I’ve been very critical of the sneaky tricks Microsoft has been pulling to try to get users to upgrade to Windows 10. In my opinion, all that’s done is annoy a lot of customers, and tarnish the name of what is actually a very good operating system.
If you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, and you’re on Windows 7 or 8.1, don’t let Microsoft’s stupid tactics turn you away from the new OS. There’s only a few days remaining to get Windows 10 for free, and you really should seize the opportunity — even if you intend to stick with your current OS for a while longer. These are the reasons why I think you should upgrade:
It’s Getting Better All The Time
Windows 10 was a little buggy and rather unfinished to begin, but Microsoft has been working hard to polish it up, introduce new features, fix problems and generally enhance the OS. The November Update improved Windows 10 considerably, and the forthcoming Anniversary Update will make it even better still.
Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 is very much a work in progress, and Microsoft will continue to add new features and make improvements on a regular basis.
It’s More Secure
Yes, third-party security software will keep your system safe from a lot of threats, but Windows 10 is just more secure out of the box. If you don’t have any form of anti-malware installed, Windows Defender will step in to provide a decent level of protection. The Anniversary Update introduces a Limited Periodic Scanning mode that sets Windows Defender to scan your PC at intervals, even if you have another anti-virus program installed, so it will be even better at keeping your system safe.
There Are Lots of Great Features
You may not have use for things like Windows Store apps, or Windows Ink, but there are lots of features you will like in Windows 10.
- Cortana — While this won’t be something everyone embraces, Microsoft’s virtual assistant is a handy inclusion and lets you search for anything, using keyboard and voice, and delivers relevant information. It will be even more useful in the Anniversary Update.
Task View — This gives you access to multiple virtual desktops, so you can spread out, which will help boost your productivity.
Snapping — You can now have four windows snapped together on one screen, which is handy for anyone with big displays.
The Start menu — It’s great mix of Windows 7 and 8.1, re-sizable, and the live tiles provide quick access to information, such as news headlines, emails, and the weather. In the Anniversary Update, the Start menu is getting a refresh and will be much more usable.
Action Center — An area that provides a single place for all your notifications from Windows and installed apps. It also provides quick access to your choice of various settings.
Edge — Yes, Microsoft Edge isn’t anywhere near as good as Chrome, or Firefox, but it is getting better all the time, and in the Anniversary Update will get support for extensions, making it much more customizable.
A 21st Century Command Prompt — You can now properly resize the command prompt window and use keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste content. A welcome inclusion.
Windows Ink — Draw on your computer desktop and programs using a stylus or your finger.
GNU Bash shell — A Ubuntu command line inside Windows 10. Yes, it’s maybe something only developers will care about, but it’s a welcome addition.
You Can Disable or Replace Anything You Don’t Like
Love the Windows 7 Start menu? You can get it by installing Classic Shell. Don’t like the fact Windows 10 spies on your usage? You can block that using W10Privacy. There are lots of third-party apps you can use to customize Windows 10 however you’d like.
You Will Likely Switch to Windows 10 Eventually Anyway
This is the operating system of the future, and eventually you will end up using it one way or another. If you buy a new PC it will come installed as standard. You can hold off for a while — years and years in fact — but it’s a good OS and once you’ve given it a chance, you will probably come to like it. Truth be told, there’s little to dislike about it, really.
If you don’t get it for free now, and you decide you do want it later on, it will cost you $119 for Windows 10 Home or $199 for Windows 10 Pro.
You Can Get It For Free, And Still Use Windows 7 or 8.1
This, for me, is the number one reason to get the upgrade while it’s free. The update process grants your PC a digital entitlement to Windows 10. Once you have that, you can install and use Windows 10 whenever you like, for free, including past the July 29 cutoff. In other words, you can upgrade to Windows 10 now, roll it back to Windows 7 or 8.1 and use the older operating system for as long as you like. When you are finally ready to make the switch to Windows 10 you can install it again, and not pay a penny. A win-win.
While Windows 10 is introducing subscriptions for enterprises, there are no plans for subscriptions for consumers. Once you have Windows 10 on your PC, you won’t need to pay another penny for it. Free really does mean free.