reduction to migrate 900 PCs is $189,000*
  • Helpdesk calls were reduced from 30 calls to one in every 10 PCs.
  • Time savings of two to three hours of IT staff time per PC migration, with a total of at least 2,700 hours saved.**
  • Reduced stress and frustration caused during PC migration process for end users, and IT staff.

*Cost and time savings are estimates only, resulting from both hard and soft dollar savings captured when using PCmover in the PC replacement process. Hard and soft dollar savings evaluating the impact to support staff and end user downtime, as well as costs of professional services, software licensing, and storage fees. Calculated by multiplying the average cost saving of $210 per computer by 900 computers.

** Calculated by multiplying 900 PCs by 3 hours saved per computer deployed.

An Enterprise migration of 100,000 PCs

One of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies with over a hundred offices worldwide faced an enormous challenge: to complete a hardware refresh and the migration of data, settings, profiles, and applications of roughly 100,000 Windows® PCs to Windows 8. The scenario was complicated by the fact that the vast majority of the employee’s PCs were still running Windows XP, whereas a fair share of employees had already upgraded to the Windows 7 OS.

Simplicity turned out to be a very important factor for selecting the right product for performing this large-scale migration. A manual migration would be too complicated and is typically not as thorough or time-effective as an automated migration solution.

Additional requirements included the following:

  • Simple and intuitive to use, without the use of XML;
  • Highly scalable to support up to 100,000 PCs;
  • Supports the transfer to and from multiple Windows OS versions;
  • A proven solution for enterprise-grade scenarios.

A big concern for the company was how the PC deployment would impact each employee’s productivity.

We needed a migration solution to meet our very specific requirements. We could not have asked for a better solution than PCmover Enterprise. -Windows 8 Global Deployment Consultant for Fortune 100 Company

The solution the company chose was Laplink® PCmover Enterprise. PCmover enabled them to complete this massive migration without losing data and applications, even the specialized, less common ones that many of the company’s employees used. This contributed early on to upper management’s approval of the PCmover solution.

Additionally, PCmover’s simple “wizard” interface was a plus. Instead of subjecting employees worldwide to a huge, unwieldy directory to view their migrated data, PCmover requires no technical expertise, works straight out of the box, and displays the information in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Employees worldwide experienced uninterrupted productivity by using PCmover Enterprise.

Enterprise Migration Services:

The PCmover® Enterprise solution offers an easy, fluid, cost-effective way to migrate all data over to the new PCs. Countless hours of labor and end-user downtime are saved across a company’s offices, including international, thus having both impact on the top and bottom line.

Visit Laplink today for a free evaluation of PCmover® Enterprise to see how it can help your organization

An Enterprise PC migration solution

In 2014, Microsoft® ended technical support for its workhorse operating system, Windows® XP. This triggered a surge of migrations to Windows 7 and 8/8.1. Previously, many businesses had skipped migrating, because XP continued to work well. With the end of support, though, enterprise organizations needed to take the step.

Microsoft will release Windows 10 on July 29. For the enterprise customer, Windows 10’s under-the-hood improvements will allow enterprises to deploy and manage their PC’s more easily than in the past, as well.

The Market for Enterprise PC Migration Solutions

The PC has continued to evolve into a more powerful machine. Today we have dozens of applications vital for our daily work, several gigabytes of data, and thousands of settings in the Windows registry. Reestablishing those on a new PC is time-consuming and near impossible to create as a streamlined system for a company.

Studies show that the foremost reason for not deploying an organization to new PCs is the anxiety of moving all of the user’s “stuff” from the old PC to the new one. PC deployments remain on the forefront of many IT department staffers’ minds, but the issue remains that there are few tools at the enterprise level to successfully complete this endeavor.

Organizations need a solution that will not interrupt employees’ productivity, will save time and resources, and will migrate the files, folders, and applications vital to each employee’s daily workflow.

Many times, IT departments utilize a centralized deployment utility like SCCM, LANDesk, or Altiris for upgrades and new PC deployments. One of the most challenging aspects associated with using these utilities is that they do not adequately address the transfer of user data, custom application settings, or even the transfer of the applications. This creates a very difficult situation for desktop support teams who are tasked with getting a deployed PC back up and running quickly.

