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Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?


A lot of you have probably seen a pop up on the bottom right hand side of the computer screen saying “Get Windows 10.” You are probably wondering what this is about and what it means. In this blog, we provide useful information you will need to know about upgrading to Windows 10. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Microsoft’s new Operating System.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can get the free Windows 10 upgrade and by when do I have to upgrade?
If you have a Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8 computer, you should be able to do the free upgrade to Windows 10. There are certain hardware requirements for doing it, but most Windows 7 and 8 computers should meet the minimum standards.

The free upgrade to Windows 10 is going to be available after July 29, 2015 for one year until July 29, 2016. Before this date, you can reserve a copy by clicking on the Windows 10 message at the bottom right hand side of your computer. Or you can wait until after July 29th to receive a notification and start to download it. There is no need to reserve a copy beforehand.

Who will have to pay to get Windows 10?
A person who owns a Windows XP or Vista computer will have to pay for a Windows 10 license. If they are using those Operating Systems, it is likely their computers have outdated hardware and it would be best for them to purchase a new computer which comes loaded with Windows 10.

After July 29th, new computers with Windows 10 are going to be available at retail stores and online. This new Operating System will be included in the purchase price.

Enterprises with an active Software Assurance subscription in volume licensing will be able to get a Windows 10 Enterprise upgrade. They will be paying a monthly subscription.

How do I know if I will be able to upgrade my computer?
Windows 10 has certain minimum hardware and software requirements. In order to check your computer’s compatibility quickly, you can right click on the Windows 10 icon at the bottom right hand side of the screen and select “Check you upgrade status.” Then, you can click on the hamburger (four lines) in the upper left hand corner. Finally, you can select “Check my PC.” This will show whether or not you can upgrade your PC.



Please note that some third party software and applications you are using in Windows 7 or 8 may not work in Windows 10. When you go to install Windows 10, you will be notified of what applications will not work and then can decide whether or not to proceed.

Why would Microsoft want to give away a free upgrade?
If you think Microsoft is giving away this free upgrade out of goodness of heart, think twice. Microsoft is still going to generate revenues from new computer sales as manufacturers like Dell will pay them a licensing fee. Microsoft will also still be paid by volume license users and enterprises.

One advantage of giving away this free upgrade is that it will eventually mean that everyone will be on the same platform. This means that Microsoft will have to support fewer Operating Systems and this will lower the company’s costs. The tech giant is also looking to increase its revenues by selling more movies, music, apps and video games through Windows 10. Windows 10 has more integration with their Xbox game console and you can play Xbox games on your computer. This makes it easier to purchase video games and use them across devices.

Part of the reason is control. Like Windows 8, Windows 10 suggests that you set up or sign into a Microsoft account when first starting up a computer. This will help Microsoft collect more information about users and have a central point to manage all users’ accounts.

Microsoft is also hoping that more users become familiar with and come to like Windows 10 as they use it. This may lead to more people buying new Windows 10 smart phones and tablets. Again, it is all about sales and adapting to the consumer landscape.

Sorry to disappoint you, but Microsoft is not so beneficent as you think.

Windows 10 Video Introduction
Please check out some the new features of Windows 10 in this introductory video.

What are some good new features of Windows 10?
Start Button – If you have Windows 8, you will be glad to know that Windows 10 will include a start button like Windows 7. This will make it easier to shutdown an restart your computer and to explore it. The start screen is new and improved and will combine the traditional items on the left and then access to apps on the right, which is very convenient.


Better Performance – Windows 10 will also have improved performance. You should be able to boot up faster and switch between applications quicker. It has a new technology which should help with video game performance, but the difference should not be too noticeable.

Better Display Capability – Windows 10 will allow you more flexibility when displaying open windows on different monitors than Windows 7 or 8. Also, you will be able to see up to four open Windows at a time within one monitor compared to two Windows for these earlier Operating Systems.


User Friendly Home Folder – Now when you launch Windows Explorer, you will be greeted by a row of familiar folders you tend to use often, plus a lineup of recently created and opened files, making it easier to find the things you need and to do it quickly. If you just saved a file and cannot find it, you can open Windows Explorer and see where it was located.

Greater Search Capability – Windows 10 offers a much greater search capability and a virtual assistant called Cortana. With a microphone, you will be able to ask Cortana things like “please check for new email messages” or “schedule this appointment on my calendar.” You will be able to do a search on both your computer and the Internet at the same time.


New Edge Browser – Microsoft has dropped Internet Explorer and come out with a new browser. This browser will be linked to the Cortana virtual assistant and will display more pertinent information like weather for the user at the top.


What is some negative feedback about Windows 10?

User Friendliness – Similar to Windows 8, Windows 10 still is not the most user friendly. Because it is new, it will take you some time to get used to navigating around. Sometimes, it can be confusing to use. You can get confused in different views. The transition from working in applications to using the regular desktop is not fluid.

Windows 10 allows you to work in a regular desktop mode or a tablet mode on a computer. Tablet mode is meant more for touch screen use and working as you would on a tablet or smart phone. These modes add additional complexity which normal users do not want to be bothered by.

Windows Media Player is Gone – In Windows 10, Media Player will no longer be available to play videos or movies. Microsoft does provide a basic application to play movies. Or you will have to install a third party movie player. This means that you will have to do extra work downloading and installing a new video playing application. Then, you will have to get used to using it.

