Windows 10: What EXACTLY are the pros and cons of upgrading to Microsoft´s new operating system?

 Windows 10

In 2015, tech giant Microsoft introduced its biggest computer software overhaul to date in the form of Windows 10.

The new system is available as a free upgrade to anyone already using Windows 7 orWindows 8 .

While Windows 8, with its tablet-centric design, proved to be one of the firm's least popular updates, Windows 10 launched to glowing praise.

However (and it's a BIG however) Windows 10 will cease to be a free update on 29 July, a year on from its release to the public.

That means if you want it, you're going to have to pay. Windows 10 Home will be available for £99.99, while the Pro option will come with a price tag of £189.99.

For users that haven't yet taken advantage of the free upgrade, we've created the definitive list of pros and cons for Windows 10...

 

Here's why you should definitely get Windows 10

Cortana

Microsoft's AI assistant is set to rival Apple 's Siri and Google Now, by bringing the same useful functions to the desktop.

A major part of the new Windows 10 software, Cortana has made its way over from Windows Phones and enables users to control selected desktop functions with voice commands. It also features a universal search function that trawls both the web and the device itself.

Microsoft is also launching versions of Cortana for Apple and Android phone users so that they can sync data to a Windows 10 computer.

No Microsoft account needed

Many users were put off by Windows 8's insistence on having a Microsoft account in order to log in. The good news is that Windows 10 has relaxed the rules, so that users can sign in with their existing email address.

Good for gamers

Windows 10 has already proved popular with gamers. Valve, the company behind the Steam PC gaming platform recently announced that 37 per cent of its users now log in using Microsoft's latest software.

What's more, Windows 10 supports the Microsofts's DirectX 12 graphics interface, which is designed to boost gaming speed and reliability, as well as power consumption.

Microsoft is also introducing a range of new games, including Forza Motorsport 6: Apex, which will be free for Windows 10 users.

Virtual desktops

The ability to create virtual desktops is one of Windows 10's neatest features and helps people who have lots of windows open at the same time to keep things organised.

The "Task View" feature allows users to create several different desktops which can be themed towards particular tasks, themes or places of work.

New tablet mode solves the problems of Windows 8

While the much-mocked Windows 8 annoyed people with its inflexible tablet-centric home page, Windows 10 features a separate tablet mode that kicks in when the screen (if you're using a hybrid device) is detached from its keyboard dock (or users can disable it entirely if they choose).

The idea is to create a seamless experience for people using hybrid devices and to placate desktop users.

 

Here's why you should ignore Windows 10 completely

Updates installed automatically

One substantial change in the new software is Microsoft's decision to allow Windows 10 Home edition to download and install updates automatically.

This may prove to be an annoyance for those who would rather choose which updates to run and when to run them.

The Pro and Enterprise editions of the software will still allow users to postpone installing updates if they wish.

No more Window Media Center

Windows 10 has ditched the Windows Media Center application and the ability to play DVD content on your PC or laptop. Microsoft claims that few users were still using the home cinema hub. However, hardcore fans have put together a bootleg version for those who feel that they're missing out.

Bad for old computers and old software

Microsoft has faced accusations of aggressively pushing Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade, with some claiming that an automatic update started without their permission.

Older hardware and software that has been designed to run on earlier operating systems won't necessarily work properly if updated to Windows 10.

One woman successfully sued Microsoft for £7,666 after Windows 10 automatically tried and failed to install itself on her Windows 7 computer, leaving it unresponsive and preventing her from working.

Privacy concerns

One reason that Microsoft may be keen to nudge people towards upgrading to Windows 10 is the amount of data that it tries to pry out of new users.

The requests for data can be switched off, but this means that personalised features like Cortana, which rely on getting to know the user's habits, may not work as effectively.

Desktop gadgets ditched

Elsewhere, Windows 10 has done away with Windows 7's desktop gadgets, which might be disappointing if you were a big fan of the bite-sized chunks of info.

Desktop gadgets are small third-party tools that sit on the screen and show current information, such as news headlines.

"Gadgets could be exploited to harm your computer, access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behaviour at any time," said Microsoft in a statement

"An attacker could even use a gadget to take complete control of your PC."

Right, so with all that covered, the decision now rests with you.

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