Should I Get Windows 10?

It popped up in my system tray a few months ago.  Not on my Macbook of course, but on my Windows 7 desktop down in the basement.  That was my only computer for years, and it’s served me well.  I finally got around to putting an SSD in it a few weeks ago, and now it’s running better than ever.  And that’s the idea.  I hardly ever use it anymore, basically just to play games (which is rare), and the thing is working perfectly.  After years of fiddling with it, I’ve finally got everything set up correctly and working smoothly.  When I first saw that little thing about Windows 10, I scoffed.  I never even use this computer, why should I risk messing it up?

Let’s back up a little bit.  Windows 10 was announced last September, and then it was announced that Windows 10 would be a free update for those running Windows 8.  That was a smart move.  Lots of people don’t like Windows 8; the whole thing about forcing a touch interface on desktops didn’t go so well.  Microsoft seems to have fixed that in a big way in Windows 10, bringing back the start menu and allowing one to run Windows apps in, well windows, on the desktop view.  Everything that made Windows 8 cool for tablets is still there, but they backpedaled a bit to make things smoother for desktops again.  Well played.

So obviously they want to get people upgrading.  (I also suspect that Microsoft wants to generate excitement about their software updates, much like Apple does with iOS.)  But then Microsoft took it a step further: Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for Windows 7 machines as well.

I think there’s some strings attached.  You have to somehow reserve your copy by a certain date, or something like that.  But whatever it was, I must’ve done it just clicking around in the about page of that Windows 10 popup, because my computer is telling me I’m all ready to go.  So do I do it?

Again, at first I didn’t want to.  Like I said, that computer’s working great, and I don’t want to spend a bunch of time fiddling with it.  I used to love fiddling with my computer, breaking things and then fixing them again.  But as time has gone on (and my school load has increased), I’m just not interested in that as much anymore.  That’s one of the things I like about the Mac, it really does just work most of the time.  So at first I had no intention of getting it.  But…

…the last month or so I’ve started to get intrigued.  I’ve seen a lot of people, a surprising number actually, on campus who have upgraded.  Just seeing people with their laptops out taking notes during lecture, a good portion of them have Windows 10 (of course, I go to a nerd school, so I’m sure that doesn’t really represent the population as a whole).  But it’s got me interested.  But maybe I should let someone else be the guinea pig first.

Like my Dad.  Actually, he upgraded a week or two ago, but then some things didn’t work right.  Fortunately, Windows 10 has a revert feature that lets you go back to your old OS.  This is genius.  Microsoft is making sure that they don’t make anyone mad this time.  Dad ended up going back at the time, but now he’s got it installed on a separate partition. Maybe I’ll go mess around with it sometime. 

So will I get Windows 10?  Probably not.  Or if I do, I’ll get it on another partition like my dad did.  There was a time when I would recklessly upgrade the day something came out (um, so maybe I still do that for my Apple devices), but I’m not sure I still have that philosophy anymore.  At least, not on this computer.  ••

Why More People Don’t (But Should) Use Windows Phone

I don’t think it’s any secret on this blog that I like the iPhone.  However, picking a smartphone is a matter of personal preference.  Obviously, Android is also popular choice.  Blackberry, not so much anymore.  There is, however, one more smartphone platform that doesn’t get a lot of attention, Windows Phone.  I think the reason some people are put off by Windows Phone is the fact that it’s very similar to Windows 8.  Many people do not like Windows 8 on their computers.  To a large extent, I agree with them.  The reason for this is because Microsoft designed Windows 8 primarily for tablets, and it just doesn’t work as well on a PC.  Honestly, though, I like what I see from Windows tablets, and, by extension, Windows Phone.  I’ve never owned a Windows Phone, but from the little bit I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty impressive platform.  The user interface is unique, the OS seems responsive, and the phones themselves have good specs.  There’s just one thing left: apps.  Windows Phone has a definitive lack of apps.  It’s really a shame too, because right now, Windows Phone is stuck in a feedback loop.

Why don’t more people use Windows Phone?  Because there aren’t many apps for it.  Why don’t app developers take the time to make Windows Phone apps?  Because there aren’t many users.  Like I said, this is too bad, since I think the platform has a lot of potential.  Fortunately, Microsoft has one thing going for them: deep pockets.  If Windows Phone is going to catch on, it appears it’s going to catch on slowly.  If any company can afford to wait this one out, it’s Microsoft.  Microsoft has tons of money coming in from sales of Windows PCs (which people continue to buy, whether they like Windows 8 or not), Microsoft Office, and the Xbox.  If Microsoft can continue to support the Windows Phone long enough for people to adopt it, they just might have a hit here.

This is exactly what I hope will happen, maybe it will, maybe it won’t.  I’m curious as to what kinds of phone you guys use.  iPhone, Android, Windows Phone?  Something else?  Feel free to leave a comment and participate in the polls below.  Thanks for reading!  ••