Windows 10 has been Here for a Year. Time to Upgrade?
It’s been almost a year since Windows 10 rolled out. For those of you who just got back from a lone cave in the middle of a fourth world country, let me bring you up to speed: Windows 10 is the successor to Windows 8 and is Microsoft’s latest and greatest effort to keep Windows relevant in a world where your operating system matters less and less. It’s also their platform to unify their operating system code across all of their devices (PCs, tablets, Xbox, mobile phones, Holo Lens, etc.) – the one great OS to rule them all. Microsoft thinks it’s time to move and it makes it really hard to take no for an answer.
Upgrade or Else
If you haven’t upgraded yet, your PC has likely been badgering you for months. Microsoft’s goal was to have a billion devices running Windows 10 in 2-3 years after launch. Being a free upgrade for the first year to Windows 7 & 8 users, along with somewhat questionable (and sometimes humorous) tactics by Microsoft, Windows 10 is well on its way to hitting that 1 billion mark, with over 300 million installs in less than a year. One of my friends recently texted me telling me that her PC was in the process of upgrading to Windows 10 without her consent. Yikes. While I’ve been a big fan of the “new” Microsoft under Satya Nadella, and have been running Windows 10 very happily for over a year, being this disruptive with an upgrade is super uncool. If you have upgraded I’d love to hear your feedback or if you haven’t, the reasons why – just put either in the comments below.
The Benefits of a Move to Windows 10
Windows 10 has gotten overall great reviews (here, here and here) from consumers and professionals alike. You’ll hear lots of feedback on the Internet (and certainly from Microsoft) about why you should upgrade, but here’s my take on the best reasons:
- It’s the future. After bandying about changes between Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, Microsoft has finally settled on a solid roadmap for the future. Windows 10 is here for the long haul – get used to it.
- Unification of benefits. Microsoft made a lot of changes to the underpinnings of Windows between 7 & 8. A lot of those benefits got overlooked because of the drastic user interface change in Windows 8. From security, to manageability to device drivers to compatibility, Windows 8 was a huge leap from Windows 7 and Windows 10 retained a lot of those benefits and gave people an interface that is far more familiar than what’s in Windows 8.
- Feedback from the masses. Microsoft has taken a very different approach in Windows 10. With the Windows Insider program, Microsoft has allowed anyone to sign up and give feedback and report issues with nearly every aspect of Windows 10. And they’re actually listening – many of the changes they make are based on feedback from their user base.
- Be productive everywhere. Imagine if you could seamlessly transition your entire workflow from your office, to the back of a taxi to the train, to your home and back again. The ability to carry your workflow continuously across multiple devices (or working on that same workflow in multiple environments on a single device) is one of the promises of Windows 10. You can move from Desktop PC to tablet to phone to laptop and have the same user experience and workflow synchronized across them all – it’s not flawless yet, but it’s getting there.
- It’s the latest OS for free. The biggest leap for Microsoft in a long time, with a solid roadmap for the future and the latest technology can all be had for free. Despite the heavy-handed tactics, that’s still a pretty good deal.
When You Shouldn’t Move to Windows 10
- You’re a business user in a managed environment. Check with your IT department or system administrator before making the leap. There may be certain business or industry-specific things not supported yet in Windows 10 or your company may want to manage the rollout.
- You hate change. Windows 10 really brings the best of Windows 7 and 8 together, but if you’re one of those people who absolutely cannot stand change (you probably have your icons arranged in a specific little pattern on your desktop), hold off upgrading as long as possible. Just know that it will get to you eventually.
- You’re still using Windows XP. If you’re one of these people, you’re probably also one of the people who hate change. If you’re still using Windows XP, you don’t have any upgrade path other than wiping your machine and doing a fresh install. But if you’re still running XP, you’re probably a lot better off just buying a new machine – it’s time for your PC to get into this decade.
Can Windows 10 be annoying? Yes. Has Microsoft been like Big Brother with the upgrade? Yes. Is it the best OS out there? Debatable. But, it is the best Windows OS out there, it’s where the future of a large chunk of technology is going and it’s constantly being improved with feedback from people like you and me.