If you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your computer, you have probably seen the prompts telling you to upgrade your computer to Windows 10, Microsoft's latest operating system for desktops, laptops and Windows mobile phones. Microsoft announced early last year that they would be offering this upgrade to their customers for free for one year after the initial release of Windows 10, which was on July 29, 2015. Almost a year has passed, and Microsoft has become a bit more aggressive in its attempts to get people to upgrade their computers. They want to get as many computers running Windows 10 because supporting fewer operating systems will be easier and less expensive in the long run for the tech giant. If you would like to take advantage of the free upgrade, you must do so before July 29th. After that, you will have to pay Microsoft for the upgrade, though they have not made specific pricing available just yet.
Reasons Not to Upgrade
- You don't have to upgrade if you don't want to. Microsoft, of course, would like you to upgrade, but you will be just fine if you decide to stay on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Windows 7 will be supported with security updates until January 14, 2020. Windows 8.1 will be supported until January 10, 2023. Most of you will likely buy a new computer before the support runs out on your current operating system. If you decide not to upgrade and would like to get rid of all of the nag messages from Microsoft about jumping to Windows 10, give us a call. We can run a small program to turn those off and keep you from "automatically" upgrading.
- If your computer is more than three years old, you may have issues with device drivers on your computer, particularly with network and/or video cards. What this means is that, after the upgrade, things may not display properly on your screen, or you may not be able to connect to the internet.
- If you are running older software, such as Quickbooks 2014 or older, it may not run or be supported on Windows 10. Give this some consideration before deciding to upgrade. This includes software for peripheral devices such as printers, webcams, etc. If the stuff connected to your computer is more than 3 years old, there may not be a device driver available for it on Windows 10.
- You may just be really comfortable with the user interface in Windows 7 or 8.1 and don't want to learn something new. It's your computer, so even this is enough of a reason to keep what you have.
Reasons to Upgrade
- You can upgrade because it's free. Now, this by itself is not a good enough reason to upgrade, but Microsoft is making the upgrade available for free for a limited time.
- Upgrading keeps your current software and documents in place. If you upgrade, rather than install from scratch, all of your programs and data will still be installed and ready to go following the move to Windows 10.
- Current and future software is most likely to be supported on Windows 10. Just as with operating systems in the past, new software that comes out, from this point forward, is going to favor the latest operating system. Even something like a new printer that you buy a year from now may not be able to connect to your computer unless it is running Windows 10.
- Windows 10 may breathe new life into your old(er) hardware. Many folks have found that their systems run a little bit faster or more smoothly after upgrading to Windows 10. This may be a way for you to extend the life of your laptop or desktop for a couple more years.
- You really hate the Windows 8.1 start screen. If you really disliked the user interface in Windows 8.1, you will find the blended Start Menu in Windows 10 much more to your liking. It is very customizable, and the user interface offers some features that weren't available in Windows 8.1.
The Final Verdict
- Running a complete backup of your Win7/Win8.1 system prior to the upgrade so that if anything goes wrong, we have a way to restore your computer to exactly the way it was prior to the upgrade.
- Running the Microsoft upgrade advisor to help identify software and drives which may have issues running on Windows 10.
- Monitoring the upgrade process to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
- Verifying that software and settings are working properly after the upgrade.
- If you are unhappy with Windows 10, we will assist you with the rollback to your previous operating system within the first 30 days.
Also, if you really want to get the most performance out of Windows 10 on your computer, consider installing a new solid state hard drive at the same time. You will find that it's almost like getting a whole new computer.