Software Incompatibility – If you upgrade to Windows 10, you may find that some of your software does not work. While you can be sure that most programs will run on Windows 7 and 8, this is not the case with Windows 10. Fortunately, you will be notified by the Windows 10 installer which software may not work before doing the upgrade.

Our Verdict

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? The answer to that question depends on each individual case. In general, our answer would be “no”, at least for the short term. Every new Operating System is going to have bugs and glitches when it first comes out. These may not be ironed out for months.

We recommend waiting at least 3-6 months after the Windows 10 introduction date, before doing the upgrade. This will give some time for the bugs to be worked out. It will also allow software developers time to create new versions of applications which are compatible with Windows 10.

Overall, we like many of Windows 10’s new features. In time, we think it will be looked at as a good Operating System and receive positive reviews. For now, there is no reason to rush to upgrade.

Useful References:

Microsoft Windows 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions

Learn What is New About Windows 10

PC World’s Windows 10 Review

Trusted Reviews Look at Windows 10

CNET’s Windows 10 Review

Should I Upgrade My Computer or Replace it?

Clients ask us a lot if they should upgrade their computer to make it faster or boost performance. In the past, we would have answered “yes” almost all of the time. Things have changed though. New computers have become cheaper and quicker, so it doesn’t always make sense to just add some hardware to a current PC.

Before you do any type of upgrade, you may first want to consider having your computer cleaned up. There may be some unwanted services and programs that are running and slowing it down. Also, your computer may have viruses or malware, which are tying up its resources. Once these are removed or disabled, it could perform much better.

There are a couple of things to consider when making an upgrade decision:

1) Are you having any hardware issues? If so, I would suggest skipping the upgrade and getting a new PC.

2) How old is your PC? If it’s more than 3 years old, your manufacturer warranty has most likely expired. Hold off on the upgrade and buy a new PC when you are ready.

If you are not in any of these situations, then continue reading below.

Here are some upgrades that I recommend if you just aren’t getting the speed and performance you want, but don’t want to replace your PC. They are listed in the order of best to worst:

  • Replace the primary hard drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD) – Hands down, replacing your computer’s hard drive with a super-fast SSD is the best upgrade you can do. Faster, cooler and if you have a laptop, it will help the battery to last longer! If you can only afford to make one upgrade to your computer, swapping your existing hard drive with an SSD should be your #1 choice.
  • Add more RAM – If your PC has both a 64-bit CPU and a 64-bit version of Windows, you should definitely consider upgrading your system RAM. This upgrade will be helpful if you normally have several programs open at the same time.
  • Add an additional monitor(s) to your setup. I know this sounds crazy, but with the low cost of LED monitors these days, it’s not a luxury anymore to have multiple ones. All you need is a capable graphics card and enough ports on your computer. Once you have opened your web browser in one monitor and your email in another and you do not have to do the constant switching, you will wonder how you got along with just one monitor! This upgrade can be done with both laptops and desktops.
  • Add USB 3.0 Ports – Moving up from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 will provide almost as much “WOW” factor as upgrading from a spinning hard drive to an SSD. USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than 2.0, so if you are copying files to an external hard drive you will notice a big difference.
  • Replace an old wireless router with a new, faster one – While this isn’t considered an upgrade to your computer, if you stream video, visit high-bandwidth websites, and/or have several simultaneous Wi-Fi users on your local network, installing a state-of-the-art wireless router will make your devices feel like they were upgraded.
  • Install a second access point or extender – If you are experiencing problems accessing the Wi-Fi signal in different sections of your house, consider installing an extender or second access point. This will enhance your Internet surfing experience on your computer.

With that in mind, here are some computer upgrades that I would not typically recommend:

  • Upgrading to a new motherboard and CPU – when a new PC cost $2000 or more, it made sense to spend $750 on a new “motherboard” and CPU. Now, it just doesn’t. Don’t do it!
  • Making a big jump in Operating Systems like from Windows XP to Windows 7. Usually, it is time for a new computer.
  • Adding a new video card – If you primarily use your computer to visit websites, check your email, chat with friends, interact with Facebook and other social media sites, use Microsoft Office or watch online videos, the video card that’s already inside your PC is almost certainly more than powerful enough to perform those tasks with ease. Upgrading to a new video card is unlikely to make any noticeable difference whatsoever. If you play graphics-intensive games or want to connect an extra monitor or two, adding a faster, more capable video card can be a good deal.
  • Upgrading or replacing an internal Optical Drive – Like the floppy disk drive before it, the optical drive may one day be nonexistent. Thanks to the popularity of streaming audio and video along with the move from disc-based software distribution to instant downloads, optical drives are becoming less necessary. As a result, only a relative handful of new computers are even being shipped with internal optical drives. If you still find yourself needing to use an optical drive, instead of upgrading your computer’s internal optical drive to a newer and faster model, I strongly recommend opting for an external USB 3.0 optical drive instead.

Bottom line: Knowing which computer upgrades make sense and which ones to avoid will help you get the most “bang for the buck” from your upgrade dollars. Hopefully, these suggestions will provide you with a useful framework for deciding when to upgrade.

No matter what, we hope you enjoy your computing experience.