Microsoft recently announced the impending arrival of the next generation of Windows operating systems, Windows 10. Apparently it’s so great it needed to jump version 9. (Sorry, that’s bad.) Anyway, Windows 10 promises to fulfill some of the promises of Windows 8, while preserving what you love in Windows 7. But currently the release date is “late 2015.” So what do you need to know now?
- What you have is not going out of support any time soon
Currently, end of life for Windows 7 is set for 2020, so there is plenty of life left in the old girl. Like XP before it, Windows 7 is likely to have a long service life, because so many users have adopted it—and many just recently. The same goes for Windows 8 and 8.1. However…
- Windows 8 may not get as many feature updates
Windows 8 has been getting several face lifts with 8.1 and other updates to improve on faults users have found with it. While no official word has been put out on this, many of the desired features for a potential 8.2 update are being shown off as Windows 10 features. So it is unlikely we will see these until Windows 10.
- Upgrading in the interim
With this announcement, most enterprise corporations will stop upgrading to 8 and wait for 10 to come out and show its colors. But we aren’t all enterprises that make IT decisions in decade-long plans. So if you need a computer in the next two years, what do you do? It is hard to say definitely until Microsoft releases more info about upgrade paths, but here are a couple ideas based on your scenario:
- Home user or early adopter: Windows 8 is a great operating system and while even a fan like me must concede it has flaws, it is likely your better—and in many cases your only—option. Also, if upgrading to 10 is anything like the 7 to 8 transition, it will be very easy to upgrade your existing system. There will likely be deals in the first month or so to incentivize you to upgrade.
- Businesses and conservative users: This is a hard call. Windows 7 is a great operating system and at this point (looking at you people still lingering on XP), it should be the OS you know. However, it is starting to show some of its age, with patches starting to increase the base line idle speed for most systems. Also, in the absence of more word from Microsoft and following past trends, being on Windows 7 may limit your upgrade options should you postpone a move to 10. Windows 8 is much faster than 7 and has proven reliable. It does, however, require adapting to its new interface ideas. Realistically, this is a decision that you need to make with your trusted IT advisor to make sure your needs are met either way you choose.
The coming year will be an exciting time for us, as we get to play with the beta [pre-release version] and more announcements come out. We will keep you up to date on which of these things matter to you and what you can look forward to.