‘Should I upgrade to Windows 10? What are the pros and cons?’ A guest post from Charlie Wiggil MIEExpert from South Africa

Submitted by Charli Wiggil

This is a guest post from Charli Wiggil (@wiggs2010) Deputy Principal at Eden College in Durban. Charli is one of South Africa’s Microsoft MIEExperts for 2016. You can read more about Charli at https://about.me/CharliWiggill 

Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Over the past few months, we’ve all been inundated with
offers popping-up on our screens recommending we take advantage of a free
Windows 10 upgrade. The pop-ups include the upgrade button, the tantalising
offer of the ‘FREE’ upgrade and they mention that if we are unhappy with the
changes Windows 10 brings, we can easily revert to our previous OS. Social
media has been abuzz with a plethora of comments from the early adopters – some
who are already loyal converts and others who are seriously unimpressed for
various reasons.

So – should you take advantage of the seemingly excellent
offer?

What is Windows 10?

Windows 10 is a refreshing mix of the best things from
Windows 8 while returning to the spirit of Windows 7, and will apparently be Microsoft’s
last operating system release
. Ultimately, everybody will be on it
eventually and the free download will last for a year.

Trawling through the comments from global users of Windows
10 on a number of websites, here follow some of the advantages and
disadvantages of the new OS:

Advantages

  • Microsoft listened to consumers and has created a hybrid
    incorporating what users enjoyed in Windows 7 and 8 into the new product.
    Coupled with a number of new offerings, an exciting OS is presented.
  • The new Start menu is colourful, resizable, and ultimately
    configurable. It incorporates the Start screen (Windows 8’s modern style and
    flow) and Start menu (Windows 7’s functionality) which will please many.
  • The new “Settings” takes over more of the Control Panel’s
    responsibilities.
  • A Notifications centre collects all messages and important
    alerts in one place.
  • Windows 10 is the first version of Windows that sports
    virtual desktops (multiple desktop workspaces).
  • Cortana is billed as a Windows’ virtual personal
    assistant, allowing one to interact with one’s desktop computer using only one’s
    voice. Unfortunately there appear to be some glitches with this aspect at
    present, but they will surely be sorted with a patch update.
  • Microsoft has bought back Aero and Windows 7 users
    everywhere are celebrating. Windows 10 uses transparent effects substantially.
  • Microsoft Edge modernises the OS’s default browser with improved
    compatibility and speed, and new capabilities like webpage markup and reading
    mode.
  • Windows 10 features a smaller installation size and uses a
    more efficient compression system, so your files will be smaller. Microsoft
    has shaved 4 GB to 12 GB off of Windows 10’s installation size.
  • The Windows Store now sports a cleaner, more streamlined
    interface.
  • Using the Continuum feature, you are able to seamlessly
    shift from a keyboard/mouse setup to a touchscreen or even use your Windows
    Phone like a computer.
  • Direct X 12 allows gamers better performance on their
    existing hardware.

Concerns

There are several concerns: 

  • Some are calling Windows 10 a Spybot as apparently every
    keystroke can be recorded and the data supplied to Microsoft servers to be used
    for advertising and so  on.
  • Windows 10 Home (the free version) comes with automatic
    updates and the end-user has no control over these. All previous versions of
    Windows gave the user some autonomy for managing updates to their OS. In the new
    version, Microsoft is attempting to maintain a stable platform with less
    support required. Ultimately, this is a good thing, but people want to control
    when they download and update. 
  • Windows is still the most popular operating system in the
    world and that makes it a prime target for development of viruses and malicious
    attacks. Automatic updates will ensure that critical updates can’t be missed or
    dismissed.
  • Failed updates could cause a problem as the end-user has
    little control over the process. Unless Microsoft supplies patches quickly,
    this will lead to much frustration.

So should
you upgrade?
 

Upgrading to Windows 10 has plenty of benefits, and not
too many disadvantages. Of course the fact that it’s a free upgrade right now
makes it even more tempting. You’ve got better search, window management, file
management, gaming tools and more. Windows 10 is faster in general use and the
new Start Menu is better.

The only real problems are centered on privacy, automatic
upgrades and that Microsoft wants you to sign in with a Microsoft account and that
you lose some features if you don’t. 

So what is your experience of Windows 10? Are you excited or
do you have concerns about it? Let us know how you feel.

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