Windows 10 – should I upgrade & why?

Microsoft launched the free Windows 10 upgrade on July 29th. You may have upgraded already, or perhaps you’re holding on to see if it’s any good first.

Here at GEM, we upgraded two of our devices so that we could check it out and be ready to answer questions some of our customers may have. So this is a quick summary of our experience so far, and hope you find some useful tips if you’ve already upgraded, or answers some questions if you’re still on the fence.

We’ve found Windows 10 to be rather speedy (better than Windows 8.1) and a pleasure to use. There were initially a few frustrations with Microsoft Edge (Internet Explorer’s replacement) but these have been fixed in subsequent updates.

Microsoft Edge is a great browser, but it still has some way to go in terms of features, often causing us to use Chrome instead. Frequent updates are improving Edge rather quickly, but we’re not 100% sold on it just yet.

Cortana is awesome! If you are not sure who or what Cortana is, it’s a voice-controlled virtual assistant for Microsoft Windows; originally only available on Windows phone, it is now available on Windows 10. While not officially supported in SA, you can change your region and language to U.S. English to get it to work. Among other things, it’s super helpful having a reminder pop up when it’s time to leave for your next meeting (based on real-time traffic info!).

One big drawback we’ve found so far is that you cannot pause your OneDrive syncing, like you could in Windows 8.1. This may not be an issue for everyone. But if you want to have all your files available offline, and happen to have a slow connection or low internet cap, it can be a real pain. We found that exiting OneDrive did help for a while, but then would randomly restart itself, so not a solid fix.

Overall, we’re happy with Windows 10, but if you’re not in a hurry we’d suggest give it another few weeks while Microsoft sends out more updates and fixes based on user feedback. If you have a Windows tablet, then get the upgrade, it’s far better than previous Windows versions for tablet use.

Here’s a great overview article on some of the new features and check out the video below.



About Stephen Fourie

I've been a professional software developer since 2004, and running GEM since 2010. I've developed software for many different industries including automotive, logistics, finance and entertainment. I'm the GM at GEM Custom Apps where we build custom web and mobile apps for businesses.I love my wife, my dog, cars and gadgets. And coffee! I'm an Ironman 70.3 finisher, beginner skateboarder, xbox gamer and digital nomad :)