Windows 10 - Should I upgrade?

As is the case with many things in tech... it depends.

by Carl James | BLOOMINGTON, IN | Oct. 31, 2015

Windows 10 talk (photo by Miguel Angel Aranda on Flickr)

I had promised that I would chime in with some opinions on Windows 10 after some first and second hand experiences. I have enough now to do that. There are a wealth of good reviews on the net including this Info World review. Overall, I would say this has been a more successful upgrade cycle for Microsoft on the OS upgrade front than the last time, but that there are still some things that are very rough.

My first-hand experience has been very smooth. I'm not just saying that as IT professional. What I have had to do to work everything with this upgrade did not require drawing on my professional experience. That being said, my experience made me more confortable than most to dive in.

Second hand reports have not gone as well. Many of the people I have talked to have had succeful upgrade cycles but just enough frustration with key features of Windows 7 to get them to roll back and wait for Microsoft or hardware vendors to get their act together. Other feedback I have gotten is much the same as Windows 8 for users who skipped 8 altogether. The Windows experience seems jarringly like commericial for Microsoft for users who were use to the operating system not being so bold pre-Windows 8. For users who stayed away from Windows 8 (and who could blame them), they have no reference point.

I will break up my recommendations on where the user is now.

Using Windows 8 or 8.1 now?

Upgrade to Windows 10. Do it now. Do not look back. Windows 10 will be almost completely familiar with the small exception of interfaces that Microsoft is abandoning and no one else uses (like Charms). Windows 10 is an evolution of what you already have and you might as well get used to it.

Using Windows XP?

Yes. I get it. You love XP. You are rocking Service Pack 2 like it is 2005 and the housing crisis hasn't even happened yet. Those were good years but the time has come (in regards to your technology) to enter the current decade. XP is not supported any more and your XP hardware is very unlikely to run anything else. The time has come for you to buy a new computer. If the computer you buy comes with Windows 8.1 (and that is okay, especially if it is a good deal), upgrade to 10 immediately.

Using Windows 7?

This is tougher. Windows 7 is a solid, familiar, and supported operating system. Windows 10 has some cool features and runs a bit faster, but in the end Windows 7 gets the job done. I'm not one to say no to progress, but at this time I say wait. New versions of Windows 10 are coming soon and the upgrade completely free through July of 2016. Let those of us who are okay with the headaches work through the bugs and give Microsoft a chance to perfect the OS going forward.

Should I absolutely upgrade by summer 2016?

If you are a home user on Windows 7 and you don't expect to keep your current computer past 2019 you do not need to upgrade for any reason I can legitimately defend at this point. I like Windows 10. I like that it has anti-virus built-in. I like that it has tablet style apps available and some ofthem aren't half-bad. But in the end Windows is just a system to operate the computer in the background and if it does what you need it to do than why change now?

Notice I said 2019. If you intend for your computer to work into the next decade you should be on the future Windows 10 OS by next summer, otherwise you may have to pay for it and that is just not good.

Carl James is CompTIA A+ ce Certified

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