An IT professional at one of the largest PC manufacturers communicated to me: “We are supporting thousands of large organizations to deploy their PCs. We do everything from logistics, imaging, tagging, and bringing the PC to the workplace. We do not, however, have a solution for the actual migration between two desktops.” This conversation brought to light the most common complaints from enterprises considering a migration:

  • PC migrations require too many IT resources not originally budgeted for.
  • Logistical issues arise when considering migrations for remote users and global office locations.
  • Incomplete migrations leave behind necessary applications.
  • Company time is expended re-downloading applications and programs that were not transferred in the deployment.

The results of these shortcomings are increased costs to organizations, an extension of end-user downtime spent familiarizing themselves with the new system, a general feeling of user dissatisfaction, and prolonged project cycles that ultimately affect the bottom line for a company.

PCmover Enterprise Blog


At Laplink, we developed PCmover® Enterprise to make the workstation migration process effective and cost-efficient. It automates the transfer of selected applications, data, and settings to a new PC. PCmover Enterprise is an OS-independent transfer tool that allows you to migrate to the newest version of Windows, including Windows 10. All of your migration scenarios are supported, and it has been proven successful in migration projects ranging from 100 to 100,000 PCs.

PCmover Enterprise has an easy-to-use wizard that does not require any developer knowledge and enables the IT Admin to set the rules. IT departments are able to predefine certain rules and policies within the organization to fit all cases. The Policy Manager allows IT administrators to pre-check a variety of choices within the program to create a predefined version of the product that can be executed by a user or an IT engineer with minimal interaction. The experienced user might require all options to be open to them, but most users in an organization are better off with a no-touch or light-touch solution to drive down user errors.

After migrating almost a hundred thousand PCs, we could not have asked for a better solution than PCmover Enterprise-Windows 8 Global Deployment Consultant for Fortune 100 Company

PCmover transfers all selected applications, data, and settings to a new PC, including user accounts, applications’ environments, applications’ add-ons, background pictures, favorites, and more.administrators to pre-check a variety of choices within the program to create a predefined version of the product that can be executed by a user or an IT engineer with minimal interaction. The experienced user might require all options to be open to them, but most users in an organization are better off with a no-touch or light-touch solution to drive down user errors.

PCmover Enterprise by Laplink Software is the solution for every organization that has over 100 PCs. It will save a minimum of $300 per desktop deployed, eliminating the need for extended project cycles. Using PCmover helps organizations decrease unbudgeted costs during the projects, and dramatically decreases productivity loss.

No matter where you are in your deployments of new PCs or operating systems, PCmover will help make you’re the process streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient.

Windows 10 and PC migration

“Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft’s share of the market, but on the industry as a whole,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. – IDC, 2015

When Windows 10 releases later this month, it is to great expectations. Unlike Windows 8, it is anticipated that existing PC users will switch much more rapidly to Windows 10. Here are a number of reasons why:

  1. Windows 10 will be more user friendly than Windows 8, including a redesigned and optimized Start menu, virtual desktops, and resizable Windows Store apps that behave more like legacy apps.
  2. Analysts predict massive conversions from XP, Vista, 7, and even 8/8.1, supported by the fact that it will be free for Win 7 and Win 8/8.1 users.
  3. Windows 10 is the real successor for Windows 7 for enterprises, with a lot of emphasis on desktops and enhancements in security, manageability, etc.
  4. Many of the improvements will be especially important to businesses, allowing them to deploy and manage PC’s running Windows 10 easier and more cost-efficient than ever.
  5. Windows 10 will launch in the second half of 2015, and it’s expected that the new operating system will not only help Microsoft to bring more users back to its platform, but it will also contribute to better PC sales as the appeal of new computers will grow significantly for customers.

So while this is great news for existing PC customers, the other big questions is:

What about new PC Sales?

