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To 10 or not to 10? That is the question.

Like many of you, I imagine, I’ve been offered a free upgrade to Windows 10, and I’ve been trying to weigh up the pros and cons of accepting. I’m not in any way an IT expert, and I’m not trying to offer anyone advice, but I thought one or two people might find my internal monologue reflecting theirs.

Normally, I wouldn’t think of upgrading to a brand-new product. They usually still have a few (or more) bugs to be worked out, and the best time to take them up is usually after the first upgrade, when that’s all sorted out. Or perhaps not at all. I’m still on Windows 7, and I’ve seen no need to upgrade to 8.

On the other hand, this is a slightly different situation, considering the upgrade’s for free. Should I really be looking a gift-program in the pixels?

So what exactly does this brave new operating system have to offer? Well, it’s designed to work on all devices, apparently, which is fairly irrelevant to me, since I’d be using it for a desktop PC (my mobile devices are Android) and it can use a range of various interface systems, which is also irrelevant since I prefer the mouse and keyboard I’m used to.

As far as the display goes, Microsoft talks about more efficient multitasking, but it’s difficult to judge that without having played with it for a while. They’re also offering Cortana on it, their newish digital assistant. I find it difficult to imagine how much I’ll actually have a use for its functions (especially the voice activation, which I can’t help finding a little creepy) but I have to admit there have been plenty of IT innovations I felt the same about which I now wouldn’t be without.

One thing I’m cautiously hopeful about is Microsoft’s new browser, which will be unveiled as part of Windows 10. I’ve always liked the design of Internet Explorer – compared with other browsers I’ve tried, it’s uncluttered and fairly intuitive – but it’s undeniable that IE has been broken since it was last “improved”. I’m hoping the new browser will have the same design advantages, but with better functionality.

On the other hand, reports from the testing phase of Windows 10 haven’t been stellar. A large number of bugs have been identified, which Microsoft have tended to patch rather than fix. The development team have entered a final phase of preparation for the 29th July release, and it’s not clear how many of the bugs will have been zapped by then.

So what am I going to do? Well, I’m reluctant to entirely give up the chance to get this new version free, so I’ve essentially put off the decision by registering for the upgrade, but with the option of cancelling up to the 29th. Over that time, I’ll be gathering more informed opinions – any posted here would be welcome – and make a final decision closer to the time.

So my answer is yes – and, on the other hand, no. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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