Who Should Upgrade to Windows 10?


On July 29, Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows 10 to the general public. Millions of Windows 7 and 8.1 users will be wondering if they should take advantage of the free upgrade to the new operating system. However, there is no straight “yes” or “no” answer applicable to everybody since the decision to upgrade depends on each individual situation and personal preferences. Nonetheless, there are some general factors that apply and here are some quick thoughts that I think are pertinent. Since touch systems have their own set of considerations, I am primarily concentrating on mouse/keyboard users.

Windows 10 upgrade

Are you happy with the system you have?

If you don’t have a need for some feature provided by the new system and are having no problems with your current one, maybe an upgrade is unnecessary.  It is a variant on the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Are there new features in Windows 10 that are really attractive to you?

If you are a Windows 7 user, the new Start Menu is no big deal, maybe even a step backward. On the other hand, Windows 8.1 users might very well find that the idea of a Start Menu and the return of focus on the desktop is just what they want.

Some regard the digital assistant Cortana as a big attraction and a must-have while others see no particular advantage to it. Personally, Cortana is not a big selling point for me on desktops. Of course, others may feel differently and many are viewing Cortana as a plus for Windows 10. Fellow Gizmo editor Dedoimedo has his own unique view.

And so it goes. Each new feature of Windows 10 needs to be evaluated in the light of individual preferences. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any one article that gives a comprehensive review of Windows 10 features but this reference has a brief description of 20 new features.

Are you ready to deal with any problems caused by an upgrade?

Any upgrade is likely to involve some tinkering with the system and glitches may occur. For example, I upgraded a Windows 8.1 system and it went smoothly but it still took some time to get everything working the way I wanted. I also upgraded an older Windows 7 system and there were driver problems. These problems were resolved but it took some extensive messing about. So keep in mind that any upgrade might take some work and even some technical knowledge.

Some recommendations

Although every situation is different, I think there are some reasonably general recommendations that can be made. (These are my personal thoughts and are not official recommendations of Tech Support Alert. Your ideas may differ.)

1. Wait to upgrade

Unless you really enjoy having the newest stuff and like to be on the forefront, you should wait several months to see how things develop before upgrading any production systems. Windows 10 is still a work in progress. Rumor has it that a substantial update will come in fall and I would wait for that. Personally, I will only be using Windows 10 on virtual machines until then.

2. Windows 7 systems stand pat

Unless they are having problems or want to use some new feature of Windows 10, it is my opinion that Windows 7 users should probably skip the upgrade. Also, keep in mind that older machines and peripherals are the most likely to have driver or other problems with an upgrade. I will not be upgrading my Windows 7 workstation. 

3. Windows 8.1 systems upgrade

On the other hand, I would guess that most Windows 8.1 users would benefit from an upgrade. If nothing else, the return of the Start Menu is a big plus. I have a Windows 8.1 laptop and I will be upgrading it once Windows 10 has been around for a few months.

And there you have it – some quick thoughts about upgrading to Windows 10. What about you? Will you be upgrading?

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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I checked my Window 8.1's Microsoft Update page last night and noticed two failed attempts to automatically update the OS to Windows 10. I opted to manually search for the official MS Windows 10 update page and download the software. I left my computer on all night for the 3Gb download. At 1:00 AM this morning, I checked the PC and followed all the prompts for installing the now OS. One hour and thirteen minutes later, my new Windows 10 OS was completely installed, so I returned to bed.

When I checked on my PC this morning, I found several needed features of my new OS had been removed. I am now unable to load a Microsoft Update page and download any update, Critical, Important, Recommended, or Optional. I have tried to research the cause of Microsoft's blunder of removing a vital part of Windows 8.1's Update function, but found only references to some 'Current Branch" crap. Every article stated that the new Update function is now automatic and normally cannot be turned off.

I use the Microsoft Update function to check on Optional updates. Will Windows 10 now automatically download and install ALL updates, including the Optional ones? I need my Microsoft Update page back. It's sad Microsoft doesn't listen to conservative PC users like me. They tend to cater to the Generation X and Millennials liberals for new ideas and functions.

