Sunday, September 13, 2015

Should I install Windows 10 on my computer?

As you're probably already aware, Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free to current users of Windows 7 and newer. I originally thought that this was really cool that they were offering it for free and that the outcry against Windows 8 has made so many people mad that they had to do something. In fact, I'm told that the reason there is not a Windows 9 is that MS wanted to get as far away from 8 as possible so they decided to skip 9 altogether. 

However, when I tried to upgrade a couple of computers to 10, I was informed that the hardware did not meet their minimum requirements and that I'd have to purchase new hardware. What a clever marketing scheme! It's like the best way to get a teenager to do something is to forbid them to do it. Nothing worse that being "green lighted" for membership in the "cool" club and then at the last minute, being told "Oh, there's a slight problem with your application."

Anyway, I did manage to have a newer computer that I successfully upgraded to 10 and it is pretty cool. But, if the computer in question is your main computer. I would generally recommend against upgrading. I've had several customers try the upgrade and have been very frustrated by it- Software that used to work no longer does, files that they can no longer find or access. And, even though you can remove the upgrade and revert back (for the first 30 days), some users have reported problems even after downgrading.

So, in general, if it's a production machine, it's probably not worth the hassle. If you do decide to go ahead, you should be aware of the following:

1. If you are currently having issues with your machine (browser malfunctions, etc.) the upgrade probably won't fix those and may even make it worse.

2. Make sure you have plenty of time. Sometimes things can go badly and you don't want to try anything while in the middle of important work.

3. BACKUP. I can't stress this enough. Not only if planning an upgrade, but any time. Have a good, clean, verified backup of all your important data (preferably off-site) before you begin.

4. As a method of performing the upgrade, if possible do a fresh install of your current operating system and then perform the upgrade on that. This way, you can be assured you're not carrying the sins of the past into the future.