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Like many people this morning I booted my computer to find that Microsoft had added a “get windows 10 icon” to my taskbar. Having no idea what it did and me being me, I clicked it.
This is the free upgrade to Windows 10 that Microsoft promised all Windows 7 & 8 users, you can reserve your update slot for Windows 10 when it becomes available (should be later this summer). The big question is do I want it.
There are no easy answers to this.
If you are still running Windows XP and unless you know what you are doing please upgrade to a newer version of Windows (you are vulnerable to attacks).
If you are running Windows 8 and are happy with the way it works why do you need to move to Windows 10. Microsoft will say that you will keep everything that you love about Windows 8 and get lots of new exciting innovating products and experience a better way to work.
I don’t know if this is true as I have not spent much time with Windows 10 but from what I have seen it doesn’t seem to be that different from its predecessor. However, if you wish to keep up to date with patches and updates then I would definitely do this (it is free after all).
If like me you are running Windows 7 and really don’t like Windows 8 then we have a problem as support for Windows 7 is likely to start dropping off soon. Mainstream support ended January 2015, extended support will continue till January 2020. But as many people found with XP the updates started to become less regular in the last few years. Now I do not think that Microsoft (or any other software company) should support an old version for ever but this shift to the new interface and way of working will leave me and may others with nowhere to go.
Let me explain the problem that I and many others have; we work with computers in many different ways I primarily work within the CAD/CAM (Computer-aided design/Computer-aided manufacturing) world. Most of my day is spent with my right hand on the mouse using all three buttons and the scroll and my left hand on the numerical keypad I need to swap between programs quickly. Windows 7 fits my needs perfectly it has an always ontop taskbar and start menu I am familiar with, so when I need to launch a new program I do not have to return to a home screen. Windows 8 slows me down and as I am self-employed and cannot afford to waste time this is not a good way to go
Many people out there will tell me I just need to get used to Windows 8, and I did try by purchasing a new computer with Windows 8 installed and used it as much as I could for all non-work related things and then slowly integrated it into my day.
This did not go well the habits I have picked up and used since 1995 do not die easy. Time and time again I could not find what I needed or hit the wrong thing. After 3 months I concluded that Windows 8 does not fit with the way I like to work and installed Windows 7. I am not alone in finding this many within my industry have said the same and many other people are finding Windows 8 hard to work with.
So if you don’t like or cannot work with Windows 8 what are your options?
Not many as far as I can see: most of the software I work with is not available for the Mac or Linux. The ones that are available work well but I still need all the others on one machine.
In conclusion, I and many others find themselves in-between a rock and a hard place – do we carry on with Windows 7 and hope that Windows 10.1 (or 10.2) will meet our needs? Or do we upgrade to Windows 10 now and try to cope as best we can.