Windows 10: Should I Upgrade?
I’m getting the ‘Get Wndows 10” alert on my computer in the bottom right hand corner. Should I download it?
This question was answered on June 14, 2015. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
What you’re actually seeing is an invitation to ‘reserve’ a copy of the Windows 10 upgrade when it becomes available, which isn’t until July 29th.
Microsoft is taking a completely different approach with Windows 10; they want to encourage people to upgrade by making it free for the first year.
Windows 8 was so poorly received that they needed to do whatever they could to keep users upgrading to their newer platform.
What's Windows 10 About?
The overall goal is to create a unified interface so everything looks and works the same on your computer, smartphone, tablet and laptop.
Unless you only own Windows-based mobile devices (which most of you don’t), this ‘benefit’ won’t mean much, but there are lots of other reasons to consider upgrading to Windows 10.
There are a lot of new features that will allow you to use your computer much like you do your smartphone (video of new features in Windows 10: https://goo.gl/hAZRYY).
Things like Cortana (Microsoft’s version of Siri), universal apps, finger or stylus annotations (if you have a touch screen display) and a return to a Start button based interface will likely improve the overall experience.
Should You Upgrade?
As with all Windows upgrades, it’s generally a matter of time before you’re forced to upgrade, but Windows 10 may be one of those rare versions that people actually want to install.
When the time comes, the most convenient way to upgrade is through an ‘in-place upgrade’, meaning that you install it over the top of your existing version of Windows.
This keeps all your programs, data and system settings in place after the upgrade.
For this reason, you’ll want to make sure your computer is in good working condition before you attempt the upgrade.
What To Do Before Upgrading
If your computer is running slow, takes forever to startup, is occasionally freezing up or popping up error messages, you should get it running properly before attempting the upgrade.
Freezing and various error messages can be an indication of a hardware problem, so don’t ignore them.
If things are running slow, a quick way to see if you should have the system cleaned up is by checking the number of running processes through the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del to access the tool) after a clean start.
For the average user, a well maintained Windows system will have no more than 55-60 running processes that can be slightly higher on some laptops (Windows 8 users will have to manually add the total of Apps, Background & Windows processes).
There are situations where a higher number of processes is acceptable (specialty hardware or software), but if your total is in the 85+ range, having an experienced set of eyes review what’s actually running would be advisable.
Clicking on the Performance tab will also show you if you’re running low on memory or have background programs overloading your CPU with unnecessary tasks.
One of the main reasons to wait is the potential conflicts with software, security programs and drivers (programs that control hardware).
Microsoft is including a compatibility checker with the upgrade to test your system so you can make sure your specific configuration does not have known issues.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have verified backup of your critical files before you get started!
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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on June 14, 2015