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New eLearning could be needed as Windows rolls out upgrade

The debut of a new operating system could be a major call to eLearning action.

When business employees perform all - or most of - their duties digitally, it quickly becomes clear that these individuals need training in the technology involved. ELearning solutions have made this easier, as the many upgrades and options in the software and hardware markets are matched by the relative ease of creating and distributing new training modules online compared to the traditional model. This is a far cry from having a seminar in which a room of professionals absorb vague ideas about new tech. Rather, they can learn about digital products from a PC interface on their own schedule. There will be plenty of need for new knowledge of this sort in the months ahead.

The new face of Windows
Windows 10 is on its way. Will businesses make the change? Microsoft is taking pains to convince them. CNET recently reported that the anticipated operating system now has a general release date - the middle of this year. The source explained there is one unified version of Windows 10 meant to launch on every kind of hardware, from desktops to mobile. This will be free if the device in question has either Windows 7 or 8.1, meaning a great many employees at a variety of companies will have an excellent incentive to upgrade their machines in the months ahead. Now, it's up to leaders to prepare.

Of course, there is a school of thought that states training should not be part of these changeovers. One operating system is pretty much the same as the others, this line of thinking goes, and in any case, users will eventually figure out what they need to know. Those ideas may be true in the abstract, but if organizations are neglecting to educate professionals in the tools they use every day, the businesses may be missing a great chance to increase productivity. Obviously, the companies releasing the software believe there have been enough changes and improvements to warrant a new version number.

As an example of a capability that will make its debut with Windows 10, CNET profiled an identity management tool called Windows Hello. This is a biometric process that allows individuals to unlock their devices with a personal identifier, giving them the option of scanning their fingerprints or looking into a webcam. Processes such as this could be a great help to businesses that require strict security - and implementing them could be one reason to commit to at least some digital training modules. After all, safety features only work properly if they're being used correctly.

Into the new era
One other factor making new training seem pressing is the fact that many professionals won't be making a subtle move from Windows 8.1 to 10 - they'll be stepping all the way up from Windows XP. A recent Quartz piece highlighted the lack of adoption of newer operating systems spurred in part by users holding onto their older PCs with the resilient 2001 operating system. Not even ending support for the software eliminated it from the computing world, but those machines will eventually break down or finally be phased out. Welcoming users into the current operating system could call for an online course.

Corporate Learning & Performance
Information Technology

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