/ Technology

Being offered a Windows 10 upgrade? Don’t take it up yet!

Windows 10 logo

Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade for many Windows 7 and 8 owners. But, by upgrading, are we just helping Microsoft cut research costs on a product that isn’t ready?

For many years I’ve used Microsoft Windows and have stuck with it from as early on as Windows 98. Last year I moved or ‘upgraded’ from Windows XP to Windows 7. And that move went without a hitch – mainly because I didn’t move to Windows 7 as soon as it was released.

Don’t upgrade to Windows 10 yet

Now that Windows 10 has been released, our advice is the same as it has always been. If you’re new to computing or you’re an intermediate user, don’t move to a new system like this straight away. Wait at least six months. I say this because the real and final test for Microsoft is when Windows 10 hits the market – and that market is us users!

Unless you’re an enthusiast or a computer geek who enjoys the challenge of fixing computer problems, don’t take up the Windows 10 download offer straight away. Microsoft has indicated it will be free for a whole year, so there’s no real hurry.

Remember future updates from Microsoft will include patches for problems that users have pointed out for them, and not all manufacturers will have prepared software drivers in time. Software drivers are the bits of software that allow your computer to talk to devices you connect to; for example many printer manufacturers may not have completed their driver testing in time for the release of Windows 10.

Windows 10 problems

We’ve had a huge influx of Windows 10 problems reported to us in the Which? Computing Helpdesk. These technical gremlins include loss of internet access, no printing options, loss of access to email and web browser issues.

Of course, not everyone has had these poor experiences, but with millions of computers out there running different applications and programs they won’t all react the same way.

Personally, I’ll be keeping my powder dry for the time being and will likely download Windows 10 in early spring when most of the bugs and glitches have been resolved.

I urge you to do the same. Remember that we’re providing Microsoft with huge amounts of feedback they would otherwise have needed to pay for. Do you really want to be an unpaid member of Microsoft’s Research & Development department? The decision is yours.

If you’ve already upgraded to Windows 10, is it working OK for you or are you regretting the move?


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Very lucidly stated Duncan.

The only bit that could be added is where is the forced download hidden on the system.

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This comment was removed at the request of the user

This comment was removed at the request of the user

This comment was removed at the request of the user

bishbut says:
2 October 2015

Down loaded windows 10 tried for 3weeks ever increasing problems which I couldn’t find answers to so went back to windows 8

I upgraded to Windows 10 the first day it came out, along with a few friends, and we have had no problems at all.

In-fact Firefox is faster, my Thunderbird does not crash like it used to. VLC, Skype all perfect too. We have had no problems and are very happy with Windows 10. So much better than 8 and 8.1, glad i upgraded .

I upgraded to Windows 10 out of curiosity the first day it came out and went sraight back to what I had the day after. Absolutely nothing worked, and I don’t have the patience or inclination to help Microsoft perfect this product, for free or otherwise.

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Actually my W10 test box happily ran all sorts of “legacy” XP era apps….

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I just did some field trials using a few of my favourites golden oldies, including Office 2000.

I wasn’t attempting to put any of them to serious use, but was satisfied that they would install and run OK.

This was mostly done because I have noticed that PC World always try to upsell a new copy of Office each time they sell a new PC. One of the “hurt and rescue” strategies I’ve witnessed there was telling folk that 32-bit versions of Office would not run on 64-bit Windows versions. My personal experience is that isn’t true with such versions of W7 & W10 that I’ve used.

I know there is a lot of information “out there” on the internet. However, folk with nothing to complain about are less likely to post than those with axes to grind. Also, a lost of postings come from enthusiastic but non-expert authors – quite often these people are talking way outside the limits of their actual first hand knowledge or experience. Hence one has to consider whether or not the associated facts are likely to be correct or not.

I certainly saw several teething problems with the old-Vista machine that I first used as a W10 test bed. In that case, I think they were sufficient to confirm my existing view that the best available upgrade for an old Vista machine is LXLE (you might prefer Mint with either Mate or XFCE though…). My W7 HP laptop seemed to take W10 OK though. But so what? I’m still convinced that XP is my favourite version of Windows – and my recommended “upgrade path” is onwards and upwards to LXLE, so bye, bye Windows!

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Strangely enough, most versions of Linux are produced by commercial organisations. The software engineers who write Linux and other GPL licensed software are funny folk. You may not believe this, but they actually expect to get paid for their work, just as all other kinds of engineers do.

Most of the software in Linux is free, as in free speech, but not necessarily free, as in free beer. For example, the GPL licence conditions actually allow you to either charge for software, or give it away free, or both. So, in practice, Linux gives users the choice of either paying for software – and support for it – or not paying and supporting it themselves. Hence both Ubuntu and its “parent” Debian can be had for free – or you can choose to pay for supported versions.

