On July 29, 2015, Microsoft released its new operating system Windows 10, which is being offered digitally and free of charge to consumers currently running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8/8.1. For those who will be purchasing the new OS, Windows 10 Home will cost $119 while Windows 10 Pro is valued at $199 per license. However, upgrading to the new OS is not necessarily the best course of action to take at this time.
Those who have already switched to Windows 10 have been reporting problems of nearly every sort, because Windows 10 hit the market before developers had enough time to debug the OS properly. Software incompatibility is a prominent issue, meaning that some older software might not work with Windows 10 as it should, or even at all. Users may be forced to upgrade to newer versions of programs or switch programs entirely, and both of these options pose the risk of lightening your wallet.
New with this version of Windows are mandatory updates. Users are not given the option to decline installing updates, and as such, updates which may be faulty must be installed. Update problems are not new with Windows 10, as the massive numbers of different PCs provide a wide variety of hardware and software configurations which may each cause unique issues. This has introduced problems such as creating bugs when the OS interacts with peripheral devices, and causing Windows to become stuck in a boot loop, rendering the machine unusable.
Another reason that may prevent you from upgrading to Windows 10 is that your machine may not meet the minimum system requirements. You need to have a display with a resolution of 800 x 600 or better, a 1GHz or faster processor, a DirectX 9 or later graphics card with a WDDM 1.0 driver, and either 1GB of RAM and 16GB of HD space or 2GB of RAM and 20GB of HD space depending on if you are going to run 32 or 64-bit Windows 10, among other things. If your computer does not fit the proper description, you must upgrade your hardware before installing Windows 10. In many instances, it may make more financial sense to simply purchase a new computer already running Windows 10.
Furthermore, drivers for older peripherals may not work or install with a newer operating system as they could be incompatible. Scanners, printers, joysticks, webcams, microphones, and projectors –just to name a few- may need to be replaced in order to work with Windows 10. Updating drivers is not a fail-safe solution, as most companies stop supporting their products through software updates several years after their release because their products become outdated.
Some consumers have chosen to upgrade to Windows 10 because Microsoft traditionally stops supporting their older operating systems as they release new ones. However, security updates for Windows 8, Windows 7 as well as Windows Vista will remain available for years to come. As such, there is no rush to switch to Windows 10. In addition, some users have taken advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade offer because it is time-sensitive. However, Windows 10 is being offered free of charge to eligible consumers for one entire year.
Upgrading to Windows 10 may seem like an excellent idea at first, but as with any new OS, it is best avoided until it can be well-established throughout the market and updated appropriately so that the bugs can be smoothed out. It is likely that Microsoft chose such an early release date for Windows 10 so that their product could be available, both in retail outlets and online, in time for the upcoming school year. Windows 7 and 8 users with the desire to update to Windows 10 would be well advised to wait until Microsoft’s free promotional offer of the new OS is just about to expire. This spares you from the nearly unbearable irritation of working with a problematic OS, one that, in my opinion, should still be classified as a beta-version. The smart move is to stick with your current OS, at least for now. However, if you decide to upgrade and encounter any issues, feel free to contact SB PC Tech and we will do our best to find a solution that fits your needs.
by Chris Gulden