The best answer so far is…it depends.

When dealing with computers, a general philosophy is that if it’s not broken don’t fix it. Inevitably, installing new software, including operating system (OS) upgrades, can cause some unforeseen issues. These include software no longer working, incompatibility with printers, and the disadvantages of learning a new system. Deciding whether to upgrade to Windows® 10 will depend on what OS you are currently using, as well as how you use your computer. Typical users considering the upgrade are already using one of the following systems: Windows 8, Windows 7 with latest software, or Windows 7 with older software and hardware (legacy).

Choose your current OS from the three below, and read on for our suggestions.

  • Windows 8the previous software
  • Windows 7 with the latest software
  • Windows 7 with legacy software and hardware

Windows 8 – Maybe

Windows 8 has its pros and cons, but there are some definite reasons why Windows 10 is an improvement.

1. Classic Applications Are Back
      1. Windows 8 has a suite of apps that only run in full screen mode. Many people still prefer the old days of having         an actual window in front of the background. Skype®, as an example, cannot be run in a separate window         instead of the full screen.
2. Gaming
  1. Windows 10 is a huge leap forward in performance and features for gaming. To start, Windows 10 now as an Xbox® app. Although not intended for everyone, the addition of the Xbox App brings activity feeds, chat, and gaming stats to the desktop.
  2. DirectX® 12 is included. Not every game will support or benefit from DirectX 12 yet, but if you prefer to play the latest and greatest games, this is a notable reason to upgrade.
3. The Start Menu is Back
  1. The biggest hurdle to get past with Windows 8 is the start screen. Live tiles sound like a good idea, but when faced with having to deal with a completely different screen, the user experience is clunky and confusing.
  2. The new Windows 10 start menu brings the live tiles back into the familiar frame of Windows 7. Although updated, the experience makes sense now and provides a manageable and more familiar method of navigating the OS.
4. Improved Capabilities for Power Users
  1. Our favorite addition is the integrated use of virtual desktops. Although OS X and Linux have had this feature for many years, it has always been lacking in Windows. For users who use multiple applications and lack monitor real estate, this is a great advancement in Windows 10.
  2. Advanced command prompt is here. It may sound minor, but with Windows 10, the user can now PASTE in the command prompt directly!
5. Cortana Advanced Search
  1. Cortana brings Windows into the modern arena by providing intelligent searching across your entire device. In addition to searching files, Cortana can search your calendar and locations you frequent. It can also be used to collect weather data and information on applications being used.
  2. Cortana supports input from spoken language as well. Speaking to Cortana will allow speech-to-text input as well as audio feedback in answering questions.

Windows 7 with the latest software – Yes

If all your software and hardware are up to date and compatible with Windows 10, upgrading is definitely the right choice.

1. Security
  1. Many of the security holes commonly exploited in Windows 7 do not exist in Windows 10. Upgrading will ensure a more secure environment.
2. Speed
  1. On most machines, you can expect a substantial increase in performance and boot up times with Windows 10.
3. It Is Familiar
  1. Moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10 feels like an intelligent upgrade. The basic features of the OS are where you would expect them, and the experience makes for an easy transition.
4. Nothing To Lose
  1. If you don’t like the upgrade, Windows 10 provides an easy way to downgrade back to Windows 7.

Our Opinion

There are a lot of great new features in Windows 10 compared to Windows 8. Overall the performance between the two appears to be the same. If you are happy with Windows 8, there is not a huge incentive to move, but if you do, we don’t think you will regret it.

We think you should go for it. If there are no road blocks, Windows 10 is an incredibly worthwhile upgrade from Windows 7.

Windows 7 with legacy software and hardware – Unfortunately, NO

If you, or your business, depend on legacy software or hardware that will not run on Windows 10, you probably don’t have a choice. Your decision to upgrade will depend on whether new software and hardware is in the budget. Legacy printers may not be compatible, software may not run correctly, or your computer just may not support the upgrade. Be sure to check all your vital pieces to make sure upgrading will not cripple your workflow.

Overall, we feel Windows 10 is an improvement on their previous OS line-ups. Unless you have specific hardware and software requirements for legacy operating systems, it’s definitely time to move on.

Author: Aaron White, Date: 5th July 2016

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