John says:
5 October 2015

Don’t even think about downloading the free Windows10 upgrade – that’s my advice, from my own personal experience. I downloaded it, believing that I could then “park” it until I was ready to install it on an unimportant old PC where I could safely try it out before committing to it. But, oh no, good old MS – having received the download, it then kept frequently pestering me to install it and I couldn’t stop the frequent and irritating “let’s get started” pop ups. When I tried to follow instructions to either remove or to hide the update, it just kept on repeatedly downloading, in the background, without my knowing, until my broadband provider sent me a warning of imminent service interruption due to exceeding my usage allowance! Plus, having read one of the comments above, it’s made me realise that I haven’t noticed any new Windows 7 Updates notifications recently, so I’m now wondering if the presence of my Windows 10 download has blocked these as a way of nudging me into installing it as my Windows 7 begins to fall foul of not being updatable? – I wouldn’t put it past MS to be surreptitiously “forcing” users onto Windows10, so that they can announce an end to Windows 7/Windows 8 support.

John says:
5 October 2015

Further to my comment above, I have just spent several hours searching all over my W7 PC to find out the status of Windows 10’s dirty footprint upon it. I found the FOLDER “$Windows.~BT” referred to above by duncan lucas, but it was only 478Kb in size, not the several Gb needed to account for a W10 download. I searched through the hidden updates/update history and could only find a “cancelled” status. As I suspected, I have not been receiving W7 update notifications since downloading W10 – manually initiating an “update search” took it about an hour to complete and find 20 updates, never notified to me. And, there again was a prominent reminder to download W10, at 2.160 Gb. I ignored it and just selected the smallest “important update” of only 44Kb in size and started to download it – guess what? – W10 again began to download at 2.16 Gb, gobbling up my usage allowance – MS had craftiliy slipped it in as a pre-ticked box within the “optional updates” category, so I stopped the huge download, unticked the W10 “optional download” and tried again to download just the tiny 44Kb “important” download – I’m still waiting as it has shown “0% complete” for the last 20 minutes. To me, this is all utterly convincing evidence that MS is trying to push W10 onto us whether we want it or not.

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I idiotly download win10 on 4 laptops & 2 desktops that i had to buy a new one where i refuze to download it until nxt may2016

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I upgraded to Windows 10 in July with no problems whatsoever. My only complaint is that the excellent Windows 8 email is no more and the replacement is useless.

There has been a major update to Windows 10 released in the last couple of weeks. A vast improvement over the original release. Fixed all of the issues that I had with it. Using 8 or 8.1 was almost impossible without a touch screen. I think Microsoft had lost their way a little bit and it’s great to see the start button back! Having held back on upgrading all of the PC’s in my house (7 !), I now see no reason not to.

The old Windows Live Mail should have been preserved during the upgrade. Mine was and it works as before and I have 30,000 emails stored in my system, going back 16 years. You should be able to do a free download of all or some of Windows Live Essentials 2012 which includes Windows Live Mail.

I would like it to be easy to try out new operating systems but go back to the earlier one if you have problems.

I am a Mac user and always wait to read if there are problems before updating. The only problems that I have had is that older software may not work properly or at all after an OS upgrade. Unfortunately, that is a major problem if you have older software that would be expensive to update.

Perhaps the original article should be retired!
I’ve now upgraded three PCs without any problems. Start up is quicker than win 7 and has good functionality.

I upgraded my quite old PC from Windows 7 to 10 a few weeks ago without any problems. The system is running faster. My sons have also upgraded a PC and a laptop, also without problems. I have also just set up a new Dell All in One PC for my sister. This was delivered with Windows 8.1 whose interface I hated, so I immediately upgraded this to Windows 10. It’s early days but it appears to be working well. In the process I discovered that Windows Photo Viewer had become “hidden” on my PC, whilst it is visible on the new PC – this should not have happened but I have found a fix which my techie son will implement as it’s outside my capabilities.

Why oh why does MS have to keep changing everything?? (Apple have more sense!). I’m very happy with Windows 7 at work. Bought a new home laptop and of course it had Windows 8 – ugh! – all different! – how do you add a printer? Heard W10 was better and upgraded with difficulty. ( No icon in the task bar – Why not?). Possibly slightly better but mostly different AGAIN! Obviously meant for a touchscreen which I don’t have. Please can I go back to W7!

After the launch of OS X, which was a huge change from earlier operating systems, Apple’s approach has been to introduce more incremental changes, which don’t seem to alienate users to the same extent as Microsoft manages to do. Moving from one version of OS X to the next has never presented me with any significant issue. My big problem has been that I never know whether old paid-for software is going to continue to work. I keep getting reminders that I can upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan (I prefer OS X 10.10 to 10.11 rather than silly names) but will my Adobe software still work? It seems that PCs offer better compatibility of old software with new operating systems. To the best of my knowledge there is no easy way to go back to an older Apple operating system.

I know several people who have installed W10 and are happy with it, though none of them are advanced users.

Yes, ‘American National Parks’ is an interesting series theme. Did it start with ‘Appalachian’ by any chance?

I always hold back from the significant OS upgrades. When Yosemite arrived, I waited until the 3rd iteration before taking the plunge. Even by them, however, Apple hadn’t sorted out iPhoto or Aperture, so neither worked with Yosemite. Finally, about four weeks ago, they did, so now I’ve upgraded across all the machines. Aperture was particularly important, as I’d spent some time getting to learn how to use it, so I didn’t want it to simply disappear.

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