Windows 10 - What is it? Should you get it?
Alert: Windows 10 was pushed energetically through the normal Windows 7 and 8 updates. And many who didn't really want it, wound up having it.
However Windows 7 is still the preferred system of many experienced computer users.
At present, worldwide, just under 50% of all computers have Windows 7. Around 10% are on Windows 8 and 20% on Windows 10.
Who wants or needs an upgrade?
If you have purchased a new computer some time in the past 3 years or so, its quite likely using the system called Windows 8 or 8.1 or 10 (unless it was a business-grade computer in which case it is still quite likely Windows 7).
And if you are one of the many people who found Win8 annoying and difficult to use, then 10 does offer some real improvements. Or if you feel your computer needs the absolute latest in new security technologies, there is a school of thought that Windows 10 is a must have.
Most computers running Windows 8 or 8.1 will run better on Windows 10. (However, the upgrade process involves various risks which need to be managed, More on that later.)
What if you are happy with what you have now?
If you have a computer that was built recently for the corporate market, or its a bit older, then its much more likely to be on Windows 7. Many of the corporates and big government departments want Windows 7, rather than 8 or 10, so that's what they get.
While Windows 7 is seldom visible in consumer stores, it is the standard option on many expensive business-grade laptops. For example see
Windows 7 was very successful and still has more market share than any other computer operating system. (And it is scheduled to be supported by Microsoft with security updates at least until January 2020.) For those who prefer the tried and trusted, we are still able to supply brand new computers with Windows 7.
And, as an aside, the fact of the matter is that Windows 10 is by no means the only upgrade that might benefit the way you use your computer. If you have Windows 7 or 8, and you are happy with it, there may be other upgrades that would improve your computer such as more RAM, more drive storage, SSDs, a refresh-install of your existing Windows 7 system, better backup solutions and so on.
Anyway, why do so many people still prefer Windows 7? First, it has much more of the user "dashboard" that people are familiar with. While Windows 8 and 8.1 were generally quite stable on most half-powerful computer, the layout of controls and buttons often prompted responses like - where is everything? How is this supposed to work? Windows 7 on the other hand, has style and layout that people already understood. Windows 8 tried to be like a Smartphone, and most people didn't like it on their computer. Brave, daring and too radical for most people.
To Microsoft's credit, Windows 10 tries to take a step backwards from the excesses of Windows 8 to the more familiar Windows 7 style, while still keeping some of the look and feel of Windows 8 in addition to new features "under the bonnet" of Windows 10. However Windows 10 has the annoying habit of shutting down to do updates in the middle of work sessions.
Windows 10 Results
We were bench-testing the pre-release versions of Windows 10, the "insider" versions, for the best part of a year before it was released and in general found it very service able, except that it presents a number of challenges in the maintenance front, and the usability issues mentioned above. We have been testing 10 on new and old computers. While it is a major process to upgrade your computer from Windows 8 or 8.1, in our opinion the upgrade will eventually be well worth it for some Windows 8 and 8.1 users, - because 10 has the more familiar style of 7, with improvements in intuitiveness and predictability. However, where available it is our opinion that Windows 7, in general is still the better choice in most cases.
However, there are warnings to heed before attempting an upgrade, not least of which is to make a backup of the whole system before messing with it. Waiheke Techs Ltd can certainly help with that.
And make no mistake an upgrade of your computer's operating system from 7 or 8 to 10 is definitely a risky process if not skillfully done. Just a few of the other factors to consider are whether critical software being used will still run on Windows 10, and whether there is enough storage (ie hard drive) space in the computer. In other words, Windows 10 might be "free" but it might require you to spend a lot of money to replace software that doesn't work as expected on Windows 10. It is also important to have backups of all valueable stuff such as emails, photos, documents etc.
And finally, anyone who has a computer running on Windows 10 will find that some things are different to both Windows 7 and 8, so will involve a learning curve. If you would like to discuss having your computer upgraded, you can text, phone or email us.
This article is supplied only as general information. Expert advice on each specific situation should be obtained.