Should You Upgrade to Windows 10?

Posted: August 17, 2015 in Articles, Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

This is something I’ve been pondering on for some time now. Ever since that little box popped up, offering me the upgrade, I’ve been thinking, “Do I really want this?” Perhaps you’ve been thinking the same? Then my laptop broke, so I took the plunge.

Windows 10 certainly does seem to have a lot of benefits over both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 (I’m going to assume those are the only operating systems people are using, since I’m pretty sure those are the only OSs that were offered the upgrade for free). However, it’s also not really finished yet and there can be a lot of functionality missing depending on which version of Windows you get. Here are your options:

  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 Mobile
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
  • Windows 10 for IOT

We’ll ignore the last four for now, since I doubt anyone looking to use them will be visiting this blog (with the exception of Mobile, but you’re not likely to get a choice on that one). Windows 10 Home certainly seems more usable than either Pro or Enterprise, but even that isn’t as straight-forward as either Windows 7 or 8. And if you’re not a business user, that will probably be the edition of Windows 10 you will receive.

Am I a tech-head?

This, in my opinion, is the most important question you should be asking yourself. If you’re not sure, here’s a quick way to find out:

  1. At any time in the last week, have you become frustrated at your computer whilst performing what ought to be a simple task?
  2. Do you often shout at your computer?
  3. Do you get confused by acronyms such as OEM, RAM, VGA or BIOS?

If the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes’, then you, my friend, are not a tech-head. That doesn’t mean you’re not tech savvy. It just means that Windows 10 is not ready for you.

Back in the days of Windows XP, there was not a single thing I couldn’t make my computer do (until it blue-screened, at which point it was anyone’s guess). I know how to do most of it on Windows 7 too. On Windows 8, suddenly I couldn’t work out how to close programs (which later turned out to be apps) or even where they had gone once I switched window. If you, like me, are not a tech-head, I’m sure you know the feeling. Windows 10 feels much the same as that. With Windows 8, the 8.1 update made a lot of these features clearer (apps showed on the taskbar, they had close buttons, all that stuff at the sides of the screen went away…) I’m hoping future updates to Windows 10 will do the same.

Do I have a touchscreen device?

They are becoming more popular now, so if you do have a Windows compatible touchscreen computer (laptop, desktop, tablet…), then you are more likely to get along with Windows 10. However, Windows 10 is designed to work with both touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices. I have one of each and the touchscreen running Home is far, far easier to use than the non-touchscreen running Enterprise.

Is it difficult to install the upgrade?

No. Not at all. Even I could manage it. You just click on the install link and it does everything for you.

The difficult bit actually begins after you’ve got it installed. I basically spent the first four hours with my device chasing settings menus around. See, one of my biggest issues with both Windows 10 and Windows 8 is that there are two separate settings screens (the app “Settings” and the old “Control Panel”) and they both have different options. Some of the different options do send you to the same place, but it can be quite confusing to work out where you will find what you are looking for. It took me forever to set my computer to display in English UK. That used to be simple. And I still haven’t worked out how to stop Word defaulting to English US (and Word hasn’t actually changed).

Surely the “Help” option can, y’know, help?

Actually, no. Despite having offered this upgrade to most people with a computer, the help provided is fairly limited. Most often, it is just wrong. The help button on most features will send you to the help for Windows 8 which, although similar to Windows 10, is not the same. Most of the help offered on the Windows 10 specific site only helps you as far as you can get yourself. Need to add a calendar to your device? Pretty sure most people can follow the on-screen instructions to get there. Need to remove a calendar? Sorry, can’t help. Adding languages? Easy! Taking them away again? Beats me…

The help site actually reads more like an advert for the features of Windows 10 than it does a help site. And it does have a lot of really cool features, so it looks like there is a lot of information for you. I’m just not sure it’s going to help.

So should I upgrade or not?

If you are not a tech-head, I would wait. It’s going to be great, but it’s not there yet.There are still too many features that don’t work quite right and not enough guidance on how to make it do the things you want it to do.

However, if you’re the kind of person that just has to have the latest tech, no matter how buggy, daft or pointless it is, then by all means upgrade now. People will always look for proper help pages online – maybe you’re the one who will write them.

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