Microsoft released Windows 10 almost a year ago and made it a free upgrade for all users with Windows 7 or higher. It’s been out for almost a year and the time has come for users to decide if they want this free upgrade. So far about 300 million users have migrated to the new platform. Reviews have been mostly positive and many of the early issues have been resolved.
So, should you upgrade? Well, that depends on you. First, let me say that there are benefits to Windows 10. When Window 7 was designed it was far better than XP that came before it. That said, it was designed in a pre-internet world. Today, threats to your data come mostly from the internet and Windows 10 is far more capable of dealing with these threats. On the other hand, Windows 7 will be supported until 2020. If you really don’t want to change then you don’t have to. Just realize that you are giving up some safety in doing so.
If you are currently running Windows 8 or 8.1 then you should probably upgrade. There isn’t that much difference in appearance and you will probably like the new features. For these users, upgrading is a no brainer.
There is one group of users that SHOULD NOT upgrade. If you are using software, especially if you are paying for support, and that software is not certified to work with Windows 10, then you should NOT upgrade. For instance, the 2015 and 2016 versions of Quickbooks work fine under Windows 10. If you have to run an older version like 2010, you may have problems. Even if you don’t have problems you can’t call support if a problem arises in the future because you aren’t using it on a certified platform. Intuit is never going to certify older versions with Windows 10. They want you to upgrade.
By the way, running an old version of any software can bring it’s own set of issues. You may be comfortable running that 2010 version today but every year that goes by means that your data is stuck in a system that is 1 year older. Intuit, like many manufacturers, supports their software for 3 years. In 2013 you could import your data with no issues. That becomes less likely the longer you wait. When they release 2017, they will expect users to be importing data from 2014 and on. There won’t be a lot of testing with earlier versions to make sure they are compatible.
The bottom line is that we have to update our software regularly to maintain an environment that’s most likely to protect the thing we hold dearest, our data. That can mean our OS as well as those programs that we use every day. There are users today that still swear that Microsoft Word 2003 was the best Word ever. We can look back and smile nostalgically about how much better it was than Office XP before it but we probably wouldn’t like it on our networks today.
We have a chance to upgrade our computers to Windows 10 for free. That ends on July 29th. You should spend some time considering this choice.