Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?
Why is Windows 10 FREE?
We get this question all the time since Microsoft released their “nagware” update that puts a little icon next to the clock, that pops up often and tries to get users to upgrade to Windows 10. While we have had a handful of customers that upgraded to Windows 10 without issues, we’ve had many more that ran into problems when trying to upgrade.
So the first question that begs to be asked is why is the upgrade FREE? Well, if you didn’t know already, Microsoft pretty much invented the idea of charging money for software back in the 70’s. Until then, pretty much everything was “open source”. Since then the average price of a new OS from Microsoft was about $100 for home editions, and $200 for business/professional editions. So why after over 40 years is Microsoft willing to give away it’s newest operating system? While there are some conspiracy theories at play, let’s assume Microsoft is not working with the government on some sort of technology take over. Word has it that they will soon be converting their operating system, to the same SaaS (Software as a Service) model, that Office 365 has begun. Eventually, you may end up paying monthly or annually in order to continue using their operating system. You won’t have nearly as much ground to stand on to fight against that if you didn’t already pay for the right to use it. Just a thought – and if they choose to go that route there is really nothing we can do about except look for other Operating systems, which for the moment will only frustrate you, and alienate you from the rest of the business world if you want to collaborate with anyone.
Windows 10 Hardware Issues
Moving on to the technology issues. From a requirements standpoint, hardware that ran Windows 7, should run Windows 10. In fact, the Microsoft hardware specifications are exactly the same. However, our customers that are having problems, generally have problems with peripherals like printers, scanners, and input devices that do not work, at least initially after the upgrade. Most of the consumer hardware is good to go, but many of you who actually use your computers to get work done, have hardware attached to your PC that may not be “mainstream” or “consumer”. Examples include, large format printers, special scanners, medical equipment, NAS storage devices, etc.
In addition to hardware driver issues, we’ve had a couple of customers where the upgrade process failed for some unknown reason, and they were left without a bootable PC. We of course had to re-install from scratch and try to recover whatever data we could from the hard drive.
One of our customers currently has an issue with an SSD RAID array, that disappears from their operating system on occasion. That hard drive is where they store all their work related files. It is a dell PERC RAID controller that sets up the RAID, and from the BIOS everything appears to be fine. We attempted to install the PERC firmware update provided by dell to resolve the issue, but it indicates that the system is not compatible with the firmware. So we can’t say for sure yet, but since the customer didn’t have this issue until upgrading to Windows 10, that there is a compatibility issue with Windows 10 and the RAID controller. This is a very frustrating issue for the customer when they try to open their business files, but they cannot get to them because the drive has mysteriously disappeared.
Windows 10 Functionality
Windows 10 is actually very promising, unlike Windows 8. This operating system seems to be a merge of the good things in Windows 7 and 8. You still have a start menu, touch screen is relatively easy (but not required), and your programs are accessible in much the same way they were in Windows 7.
If you are buying a new computer, go ahead and get Windows 10 (We are all going to have to make the leap sometime). However, we DO NOT recommend that you upgrade to Windows 10 from your existing operating system without professional help.