My PrivateFirewall had also been disabled.

Is it any wonder Windows Vista and 8.0 was viewed so horribly?

It seems like you did not read enough on Windows 10, and neither did you look at the compatibility report before deciding to upgrade. If you had read the compatibility report, you would have known which installed software on your system were not compatible with Windows 10.

Also, if you had read up on Windows 10, you would have known in Windows 10 Home edition, there will be no option to choose Windows Updates, they will be automatic.

You really cannot blame Microsoft for you not reading enough before you performed the upgrade.

Anyway, if you are not satisfied with Windows 10, you can still downgrade to your previous OS within a month.

Thanks to all team members of Techsupport alert. You are doing wonderful job of maintaining the site providing with lot of helpful information and discussion..
the topic "Who Should Upgrade to Windows 10?" is also very interesting discussion.
I have always liked win7 than any other version of windows for the reason of stability and no issue at all.
that said. I reserved new win10 for spare laptop (but will not upgrade my main desktop with win7 for a while) and when offered by windows update to free upgrade to win10 on 29th july, (after backing up the win7 image) i happily accepted and allowed the upgrade without any hesitation.
I was surprised and impressed with the absolutely perfect upgrade to win10 without any input required by me.
The new software win 10 has not disturbed any of my existing software in my first impression.

Still I will upgrade my desktop only after some reasonable time only just to make sure there is no problem with my main desktop win7 computer. Also the new win10 app called Cortana is not available in Australia sadly.
overall i will give 5 out of 5 star to microsoft win10 upgrade for smooth upgrade and nice new interface.
will wait some more time before upgrading my main desktop computer. Thanks

I've been using an old HP desktop that originally came with XP as a test machine. This old box is only a Pentium duo core with just 2 gigs of ram.
After XP support was discontinued, I installed a Linux distro, scrapping XP. When Win 10 preview came out, I figured I'd try it on this box. I have had ZERO problems running anything on it, even run old Yahoo widgets!.
Today, Sunday, July 26, I ran Windows update on this old box. It took over an hour, but when it was finally finished, it looked very different. Checking the system/about it now shows I have Windows 10 PRO, not the evaluation copy. This old machine runs so well, I can't wait to update my other 3 desktops, 3 laptops.

I use three systems in my everyday life, all Win 7. My two-year-old main production/game machine machine. A 7-yr-old previous main/game machine, that is now dedicated to chatting, email and surfing. And a 5-yr-old laptop that, while not bottom-of-the-line when I bought it, is no powerhouse.

I have played a little with Win 8 and Win 8.1, mostly doing tech support for friends. But, I've never spent enough time with it to become intimately familiar with it. I do know that I don't like it, much. I'm usually a form-follows-function kind of guy, but man, I think the tiles in Metro are ugly. And, since I have no touch monitors and likely never will (I usually sit with my eyes literally 4-5 feet from the monitor) I felt that Win 8/8.1 offered nothing I found compelling over Win 7.

I admit I am mildly curious about Win 10. And, I will probably have to do tech support for people who will be using it. So, I'm leaning toward checking it out.

So, I will likely upgrade my secondary chat machine to Win 10. I am sure it will have the power necessary for the latest OS. And, that's a machine I can live without for a day or two, if I feel the need to nuke the drive from orbit and reinstall Win 7. I will probably wait a couple of weeks, to watch for any serious issues, since I'm not in a big hurry.

Very thoughtful article - thanks. I have a Win 7 laptop. It is running well so far. Will get support for another 4-5 yrs. I am not going to upgrade to Win 10. Here are the reasons:
1. Do not want to sail in uncharted territory.
2. There may be driver issues.
3. There may be unknown bugs.
4. Do not need faster boot time.
5. Some of my old softwares may not work in Win 10.
6. Do not like the forced update issue.
7. The free offer is for the lifetime of this laptop only - I can't install it to a new machine.
8. Have reservations about all such free offers.

May be I end up as a fool. May be I turn up a loser. But I am with Win 7 now.

