Should I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?
If you purchased a laptop or desktop PC between 2009 and 2012, chances are it came preloaded with the Windows 7 operating system.
Windows 7 was the successor to 2007’s Windows Vista, and included improvements on existing Windows features as well as a host of new ones. Windows 7 improved on the Windows Aero interface introduced with Vista, adding a redesigned taskbar where users could “pin” their favorite applications. Other new features included the file sharing system HomeGroup, support for multitouch and updates to applications such as Internet Explorer 8 and the Windows Media Player.
But as Windows 7 passes its tenth birthday, it’s beginning to show its age.
Windows 7 vs. Windows 10
When it was released, Windows 7 was praised by users thanks to its improved performance and intuitive interface. More than 100 million copies were sold in the six months after release, with that total reaching 630 million by July 2012. The OS remains popular, with Statcounter GlobalStats estimating that more than 21% of all computers running Windows are using Windows 7.
But things are constantly evolving in the computer world, and it’s no different when it comes to operating systems. We’re already two versions past Windows 7, with Windows 10 now the latest Windows OS.
In addition, Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 at the beginning of 2020. And without ongoing support, you could potentially be at risk for security issues. Users also don’t have access to the Windows store, meaning they can’t use many of the latest productivity and gaming apps designed to run on Windows 10.
How Windows 10 Improves on Windows 7
Why get Windows 10 if I’m happy with Windows 7? That’s a common question among users.
If that computer is adequate for your needs, by all means stick with it. But when it comes to computing, Windows 10 is the future and Windows 7 is the past. Users can expect all software moving forward to be tailored around Windows 10.
Windows 10 offers automatic updates by default, meaning you’ll always have the most robust security available.
Additionally, Windows 10 comes with many attractive features that enhance the user experience, including integration with the Cortana digital voice assistant and the new Microsoft Edge browser. Windows 10 was designed with touch in mind, so if your computer includes touch capabilities Windows 10 is the perfect match.
Windows 10 comes with newer and more powerful productivity and media apps, including new Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People, Mail and Calendar. The Internet Explorer browser has been replaced by Microsoft Edge, which offers improved compatibility and speed as well as new features including webpage markup and reading mode.
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, making it easy to keep work separate from personal activity.
With an increasing emphasis in education on remote learning, upgrading to Windows 10 ensures compatibility with all online learning platforms.
And for serious gamers, 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. In addition, the included Xbox app lets users play console games on their PC.
Another option for those wanting the power Windows 10
Let’s face it: If your computer came preloaded with Windows 7, chances are it’s more than 10 years old. In the computer world, that makes it a senior citizen. Ultimately, the minimum device requirements for Windows 10 are likely to play a significant role in why someone would choose to stick with Windows 7 rather than upgrade.
If Windows 7 suits your needs and your computer doesn’t meet the requirements for an upgrade, it’s certainly a viable alternative. 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.