Still looking for compelling reasons to upgrade to Windows 10? When the Microsoft juggernaut is barreling towards you, there's very little you can do. Step out of the way or be run over by aggressive tactics, for the good cop/bad cop routine has reached new levels. On the one hand, the gently persuasive upgrade campaign does advertise a free and easy transition if you have a Windows 7 or Windows 8 license. Then there's the slightly shady way in which the the bad cop persona downloads a Windows 10 ISO file in the background (www.theinquirer.net). The addition of a 6GB folder containing a mysterious hidden file labelled '$Windows.~BT' wasn't an action expected of a trusted company. And this dubious strategy was accompanied by nag screens and popups, all of which served to stir the metaphorical pot and raise questions over an atypical behavior pattern that could, arguably, be viewed as unethical.
Regardless of the legitimacy of this intrusive upgrade strategy, the upgrade to windows 10 is a positive step forward, but does it carry enough weight to persuade the huge Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 user base to upgrade?
Will My Games Run Faster?
Computers are handy companions for writing letters and doing your taxes, but we all know they excel as game workstations, state-of-the-art gaming engines that surpass consoles when the hardware is up to the task. The arrival of DirectX 12 takes graphics tech to the next level, adding high-level API's that optimize the graphical muscle powering your hardware. Hardware utilization is an issue, what with only certain GPU's (geforce.com) able to handle DirectX 12, but uptake is sure to increase as games optimized for Windows 10 hit store shelves. If you have Window 10 installed, DirectX 12 is included.
Take a look at the Xbox App included as part of the Windows 10 ecosystem for yet another compelling reason to upgrade. The App interfaces with your Xbox console to keep you connected to the Xbox Live Community.
Just Who is this Cortana Person?
Digital companions are growing in popularity. They're the virtual presences that respond to spoken questions and carry out occasional actions in response to a clearly articulated query. Cortana is a member of this elite family, a synthetic assistant who browses the internet and digs through local content for multimedia content. That means she'll play tracks from your music collection and hop over to wikipedia or Bing when you ask her a question. She'll even tell lousy jokes, seriously, and pull up driving directions. We noticed the quality of the hardware makes a big difference here, sometimes leaving your "Hey, Cortana" command hanging in the wind. Either she's ignoring us or we need to shout until we're hoarse. Fortunately, you can descend into the Windows 10 settings panels and train Cortana to recognize your own dulcet tones.
Is The Windows 10 Interface Really That Different?
On first appearance, things don't look much different from past versions of Microsoft's OS. The differences begin when you hit the Start button. If you remember the debacle caused by this one little feature in Windows 8, you'll know that it caused big ripples in the community. That's been fixed here with a composite, a blending of the traditional menu with the live tiles found on the Start Screen. Next, the Action Center integrates a feature already popular on your smartphone, the incorporation of slick rendered notifications. Click on the speech bubble and a side panel opens to reveal a more detailed look at the notifications as well as a handy series of visual cues, square boxes that tell you whether Bluetooth, WiFi, or any other setting is currently active. These cues come into their own on 2-in-1 convertibles, the laptops that transform into tablets, for tablet mode relies heavily on such notifications.
The verdict is an overwhelming yes, the upgrade is worthwhile when moving across from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, especially as it's free. For Vista and XP users, this is a paid upgrade, which makes sense as there's likely to be more compatibility issues to deal with when upgrading from these older versions of the operating system. As for compatibility problems in Windows 10, there are some but they're rare. The upgrade experience is typically smooth, though some niggling error codes do occur, so carry out file backups before committing to the upgrade. Secure and fast, Windows 10 is worth the effort. Remember, even after your upgrade our Windows 10 forum is here to help you resolve your issues.