Windows 10 - should you upgrade now?


#1

Windows 10 has been around for couple of days. I have updated two devices (tablet and a desktop) and participated to the Insider program since last spring. I am writing this on a basic Acer Aspire XC-605 desktop running Windows 10.

Windows 10 - love it or hate it

Review articles of Windows 10 are pouring in all over the web now, as it definitely is the most interesting event of the summer in the field of IT. Professional publications seem to give overwhelmingly positive reviews, while haters are also quick post on their blogs.

Microsoft is promoting version 10 as a quantum leap. The truth is that 10 is built on the technically solid 8.1 foundation, while providing a number of improvements and new innovations. In my opinion it is an evolutionary step rather than revolutionary. It rectifies some of the huge mistakes Microsoft made with 8.x and is significantly more modern that 7. In the end it is still Windows, and unlikely to convert many Apple OSX or Linux die-hards. It may however be the best Windows version up to date.

Upgrading from 8.1

With the experience of upgrading two devices I would say that the update process is not something I would recommend for a child, senior citizen or a non-techie. On both of my devices drivers where missing after the update, although the desktop was fully functional without then (Intel chipset and Intel AMT drivers).

On the Linx 7 tablet (a.k.a Lamina T-701) it was especially bumpy ride. Intel Baytrail GPU drivers were missing after the 1st boot and the performance was so bad that it was challenging to do anything. The drivers came via Windows Update however, which again made the device usable but the screen rotation was still missing. The fix required hunting down sensor drivers from the web, installing them, and applying a registry patch. It is worth mentioning that Microsoft is promoting these tablets on Microsoft.com regional websites.

So before you proceed you should make sure that you know what you are doing, or have a support person near by. Do some investigation effort beforehand of possible issues and the availability of the drivers. The upgrade process may succeed with out a hitch, but a single missing driver can ultimately break your devices’ functionality.

Should you upgrade?

As said, the changes for a desktop user are not ground breaking. Windows 10 is technically superior to version 7, but so is 8.1. It mostly fixes the awful usability issues of 8.1 by putting more focus on classic mouse & keyboard computing - something that Classic Shell can fix for you in 8.1. Microsoft is investing heavily to the app ecosystem enablers in Windows 10, but currently the app store is as dead as it is with 8.1 - this will hopefully improve as developers jump on board.

It is also worth noting that Microsoft really hurried the release of 10, probably to ensure that all device sold on the holiday season will carry the latest version. While it works well for basic use cases there are obvious rough edges here and there, even in the user interface. Windows Insiders know that builds were quite premature just a month or two ago, so Microsoft has committed a lot of code to the release during the last weeks and days of development.

If your device is touch screen enabled, then things get a lot more interesting. I am really liking the Windows 10 on the tablet. I do not own a convertible/hybrid device, a tablet with a detachable keyboard, but based on what I see on my screens the 10 is a much better combination of desktop and touch based computing than the 8.1. As an extra, the mobile Office apps are really adding great value on a tablet.

So if you consider yourself as tech-savvy enough and own a touch screen Windows device, then my answer is definitely yes, go for it!. But if you are a classic desktop or laptop user, then I would say that take your time. You don’t actually lose much by giving it a few months to mature.


#2

NO! It crashes on updates on a clean install. When you do a clean format removing all previous partitions ( it is very important you connected to the internet after updating or you’ll lose your windows license) the damn thing crashes on one of the updates. I do like all the features and you should update to take advantage of their new activation process (makes it easier to upgrade or replace your pc’s hard drive), but you should check with Microsoft if they fixed this problem first.


#3

@bigonrice: It would be useful to mention what is your hardware that you are experiencing the crashes on? Whats kind of device/computer and what are the specs.

I wrote the opening post almost immediately after the Windows 10 release, several months ago. Looking at it now, there are a couple of things I’ve learned:

  • In general on supported hardware, the Windows 10 is stable. Creashes or BSOD’s seem to be rare. I like the feedback feature, since now everyone has an easy channel to report errors.
  • That said, the number of application level errors is amazingly high. By apps, I mean the “Universal Apps” that are installed via store. Quite surprisingly a key app like Outlook mail has had a number of issues during the autumn. I don’t know how MSFT can slip so many critical errors to the market.
  • Regarding the design, the tile based Start-menu is bad and rather useless in desktop mode. It is more difficult to navigate than the old Windows 7 menu and widgets make no sense as they are hidden for the most of the time. In tablet mode the UI works pretty well.
  • Hardware support has been surprisingly bad and vendor reluctant to support WIndows 10. Even today they advertise and ship mostly WIndows 8.1 as pre-installed OS. Many computers and other devices have compatibility issues with Windows 10, even though they ran 8.1 just fine. On thin forum we have a lot of discussion about the Linx/Lamina tablets, which have serious issues when upgraded to 10 - I find that very odd as Microsoft advertised and promoted these Intel Baytrail tablets aggressively on their own websites through the summer, so I at least was expecting the upgrade to be smooth. Nope. My tablet is waiting to be downgraded back to 8.1.

I am not sure whether Microsoft thinks Windows 10 has been a success or not, but in my point of view they have serious quality issues with the product. If you have no issues with your current 7 or 8.1 installation, it may be postpone the update further. At least do your homework carefully before making a decision. If you have officially Windows 10 supported hardware and you don’t rely heavly on the buggy Universal Apps, I see no reason to wait.