WOW.... I'm just confused and confused and more confused ... I really don't know what to do. From what I understand Wins 7 will still be receiving updates until 2020 and I am very pleased with it. There are so many comments about possible driver issues and programs and software that might not work with Wins 10 Upgrade that I still don't now what to do and I haven't even mentioned the BUG issues that the new OS might have. Maybe I'll just stay on the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" wagon that Vic Laurie mentioned... BTW, excellent article and very informative, thanks Vic for your hard work. I really appreciate it...

Jorge, I have summed it up on my blog for my customers like this:
. Wait and see.
. If you have a stable and well working Windows 7 system don't upgrade (yet). Windows 10 has IMHO only marginal improvements.
. If you have a Windows 8.1 system then Windows 10 irons out quirks and annoyances of Win 8.
Either way, it's your decision.
I have learned over 33 years with MS products that the cautious approach (wait and see) has paid off BIG time.

If you want to check whether the drivers and software, or even your hardware will be compatible with Windows 10, then you can download and run Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant on your computer.


Since system requirements of Windows 10 is similar to Windows 8/8.1, so running this tool will tell you if your computer is ready for Windows 10.

As regarding bugs, Windows 10 should be bug free, since beta testing of the OS has been going on for quite sometime, but if you really want to play it safe, better to wait for a few months, and keep a watch.

I find Win 8 to be faster than Win 7, so after a month I'll upgrade my Win 7 computers to Win 10.

What I'd really like to know is whether I can expect a more seamless operation from Windows 10. I use Linux Lite about 90% of the time - a fantastic OS but there's the inevitable program that I need to use in Windows that I can't get in LL. Almost every time I use Windows 7 I'm confronted with bloated security updates, Adobe wanting a piece of the action, hanging issues, general slowness and all very annoying. Will Windows 10 lessen this problem?

System updates occur on Linux too, same as Windows. If you are going to install Windows 10, of course there will be Windows Updates like usual... and mind you, Home version will have forced updates. And of course, all other quirks of Windows system will be there. But, since you require Windows for only a few software, why bother to update at all. But well, since Windows 10 is free, and you use Windows for short time only, then again, what's the harm?

Another thing.. people who use Windows 7 never complain about it being slow. If your computer is slow, and is hanging too, there's something wrong with the system... either the configuration is not good enough for Windows 7, or there are other problems like malware, hardware issues, etc.

Just imagine if everyone were to adopt the *wait and see* approach - would the new OS ever be developed by user experience to the point that you would consider it to be safe to go ahead with the upgrade?

I have been using the Insider Preview builds on a spare laptop (a Toshiba Satellite that was supplied with Windows 7 and was not supported by the manufacturer beyond Windows 8) since October 2014 and have been impressed with the whole experience. I will be upgrading to Windows 10 on my main machine (currently 8.1) as soon as the download is complete.

I understand the point you are trying to make but history has shown that more often than not testing of operating systems prior to public release is rushed and not thorough enough. I don't blame developers for this because in most cases they are under severe pressure from the company bigwigs and marketing people to meet unreasonable deadlines. You wouldn't rush out and take the latest "wonder drug" offered by a pharma company unless it had been thoroughly tested and side effects were documented. Taking a wait and see approach is usually the prudent course of action.

Historically you have a point, but the release of Windows 10 has not followed that path, has it?

I, and several million others, have been testing it and sending feedback for more than nine months now and through a good few iterations, so I'd suggest this is the most thoroughly tested new OS ever.

As Vic Laurie and others on the staff have mentioned, the decision to upgrade is a personal one. I've had no problems with Windows 7 so I will be standing pat for now. I hope Windows 10 turns out to be an excellent OS and provides the customer satisfaction we all deserve. It will probably be another year before we can accurately grade it against other operating systems that have been released in the past.

I stand with crosseyedlemon. In fairness I should only be classed as a part time Windows users because the majority of my time is spent on Linux. That said, I do need to boot into Windows to respond to visitor queries and test Windows apps. I have two dual booted systems with Linux/Windows 7 both of which are configured how I like, with programs that work and are secure thanks to my security configuration so why should I risk any of this to "upgrade" to something that for me at any rate provides nothing new except loads of work? MC - Site Manager.

