As Windows 10’s release date rolls steadily onward, Microsoft has been clarifying some of the concerns and issues that users have been asking. We now know that the free upgrade offer that arrives with the operating system will allow for clean OS installs that it won’t be locked to a previous version of Windows 7 or 8.1, and that users won’t have to keep an image of an old OS handy in case they ever want to reinstall.
The one thing we don’t know — and by “we”, I mean both tech journalists, users, and Microsoft itself — is whether or not the mass of people still using Windows XP, 7, and 8/8.1 will actually upgrade. Windows 7’s total market share has actually increased over the past 12 months, up 6% while Windows XP market share fell a bit over 10%. Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 together barely account for 16% of the market. By any measure, that’s a terrible result for a version of the Windows operating system that turns three this year. Interestingly enough, Steam’s data cuts sharply in the other direction. While Windows 7 64-bit remains the most popular OS overall, at 46.76%, Windows 8.1 64-bit is firmly in second place, at 30.15%. This suggests that there’s a core of gamers who have updated more recently, with fairly good uptake of Windows 8/8.1 — double the average share in the overall market.
So, the big question for the day is, will you upgrade or not — and if you’re on the fence, what are you waiting to find out before you decide? I’d have taken Windows 8 if I’d bought a new system that came with it, but paying retail for a copy? No thank you. Personally, I’m hoping that Windows 10 is an OS I can upgrade to. I skipped Windows 8/8.1, not because I thought the Desktop side of the equation was bad, but because I thought Metro was such an abysmal train wreck. Paying for Windows 8 felt like telling Microsoft “I’m ok with the condition of the operating system you shipped.” I fundamentally wasn’t.
So far, Windows 10 looks like it fixes most of what I disliked about Windows 8, includes the performance features that I liked about Windows 8 from the beginning, adds new capabilities like DX12, and extends the OS in a saner manner. After the train wreck of Windows 8, I’ll admit to being cautious, but I’m hoping this is an upgrade I can say yes to.
What about you? What will it take to get you onboard the Windows 10 Upgrade Train?
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