Should I Upgrade to Microsoft Windows 10?

The long-awaited Windows 10 just launched with lots of fanfare. Almost everyone with Windows will be eligible to upgrade without charge. The roll-out will occur in waves which turns out to be a big plus for all future Windows 10 users. Unless you want to be a tester, sit back and wait a bit.

Reviewers give Windows 10 high marks. They describe the new Operating System as combining the best of all worlds – the features that Windows 7 users care about (such as the Start Menu) plus new, modern features (such as Cortana, Microsoft’s version of Siri). Many of us are familiar with these features because they are currently in use on the tablets and smartphones we can’t live without. The problems Windows 8 users encountered are gone.

Why consider Windows 10?
• It’s a desktop-focused interface for PCs meaning that the screen menus, icons, keyboard shortcuts, mouse, touch, pen, command language and physical buttons are all there.
• The new System includes more tablet and smartphone features. In fact, the desktop is similar to a tablet or smartphone although it is possible to default to the familiar Windows screen.
• It’s easier to use than Windows 8 which focused heavily on touch.
• Cortana, Window’s version of Siri, is readily available and particularly useful in searching.
• There are “universal apps” allowing many new apps to run on the desktop. The apps show up in a single list when the Start Menu appears and includes apps that are updated such as the weather and news.
• Tablets and mobile devices have special interfaces with smooth transitions.
• New features like Task View and virtual desktops will help keep programs organized no matter how many are kept open.
• Upgrading to Windows 10 will be easy; an icon will pop up on your PC.
• The program starts faster, according to Microsoft.
• Can be used by touch and mouse or voice, pen or gesture.

If you are currently are using Windows 8.1, you may have more incentive to upgrade sooner rather than later. For one thing, instead of having to swipe the screen away with your finger, you can drag it away with the mouse. There are still live tiles but they can be easily removed and there are universal apps which can run in Windows on the desktop unlike Windows 8. And, the Start Menu is back.

If you are a Windows 7 user, you may be satisfied with the system you have and will want to take your time to ensure that as many bugs as possible have been fixed before you commit to Windows 10 . You have a year to take advantage of the offer, to get the thoughts of others who have already made the switch, and make sure that there are no issues related to your particular laptop model.

Below are a few tips to make the transition go smoothly:

Before upgrading:
• Back up your computer. That way you can always revert back to what it was before you updated to Windows 10 if anything goes wrong during the installation.
• Consider the possibility of installing Windows 10 on a spare computer, if one is available, as a first step.
• Watch for the pop-up telling you that Windows 10 is ready to be installed (although it can be installed any time). Delaying gives Microsoft time to make sure that the program is compatible with your machine.

After upgrading:
• Block out time on your calendar to take an on-line tutorial and become familiar with the new System. Read the reviews and try out the new features with an open mind.
• Get to know the System before you make a decision to go back to Windows 7 or 8. You can always uninstall the new version if you change your mind and decide that you prefer the previous version.

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