Anyone know whether it's worth upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10?

I caught this article which says that for the next 12 months Microsoft will offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for users of Windows 8.1.

I have a laptop and I’ve been perfectly happy with 8.1 since buying the laptop a couple of years back. Any solid advantages to upgrading? Any potential downside? Or should I take the old adage to heart, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’

You’ll get support and security patches for longer. And youll get the Start Menu back, if that’s important to you.

Other than that, I imagine there will be improvements to various specific features and functions.

It’s hard to tell until Windows 10 is released. It would depend on how buggy it is.

From what I have read windows 10 seems to be fixing my main issue with window 8.1. Which is the Metro apps will now be able to be run in widows on the desktop to there might be a chance I will use them. But I personally won’t upgrade to the windows 10 betas. I will wait until it is finalized and then I will wait a little while long to see if they are getting good reviews.

Installing Classic Shell can restore the start menu to Win8 users right now.

I know. But it’s a built in feature in win10, which is what the OP was asking about.

I think that’s good advice and I’m going to follow it. I’m always chary about these upgrades anyway. I have a second laptop with Windows 8.0. When I tried installing the 8.1 upgrade it froze at 82% and had to be rolled back, not entirely successfully as I now have a schizophrenic laptop which tells me I’m using Windows 8.1 but has none of 8.1’s features.

I later found a host of hits on Google for the 82% sticking point and I count myself fortunate I didn’t run into the same problem when I upgraded my primary laptop.

Yep, I’m going to hold fire on this, especially now I know it’s still in beta, which I was unaware of.

Thanks for the advice, guys!

If that article is to be believed, it sounds a little like win10 could be the last version of windows, with future changes coming as updates - a bit like the OSX model.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will be able to get a free upgrade to Win 10 for 1 year after the launch date. The release date is allegedly this summer.

In November I plan to research the matter and if all goes well install Win 10 the following January. Before I do that I will image my hard drive. Also afterwards. I suspect that frequent image backups and restore points will be wise moving forwards.

I installed the Windows 10 technical preview a few days ago to give it a try after having used Windows 8 and 8.1 since their respective releases. Just my opinion, but hopefully relevant:

The good:

  • Integrates things that really should’ve been there from the get-go, like a start menu and Windowed Metro apps. Stardock’s Start8 and ModernMix software already did a very good job of both, but having them natively integrated into the OS is nice.

  • Remember how Windows 7 still had control panels, and then Windows 8 kept some and moved some other settings to the annoying “charms” bars? 10 is a bit less schizophrenic and re-combines them a bit better, though it’s very buggy right now – some settings that were meant to be unified just disappeared via broken links.

  • The potential for “Universal” apps that can run and auto scale from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone is intriguing, but Microsoft is soooooo far behind Apple and Android I doubt they can catch up. The Windows app store is just full of poorly-written, hard to use crap. And now Google is experimenting with making Android apps run in Chrome, further securing their lead.

  • The built-in voice assistant, Cortana, shows some promise. Right now Google Now seems better at both speech recognition and returning useful results, but having it built into the OS and always available with a “Hey, Cortana” is nice. It’s also something that Microsoft has been researching for decades, so hopefully it’ll be more mature and awesome by release.

  • Minor improvements to things like multiple desktops, copy & paste in the command prompt, various other things I can’t remember

  • It’s a free upgrade

The bad:

  • So, so ugly. The icons are so bad. The margins are all fucked up. The Cortana search bar randomly overlaps the rest of the taskbar, the min/max/close buttons are spaced out really weird, random other parts of the UI and text are poorly spaced out and cut into each other. Cortana’s loading screen is pixelated.

  • The new Start Menu is still annoying by default. The “tiles” come with useless clutter like random recipes from sites, sports tickers, blah blah. Almost as bad as the Yahoo home page with ads and shit, except it’s there every time you click Start. I’d much rather just be able to drag a commonly used program into a tile, but it wouldn’t let me do that.

So is it worth it? They’re just minor, incremental improvements in an age where the OS matters less and less and everything happens on a website or in an app, anyway. The microsoft of old would just have called this Windows 8.1 SP1 or Windows 8.2, but I guess now they’re so desperate for relevance they skipped 1.9 versions. They’re essentially giving you some minor UI tweaks and a whole lot of ugliness for free.

If you like new & shiny and they manage to fix the pre-release hideousness, well, why not – it’s free and make life a tiny bit easier.

If you don’t like experimenting with unnecessary new changes to your OS, you can get 90% of what Windows 10 offers with three things:

  1. Stardock’s Start8 for a Windows 7-esque start menu
  2. Stardock’s ModernMix to run Metro apps in windows (although after two years I still haven’t found a single worthwhile Metro app)
  3. Turn on Google Now in Chrome or keep using Siri

For what it’s worth, I uninstalled it after a day and went back to 8.1. But I’ll probably upgrade upon release.

The thing that’s actually worrying me is driver support for older GPUs. If not for that, I’d recommend that anyone with Windows 7 or 8.x to upgrade once Windows 10 is stable. Microsoft has made it clear they really want people to leave those versions, so they’re going to be pushing rather hard.

Pus, unless you jump to a Mac or Linux or away from PC altogether, you’re going to eventually be using Windows 10 anyways. Might as well get it while it’s free.

When I went to Win 7, a number of my older apps became unusable. The one that hurt the worst was my spell checker that I had so carefully tuned to my needs. If I move to 10, will anything else break? And how hard is it to go back. I am convinced that MS hates us old farts.

You can keep using Windows 7/8 drivers with 10.

The switch from 7 to 10 should be much less rough. XP to 7 broke a lot of programs, but 7 to 10 should be seamless… in theory. You could back up your existing installation prior to installation, to be safe.

But IMO, there’s nothing wrong with 7. Still one of their best OSes yet, and 10 is just mostly-unnecessary toys on top of that. If you like chasing the latest and great, cool, but if you’re satisfied with 7, why risk the pain?

only i reason i abandoned win-xp was because microsoft no longer offered security updates.

veritably, once win-10 is official … will install the free update … and continue using classic-shell as interface.