Should I upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10?
When considering upgrading your computer from Windows 8 to 10, there are several questions you’ll need to consider. Are you already familiar with Windows 10? Do you have any preferences? Are you comfortable with Windows 8, or do you want access to the new and exciting features Windows 10 offers? The answers to these questions, and others, will inform on where you stand in the Windows 8 vs. Windows 10 debate. The operating systems are very different, so it's helpful to know what each has to offer.
Windows 8 vs. Windows 10: What are the differences?
One of the most controversial features of Windows 8 was the Start screen. Older Windows versions had a small Start menu on the desktop, but Windows 8 did away with a Start button or a Start menu. Instead, when booting up users were greeted with a Windows 8 Start screen that filled the screen with large tiles representing the programs on the computer. Many users didn’t like that feature and made their opinions known.
In addition, some features users desired simply weren’t available in Windows 8, including support for virtual desktops. And while Windows 8 supported multitasking, the feature was clunky and often confusing. Updates to the OS addressed some, but not all, of the issues that caused consternation among users.
Generally, Windows 10 will be the better choice if a consumer is seeking the latest user experience, but if you’re comfortable with your present OS or your existing computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to handle Windows 10, then Windows 8 is a capable and attractive alternative with many attractive features.
Why upgrade to Windows 10?
It's a common question that users ask: Why get Windows 10 if I’m happy with my current OS?
Perhaps most simply, Windows 10 is the future, while Windows 8 represents the past. Users can expect all software moving forward to be tailored around Windows 10, and Microsoft has been phasing out its support of older operating systems.
Additionally, Windows 10 comes with many attractive features, including integration with the Cortana digital voice assistant, the new Microsoft Edge browser and the return of the classic Windows Start Menu. Combining the best features of Windows 8 (the square icon graphic interface, for example) with legacy features going all the way back to Windows 95, Windows 10 is designed to be the do-it-all operating system.
Windows 10 offers a variety of powerful tools for business use, including advanced security and support for the latest versions of productivity software packages. Windows 10 also supports virtual desktops that can each display different open apps and browser windows. That’s a great feature for keeping work separate from personal stuff.
With an increasing emphasis in education on remote learning, upgrading to Windows 10 ensures compatibility with all online learning platforms.
And if you're a gamer, you’ll be pleased to know that Windows 10 offers a host of features designed to improve the gaming experience. Enabling Game Mode on a laptop or desktop PC allows the OS to squeeze out every bit of performance from the computer, prioritizing processor and graphics card resources to your game. DirectX 12, an integral part of Windows 10, produces higher frame rates and reduced latency for breathtaking graphics. As an added bonus, the included Xbox app lets users play console games on their PC.
Ultimately, cost and minimum device requirements are likely to play the largest role in why someone would choose to stick with Windows 8 rather than upgrade.
Another option for those wanting the power of Windows 10
Let’s face it: If your computer came preloaded with Windows 8, chances are it’s at least five years old. In the computer world, that makes it a dinosaur.
If that computer is adequate for your needs, by all means stick with it. But if you increasingly run into situations where you can’t take advantage of today’s applications because your computer lacks the horsepower, it may be time to upgrade your entire system.