Should you upgrade to Microsoft Windows 10? Not so fast, tech expert says
In a bid to reboot its brand, Microsoft has released Windows 10, a nifty new operating system with plenty of shiny bells and whistles.
Released Wednesday, the free update – which comes on the heels of the much-chagrined Windows 8 -- allows users to control their PCs with voice commands, doodle on web pages with their fingertips and even stream Xbox One games to laptops and computers.
But should the everyday Microsoft user spring for the upgrade?
“You never really want to be the first person on your block to get the new version of an operating system,” tech expert Carmi Levy told CTV’s Canada AM Wednesday.
“There are usually going to be a few opening day jitters, bugs that are built into it. That’s just normal.”
It could take anywhere from four to six weeks for Microsoft to work out the kinks, Levy said. After that, a less buggy version should be available for download.
“If you’ve got a second machine and you want to play with it, by all means absolutely go for it. But if you only have one computer and you’ve got deadlines to face, papers to deliver, you want to wait a beat.”
As for demographics, Windows 10 introduces enticing new features for a slew of different users.
The worker bee
For those who simply want a user-friendly experience, Microsoft has introduced Continuum, a feature that allows users to pick up on one device where they left off on another. Since Windows 10 can be downloaded to phones, tablets and PCs, Continuum allows a seamless transition between work and home.
And if you’re in the market for a cheap personal assistant, Windows 10 comes with Cortana, a Siri-like voice command feature that can answer questions, draft emails and even sing songs. The digital secretary is activated simply by saying, “Hey, Cortana!” (For the bashful, questions can be typed in, too.)
In a move Forbes says is “about time,” Windows 10 allows users to create multiple desktops to declutter their digital workspace. This feature, already used by Apple and Linux, is perfect for those who survive on a single computer and are looking to create separate desktops for work and home.
One of the niftiest new features is Edge, an Internet browser that replaces the not-forgotten, hardly missed Internet Explorer. Edge’s coolest feature is easily the ability for users to scribble on the screen using their fingers, save a web page and email it. Kind of like Snapchat, but more work-friendly.
In what’s being lauded as a game-changer for Xbox One users, Windows 10 comes with DirectX 12, the latest generation of the console’s application program interface (API). In layman’s terms, the update means a faster, crisper gaming experience. How fast? Varying reports put it anywhere between 10 to 40 per cent speedier than DirectX 11, the last update.
And for those who don’t go outdoors much, the update allows users to stream Xbox One games to PCs and laptops. However, the speed may be compromised by the quality of a user’s WiFi connection.
Concerned about someone snooping through your files? Windows 10 comes with face recognition software that enables a webcam to scan your face before logging someone in. The James Bond-style security feature, called Windows Hello, bypasses passwords and can be used to access applications, data and websites.
“It’s a solution that government, defense, financial, health care and other related organizations will use to enhance their overall security,” wrote Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, in a blog post.