When should I upgrade to Windows 10?


We recently blogged about holding off on upgrading to Windows 10, based on the fact that users have up to a year to take advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade offer and a few other minor concerns that have been identified with the software.

But eventually, you’ll probably want to go forward with that upgrade. How can you know when it’s time to go ahead and upgrade?

Here’s a list of five clues to help you know when to make that decision.

  • You’re using a Windows 8 on a desktop computer and you dislike the touch-centric interface. Tablets are great, but for most people, desktops are where they get the majority of work done. And when you’re using a desktop, there’s less need for a touchpad style interface. This has been a big complaint about Windows 8, and Microsoft has made adjustments to the desktop interface of Windows 10 accordingly. The desktop interface now includes a start menu and other, less-touch centric features.
  • You need or want a personal assistant on all your devices. Users of the Apple iPhone and iPad have had access to the Siri digital assistant for quite a while and have found “her” helpful for scheduling dates, setting reminders, finding directions, sending messages or making calls. Microsoft has something similar with its Cortana digital assistant, which is now part of Windows 10. Cortana in Windows 10 is available not just on a phone or tablet (including Android and iPhone), but also on your desktop, helping you to navigate your workday more easily.
  • You want to use virtual desktops to keep your projects and tasks more visible. A lot of people use the desktop as their main workspace but when you are working on multiple projects it can be difficult to have to go to the desktop and look through a large number of items to find the next project you need to work on. Windows 10 lets you use the Task View mode to create a separate desktop for each project, making it easier to keep multiple projects visible and easy to find – simply toggle to a different virtual desktop when it is time to work on the next project.
  • The Start Screen in Windows 8 annoys you. Many people find the start screen in Windows 8 to be rather annoying with its large tiles representing numerous features that users may not actually require for their day to day tasks. In fact, many users simply skip this screen and move to the desktop to find the apps and files they need. With Windows 10, the Start Screen has been combined with a more traditional start menu to make it easier to get going.
  • You want to take advantage of the free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Users of more recent Windows products will have up to a year from the original release date of Windows 10 to upgrade for free, so you’ll probably want to go forward with the upgrade before that offer expires. Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015, so that means the free offer expires one year from that date. By the way, the free upgrade offer is for users of Windows 7 and Window 8; users of other operating systems will have to start from a new install rather than a free upgrade.

There are other incentives to upgrade as well, such as enhancements to the system’s gaming capabilities – these are just some that we think are most appealing. If you have plans to upgrade soon, or if you’re planning to hold off, we’d love to hear from you about it.