Upgrade to Windows 10 for free vs my computers

Efforts to avail myself of Microsoft’s offer of a free update for Windows 7 and 8 users to their new OS has so far produced one failed upgrade, one early abort to avoid bricking (discovered that Windows 10/1511 kills that brand), and one deliberately not done because Windows 10 was likely to break some of the mission-critical software.

Aha - now I can stop the Plorg Monsters from taking Earth's water!
My slide rule doesn’t fail when downloading upgrades…

Just two computers of the eligible five in my household have been updated successfully, despite all of them flashing up Microsoft’s nagware telling me they’ll all work OK and would I please pleeeeeze update.

Which kind of sucks. And no, I shouldn’t switch to Apple. Windows does exactly what I want at less cost than a Mac, it’s way faster on the same hardware, more secure, has way more software available for the things I do, and it’s more efficient for my user style than OS X. I don’t care about brand status: what I care about is the right tool for the job, at the right price. The end.

I worked professionally with Macs for years. On my experience Mac’s OS in its many flavours (I began with System 5 and ended with OS X Snow Leopard) was just as clunky and fault-prone as any. Did you know, for instance, that OS X has to swap byte-end values on the fly? Apple’s proprietary HFS+ system works in the opposite way to Intel’s instruction set, so when they switched to Intel hardware they had to build a kludge. The last Mac I used had permanent mouse-stutter problems that Apple couldn’t fix and which rendered it virtually unusable. And have any of you had the Mac White Screen of Death bricking problem? I have.

As for Linux in its various flavours – well, yes, it’s free and very appealing…if you don’t value your time. Ditto other alternatives, from my perspective. Other people may have a different opinion based on their own criteria, which is totally legitimate, but for me what counts is my time-results curve.

Because I’m concerned with output – not  brand evangelisation – the acronym for all of them, as far as I am concerned, is JAFOS – of which the first two words are ‘just another’ and the last two ‘operating system’. There is a middle word that I leave to your imaginations (it’s funnier that way). And the acronym applies to all operating systems. All? All.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016


15 thoughts on “Upgrade to Windows 10 for free vs my computers

  1. Every tech I’ve spoken to has told me the same thing – do NOT get the Microsoft 10 upgrade! They say the 10 is great, BUT only in computers built with them.

    1. The recommendation I saw is to upgrade, then use the upgrade license to validate a clean installation – Microsoft make a clean Win 10 download package available for the purpose. The in-place upgrade apparently also preserves a lot of the older cruft that accumulates with updates, etc.

      1. If it worked well for you, great, but too many others are still pulling their hair out because of the trouble it cause. I suppose it might be the make of the computer?

  2. Ha ha…I like how you headed the PC/Mac debate off at the pass. I made the opposite switch. Are Macs (OS) perfect? Absolutely not. I have issues with Apple and I’ve had the computer lock-up, forcing a restart (I never lose anything, though). Still, I’ve had this computer for 8 years and am happy because it’s always worked for what I do.

    My impression has been those who love their PCs are people who are computer savvy or have access to someone who is. I’m the antithesis (evidenced by my complete lack of understanding as to what you were talking about). I went through 3 PCs in 12 years and spent all of that swearing and pounding my fists as error message after error message started appearing within a few months of purchase. Even the anti-virus software they installed kept turning on me. I logged countless hours with support that added up to days.

    “It isn’t working. Like, it won’t even boot-up. I’m getting this error message and that error message.”

    “Did you change this setting and that setting?”

    “I didn’t know I had to? It said nothing about it. What do they do?” I can hear the eye-roll. Computer-speak follows. “How do I fix it?”

    “You do this, that, and the other thing. I’ll take you through it.” Wrappers crinkle in the background. “This is going to take awhile.” It does. Sleep has become wishful thinking.

    “It still isn’t working.”

    “Oh, then it’s probably the software. That isn’t our problem. Call them.”

    Calls software company. “Oh, they’re always saying that. It’s them, not us.”

    Thus far I’ve only had to call Apple support once in 8 years. Maybe I got lucky (lucky twice, since my laptop has performed the same), but that’s okay. Then again, my eldest has had a desktop for 7 years and no problems with it or her laptop. My youngest has had the same success.

    I agree. They’re pricy and an irrational cult based on brand status exists. I had someone tell me long ago that if your focus is word-processing then Macs are the way to go, but if your focus is on math/analytics then you should go PC. In other words, are you crunching words or numbers. I don’t know how true all that is, but it has proven at least moderately accurate for me. Hope you solve your issues. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about Windows 10 from PC users. Perhaps 11 will fix 10?

    1. The PC world was definitely way clunkier than the Mac for years. A lot of it was down to the fact that Windows had to work on any combo of hardware – unknown to Microsoft – whereas Apple had control of both hardware and software and could tailor the OS. It’s all a matter of preference and working style today. I have experience of both worlds and there isn’t a lot to choose between them when it comes to ease of user experience and glitches etc. I guess for us writers the arbiter is ‘does this tool enable me to express all the great ideas I have, without getting between me and that expression’. I suspect there will be as many answers to that as there are writers!

      1. Absolutely! It’s increasingly coming down to the personal preference. Microsoft did itself a lot of favors when it jumped into hardware. They should have much sooner. On the other side, Apple’s grip on innovation has virtually disappeared since Jobs’ passing. They’ve become reactionary.

        1. I took a very deep breath and bought a Surface Pro 3 to replace my laptop (Windows Vista, which really was hideous). It’s been fine & the updatevto Win 10 was fast and flawless. Definitely an advantage when the company creates the whole product.

  3. haha nice acronym. Oh yes, I hate the nagging pop ups from microsoft asking me to update. I don’t really see the point and my laptop’s practically a cobbled together frankenstein’s monster at this stage- I think the stress of downloading anything new would definitely kill it for good!!

  4. As long as I can, I am keeping Windows 7 on my desktop computer, and ignoring the nagging. I have Windows 10 on a laptop I use only when travelling. I ddidn’t like it, I don’t like it – but it was somewhat better than the Windows 8 version that was on the laptop when I bought it. My favourite Windows version was 2000 Pro – but, because I worked at a computer training centre I had to keep going to the next version, to stay up to date and to teach.
    Now, I write fiction, not ‘how to’ manuals… and I am keeping what I like!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, what I am used to and have a basic working knowledge of.
    Back to work, it is cooler here in West Australia this morning. Yay!

  5. There was a time when Apple were the underdogs and everyone hated Microsoft because they were a ravenous corporation. Everyone swore by Apple, found fault with everything Microsoft did. Now that Apple are a ravenous corporation opinions seem to have flipped.

    I use Macs and I’ve seen the ‘bouncing beachball of death’ too many times to count. And I have Windows 10 which used to nag like a five year old until I went online to find workarounds to switch it all off. In this day and age with search engines and plug-ins there’s no reason to be constantly harassed by software. A quick poke around in task manager, taking ownership of files and careful registry eiting can make an unwieldy operating system subservient,as it should be.

    But none of that will stop you breaking a laptop by dropping it, as I did a few weeks ago.

  6. Believe me – YOU DON’T WANT WINDOWS 10! Especially as a writer. You can be chugging along in Word, writing away, then suddenly that “Cortana” box will pop up, and WHAM – your Word crashes and you lose your work.

    Take it from my extremely painful experience – – – stay with 7 or 8!

      1. I have been trying to move back to win 8, but so far no luck. I think I will have to find a copy of 8 (this computer came with it already loaded/it was used when I bought it) and reformat and then install 8 – if I can remember how to do that….. sigh.

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