Microsoft is about to launch Windows 10 for Free to most folks using currently using Windows. With this, my clients have started asking whether it is a good idea to upgrade to Windows 10. My recommendation? It depends. Here's why…
What version of Windows are you currently using? If you are using Windows 7, I would wait… and will. I like Windows 7. It is stable, and I am familiar with it. However, if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 8.x, you might consider upgrading. If you still have Windows XP on your computer, you should definitely upgrade -- as long as your computer is not too old.
Speaking of which, what kind of computer do you have? Word has it that Windows 10 will run better than Windows 8.x on the same computer. However if your computer is getting rather long in the hard drive, or you have less than 3 GB of memory in it, or your hard drive is full, you might want to think about replacing the computer and get one with Windows 10 pre-installed.
What applications do you use? While Microsoft Office 2007 or later, web browsers and email applications are probably fine, you might want to ensure that other applications will either be compatible or have a free update available. Same goes any printers and other devices you might have connected by a wire or wirelessly to your computer.
If you click the Windows icon that might have appeared near your Windows clock in the bottom right corner of the screen, there will be something in there telling you whether your computer and applications are compatible. It will even offer you a link to a slightly more detailed report. If you don't see the icon, try running Windows Update. Not only will it apply security and bug fixes, it will install this handy little icon.
As for downloading Windows 10, the icon will offer you the option of installing it or just downloading it and then leaving it up to you when and if you choose to install it. Nothing will happen overnight. It may apparently take up to 2 months before all of the files arrive on your computer and the upgrade process is ready to begin.
Conventional wisdom says that, if you rely on your computer for business, wait a few months for them to iron out the most obvious overlooked bugs that the folks at Redmond missed.
Reviews are saying that Windows 10 might actually be the greatest version of Windows since Windows XP. I'll let you know in a few months… after the initial bug fixes are available.
Why should you upgrade? Compatibility with newer software in the future and availability of bug and security fixes. That said, Windows 7 and Windows 8 and 8.1 are not going away anytime soon. If you are happy with them, keep using them for a while and decide next year.
Just don't forget -- Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for one year from now. You'll have plenty of time but do decide before the end of July 2016.