The Latest Microsoft Windows 10: What to Know About It
Microsoft wants to regain the massive market share they used to enjoy with Windows. They still have the lion’s share of the OS market, but it is slowly being winnowed away by OSX, the free Linux distros, and their own Windows 7, which many users refuse to upgrade out of. Microsoft had a great idea: offer Windows 10 as a completely FREE update to existing Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users.
And it worked. At the very least, they were able to regain the users who refused to upgrade, as making things free is always a good incentive. So if you’re reading this now, chances are you’re either already on Windows 10 and looking for more information about the OS, or still on an older Windows and looking for more reasons to upgrade. Whichever you are, here are a few things you need to know about Windows 10:
It’s Not Significantly Slower than its Predecessors, if at All
If you were able to run Windows 7 or 8, you can run Windows 10. It is a common misconception that Windows 10 is slower, and is most likely a statement made by individuals who were so used to newer software requiring more powerful hardware. In Windows 10’s case, there is an emphasis on making the OS run even on underpowered hardware. In fact, there are tablets, smartphones, and netbooks that are running well on Windows 10.
Metro is No Longer Around, or is Still Around, Depending on Your Preference
The Metro interface was a divisive issue for Microsoft. It received a lot of criticism for being harder to use for people who are already used to classic windows UI, but was also well-loved by new users and fit in well with mobile devices. With Windows10, Microsoft decided to give everyone they want: a desktop mode that is closer to the classic UI behavior, and a tablet mode that uses the metro style behavior first introduced in Windows 8. There is no longer any need to resort to 3rd party software if you want to bring back the old classic UI behavior.
If You’re a Gamer, You’ll Want to Upgrade
Directx 12 is designed to give game developers a way of tapping more of your hardware’s potential, by minimizing the layers of abstraction between code and hardware. This will result in massive performance increases in future games, as well as cool new computing and visual tricks. But you Directx 12 is only available on Windows 10. So if you’re a gamer, you’ll have to upgrade eventually, especially when new games start requiring Directx 12.
The Driver Incompatibility Issue is Overblown
While it’s true that some hardware will stop working until the manufacturer decides to release new drivers, Windows 10 won’t really require you to buy new hardware. W10 can use W8 drivers, so if you were using Windows 8, chances are you won’t have any trouble with your existing hardware. Besides, W10 has been out for almost a year now. So, chances are, manufacturers have already released driver updates. Basically, if you were using a specific hardware for Windows 7 or 8, there’s a huge chance that you’ll get it to work on Windows 10.
The Windows Store is not at the Best State Right Now
Unfortunately, despite all the improvements that W10 brings, the Windows store is not one of them. It is basically not yet ready for prime time. It lacks established apps and games, and in the case of games, has unwarranted features that could get in the way of your enjoyment, such as always borderless fullscreen mode, forced V-sync, and performance issues compared to native Windows games and apps.
It’s Not Free Forever
Microsoft is very specific that Windows 10 will only be offered as a free update to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users for 1 year after the OS is released. The cut-off date is July 29, 2016, so if you’re still undecided, the window (pun intended) is closing fast. You’ll have to start upgrading soon or decide to remain on your current OS. After the cut-off, Windows 10 will be a commercial upgrade, which means you have to pay for it.
Last But Not the Least: You Might Not Have a Choice
One of the main reasons Microsoft is offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade is that they want to retire Windows 7 as cleanly as possible, so they are trying to get everyone to abandon it and upgrade to Windows 10 instead. They don’t want to support the legacy OS anymore and just want to devote resources to maintaining W10.
This means updates on W7 will eventually stop and you’ll be left with a stagnant OS that is prone to new exploits and vulnerabilities. You can stay safe by being diligent and trying to get as much third party tools to cover the security holes, but it can only do so much. Moving to a newer, still-updated OS is so much better.