Any insight into how Windows 10 upgrades are going so far? Is it safe to jump in?
This question was answered on August 5, 2015. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
As I previously wrote (Windows 10: Should I Upgrade), Microsoft is offering a free upgrade for the next year that most people will likely find compelling.
As with any major operating system update, it’s always safer to hang back and let the early adopters find all the bugs and issues first.
More than 5 million Windows Insiders have been putting Windows 10 through its paces over the past year and in the first 24 hours after the launch, Microsoft reported that 14 million computers around the world were running it.
Some sites are estimating the current number in excess of 60 million computers with the numbers growing daily.
The fact that the upgrade is free is certainly helping the numbers, but it also means we have a lot more information much quicker than in past upgrade cycles
To its credit, Microsoft has managed to improve Windows without requiring more computing power, so just about any computer that’s currently running Windows 7 or 8 should work fine with the upgrade.
In our stores, we’re seeing surprisingly few major issues but plenty of little issues, most of which require some additional work after the upgrade has been completed.
We’re also seeing more Windows 8 users looking to upgrade, especially those that really don’t like it, so there may be more to come with Windows 7 upgrades.
For those considering an upgrade, here are a few things to keep in mind:
#1 - Security software that isn’t compatible, may be removed during the upgrade
Make sure your anti-virus and other security software are updated and compatible with Windows 10 before getting started or it may not be there after the upgrade.
#2 - Make sure your computer is free of malware, viruses and errors before upgrading
Operating system upgrades are extremely complex and assume the existing system is functioning properly. Pre-existing conditions that range from corruption to infection can vastly alter the outcome of the installation process. If you know your computer has issues (slow, error messages, etc.), address the problems before you attempt the upgrade.
#3 - If you’re a gamer, make sure you do your homework
One of the more consistent complaints online is coming from the gaming community for specific games and hardware. The companies that created the games and the specialty hardware often used in gaming computers need to be checked for compatibility issues before upgrading.
#4 – Get updated drivers for your hardware
When Microsoft completes its upgrade, you aren’t done. Most of the hardware issues we’ve encountered required us to track down a driver (software that controls hardware) from the manufacturer of the specific components. Video cards, motherboards, network adapters, laptop hotkeys and printers have been the most common so far.
#5 – Older software is the most likely to have a problem
If you’re using really old programs, they will have been written with a much older version of Windows. If an updated version is not available, you may have to use a completely different program with Windows 10. If you’re in this category, waiting for others to figure out the best workarounds or alternatives is highly recommended.
Next week, I’ll address the privacy questions in Windows 10 that many are asking about.
About the author
Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on August 5, 2015