“Economic and product changes will create a headwind in the short term,” IDC states in a press release, “So in 2015, only 293.1 million PCs will be sold.” – IDC, 2015

It’s a mixed bag. Analyst firm IDC® is not all that optimistic and says that, despite the arrival of Windows 10, new PC sales are still expected to decline this year. In fact, IDC has recently lowered its forecast of this year’s new PC sales, claiming that this market is expected to fall by 4.9 percent in 2015, despite the initial estimate of a 3.3 percent decline.

Windows 10 to slightly increase sales.

New PC shipments will remain moderate throughout the year, but in late 2015, the arrival of Windows 10 is expected to lead to a small increase in PC sales.

“More significant product refreshes from the likes of Intel® and Microsoft (Windows 10) will be released later in the year, shifting OEM product updates and consumer interest to later in 2015,” IDC said.

Up until now, the PC market has posted a small increase, partially thanks to more companies replacing their Windows XP systems due to the end of support in 2014. It is also because of Windows 8.1 with Bing, an operating system that’s offered either free of charge or with a very low license cost to manufacturers, with the purpose of cutting down the final price of their devices.

IDC says that the only good news for PC makers is that demand for tablets and other portable devices has dropped recently and is expected to continue going down in the upcoming months.

What does this mean for PC Migration?

All other scenarios require a “clean install” of Windows, which can be done either by reformatting the hard drive or by “over-installing” the new operating system. Both cases result in the applications, data, and settings being moved to different directories. Applications will not be registered with the new OS, which provides opportunities for our valued resellers.Windows 10 is likely to increase demand for PCs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be perfect. And while there are many ways to migrate to a new version of Windows, few “solutions” actually allow an in-place upgrade. In particular, any remaining Windows XP users, all Windows Vista users, any 32-bit Windows 7 users, and any users remaining on Windows 8 cannot easily upgrade. There are also limitations imposed for users upgrading from a 32-bit to 64-bit in Windows 10. While users of 64-bit Windows 7 and users of Windows 8.1 will have a comparatively easier time completing an in-place upgrade to the newest OS when it’s available, it still won’t be easy.

The ideal PC migration solution:

The versions of PCmover Suite ideal for consumer and small company migrations are PCmover Professional (download only) and PCmover Ultimate (physical box, including High-Speed Transfer Cable and SafeErase). This reselling opportunity is for those with tech savvy staff to drive migrations in-house or at-home users. By purchasing multi-packs in the partner portal of these versions, partners will profit on the margin when reselling to clients

Windows 10: Earlier adoption forecasted for Business Users

Before every Windows release there are articles about the reluctance of business user to adopt the new OS. Often they are correct, as businesses like to test the new Windows thoroughly.


With Windows 10, though, I believe it is different scenario, as many business did not jump on the Windows 8/8.1 upgrade cycle and are thus more eager to move to Windows 10.

Now a new survey was published that show rather positive numbers. It’s likely that the true outcome is somewhere in between, but I expect Windows 10 to do well.

Upgrade Paths to Windows 10

Upgrading to a new version of Windows, soon to be Windows 10, usually sounds like a straightforward process:

  • Download the software (or install via a DVD/CD);
  • Run the installer, upgrade the OS;
  • Voila! Everything should be in place.

in place upgradesFor all scenarios which are not “green” it’s a different story. In particular, any remaining Windows XP users and all Windows Vista users cannot easily upgrade, and users running the 32-bit version of Windows 7/8/8.1 don’t have an easy (in-place) upgrade to the 64-bit Version of Windows 10, either.Unfortunately, it’s different. While there are many ways to migrate or upgrade to a new version of Windows, only a few options actually allow an in-place upgrade. The chart below depicts the different options available with the green boxes indicating upgrades “out of the box”.

These scenarios require a “clean” or “custom” install of Windows, which can be done either by reformatting the hard drive or by “over-installing” the new operating system. Both cases result in the applications, data, and settings being moved to different directories, and the existing applications will not work as they are not registered with the new OS.

Laplink® has created a solution with PCmover® that allows in-place upgrades. The table below indicates that all upgrade scenarios which are not supported “out of the box” are supported by PCmover.

upgrade paths

In the next blog post, we will dive deeper into the two core migration scenarios PCmover supports.