Windows 10 is here! but are you ready to upgrade

windows_10_logoWait, doesn’t it always make sense to download something for free? Microsoft released its brand-new operating system this week, and you can get it at no cost, but make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you upgrade.

The first thing you should do before making the upgrade is to look closely at the gear you have attached to your computer. I mean closely. You might already know that Microsoft has put great effort into making sure just about every printer and scanner in the known universe will work with the new OS, but what if you own one from an unknown universe? Also, if you have really odd peripherals say, a 3D printer or maybe a drone that needs constant driver updates, think twice about jumping on the download so quickly. Check with the peripheral maker first.

Second, ask yourself some tough questions about why you are updating. Are you an early adopter? It’s definitely less risky than being one of the first people to drive an autonomous car or use a new VR headset when there are so few VR apps. You can expect Chrome to run smoothly (I’m using Google Docs on Chrome running on Windows 10 right now). But any new OS will have some issues. Maybe they are security-related. Maybe your accounting app will crash. Be ready to spend time tinkering and have a good backup plan (and a good backup). At least do the upgrade during a time when you don’t have a load of projects due.

I do most of my work in the cloud these days, and I always have a few computers floating around. It’s an incredibly low-risk upgrade for me. If one of them crashed, I’d grab another, I tend to live on the edge when it comes to computing, but then again, I don’t have to do the payroll for hundreds of employees or develop a marketing brochure using Photoshop by 6 o’clock tonight.

If you get past those hurdles, it’s time for you to think about why the upgrade makes sense. It’s a smarter interface. The Start menu is now located back where it belongs, on the left-corner of the screen instead of taking over your entire screen with tile apps. That means it is easier to use. Before, you had to know where to find simple features like how to turn the computer off. Microsoft has mostly addressed the usability hitches in Windows 8 with this release and it’s getting great reviews.

It’s faster, easier and smarter. It’s also not going to change your world in a million ways. Windows 10 has not made much of a difference in how I work, the apps I use, or the fact that I tend to do most of my work in a browser these days. But there are still some question about whether it will run reliably, and there’s no way to know unless you try it with your apps on your computer for a few days or weeks. It’s pretty tough to go back to a previous OS. Anything new in technology should be assessed for the value it provides to you, not just because it is new, available, free or good.

So in conclusion I am not necessarily saying to skip this release at all. After complaining about Windows 8 over and over again, I will say that Windows 10 is a big step forward in making the OS more user-friendly. I’m happy with the update so far and haven’t have any problems. Your mileage (and tolerance level) may vary. As with any new OS, just be careful before you take that leap of faith.

On July 31, 2015, posted in: Blog, Software by

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