I use Win7 on a Dell Desktop
Long ago I began getting updates that were preparatory for Win10
I installed the first few
then learned that they were affecting and slowing my PC
particularly when using Chrome
but when I tried to remove them with SysRestore
they would not go away

If you want the option to keep Win7
beware the dog!


Typical commonsense article from Vic: much appreciated, as ever. Waiting a while for Microsoft to bring something out that actually works as it should has long been the only way to approach Redmond's offerings, hence why there are so many happy bunnies (including me) who never raced to embrace Balmer's epically misconceived Windows 8. Microsoft's handling of the complaints and frustrations arising from that was an object lesson in how not to treat your customer base and nothing I see in its corporate psyche persuades me it'll be any different this time if Windows 10 turns out to be flawed.

For me, the greatest benefit of staying with Windows 7 is that (a) it works and (b) I'm spared the hassle of having to familiarise myself with a new OS. Best of all: Windows Mail works in Windows 7 -- a simple importing of the Vista executables does the trick -- so I've never had to contend with the appalling Live Mail and its propensity to reveal the contents of all your email accounts on-screen simultaneously. I've no idea if Windows Mail will work on Windows 10 and am not about to run the risk of finding out that it, er, won't.

Meantime, I'm hoping to find someone specialising in the sale of T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase I LOVE WINDOWS 9. Microsoft could do with a reminder that no, we aren't all as stupid as it thinks we are in its absurd pretence that the Windows 8 fiasco was long ago and far away.

generally agree with you 100%.
Except we should not blame Balmer for Windows 8; that seems to have been to a much larger degree Steve Sinfosky's failure.
For whatever it's worth ;;-)

Tech companies that achieve a dominate market share somewhere in their history inevitably succumb to an attitude of entitlement and simply tune out all customer complaints. We've seen this happen with Microsoft as well as Blackberry and it will most certainly occur with Apple (if it hasn't already). Ironically too much success usually costs these companies in the long run.

My advice would be to wait for a few months to upgrade to Windows 10 if you are using Win 7 or Win 8, 8.1 until it's really stable, all the bugs are ironed out and most softwares are compatible with it. Windows 7 mainstream support ended in January while extended support ends in 2020. Since Windows 10 will be the last big splash O.S from Microsoft and future updates will all be incremental, it's best to get it while it's free. 

I downloaded the Windows 10 Beta a few months ago and it worked very smooth and efficient. Later they pushed out an automatic update and suddenly my Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client, Version 3.1.00495 for VPN suddenly stopped working. It may be that Cisco will push out an update to their VPN when the official Windows 10 is released, but I am hesitant since I have to be able to connect to my corporate network with the VPN.

Well, shucks. I was all set to try out this new os when Vic comes along with a bunch of common sense and I feel let down!!

I used XP on several desktops and a laptop until about 3 years ago. Was still using DOS before that!! I think it was Vic that finally convinced me to leave XP. But I was expecting another "quantum leap" in features, gadgets, security, etc with 10, but Vic says not, so it has to be so.


So if I decide to wait should I cancel My Upgrade Reservation

As I understand it, you don't have to install the upgrade as soon as it is downloaded to your system but can install later. Others are asking similar questions and some answers are at this Microsoft site

Appreciate the overview. As a former software applications and evaluation consultant... I have found a 1-year wait after a Microsoft OS release to be safer, allowing time for multiple updates and fixes.

i think windows 7 was best system ever--when i cc & tool wiz i notice it requires less maintenance than 8.1
thanks for the update

Good article Vic with some useful common sense. The world isn't going to end in the next few months if we take a wait and see approach with Windows 10. I wish more websites adopted that "if it ain't broke dont fix it" mantra.

Amen. Installed a late Win10 Beta on a ThinkPad X201 and experienced a memory leak where a service (svchost.exe?) used 3GB of RAM, and climbing. Wasted day installing 10 and reverting to 7. Happy to await the bug reports.