Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10

Why Moving to Microsoft's New Operating System is a Good Idea

Lenovo 510 14-inch
Lenovo

I get it. You don't like Microsoft's aggressive push to get you to upgrade to Windows 10. The company's tactics are questionable, but that doesn't change the fact that Windows 10 is a great operating system.

Unless you are so disappointed in Microsoft's upgrade push that you can't bear to follow through, you really should upgrade. In fact, you should upgrade soon, because time is running out to move to Windows 10 for free.

Microsoft said the free upgrade would only be available for the first year. Windows 10 debuted on July 29, 2015, which means there are only three months left to upgrade. Microsoft may change its mind and decide to offer a free upgrade indefinitely, but at this writing, the offer was still set to expire at the end of June.

Here are a few reasons to upgrade.

No dual UIs

Windows 8 was a terrible kludge of an operating system that tried to marry two different user interfaces together. The desktop itself was very good. But once you slap on the Start screen and full-screen Windows Store apps the OS loses its appeal.

Windows 10, on the other hand, lacks the Windows 8 Start screen. It brings back the Start menu, and modern UI apps can display in windowed mode--making them far more integrated with the entire operating system.

Other bad interface decisions are also out when switching from Windows 8 to Windows 10.

The Charms bar that pops out of the right side of the screen in Windows 8, for example, does not rear its ugly head in Windows 10.

Cortana

I've sung the praises of Cortana before, but it is such a useful feature. When you turn on Cortana's voice-activated features it becomes a handy way to create reminders, send text messages (with a compatible smartphone), get news and weather updates, and send quick emails.

It does mean that some of your information will be stored on Microsoft's servers, but you do have the ability to control that information by going to Cortana > Notebook > Settings > Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.

Windows Store Apps

As I mentioned earlier, Windows Store apps can now be displayed in windowed mode instead of full screen. That means you can use them the same way you would a regular desktop program. This is handy since Microsoft offers a number of useful Windows Store apps you may want to use such as a free, bare-bones PDF reader, the email and calendar apps, and Groove Music.

Windows 7 users won't be amazed by Windows Store apps in windowed mode since they never experienced full-screen apps, to begin with. Live tiles, however, are another helpful new addition.

The new Start menu in Windows 10 features Live Tiles: the ability to display information contained within an application. A Windows Store weather app, for example, can display local forecasts, or a stock app can show how certain companies are doing on Wall Street. The trick with Live Tiles is to pick apps that will display information truly useful to you.

Multiple Desktops

Multiple desktops is a feature that has long been standard in other operating systems including Linux and OS X.

Now it's finally in Microsoft's OS with Windows 10. Truth be told there was a way to activate multiple desktops in older versions of Windows, but it doesn't have nearly the polish that the version of Windows 10 does.​

With multiple desktops, you can group programs together into different work areas for better organization. Check out our earlier look at multiple desktops in Windows 10 for more information.

You Can Go Back

Upgrading to Windows 10 is easy enough, and for the first 30 days downgrading back to your previous operating system is too. If you try out Windows 10 for a while and decide it's not for you reversing course is very easy.

All you have to do is go to Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. There you should see an option that says "Go back to Windows 7" or "Go back to Windows 8.1".

Keep in mind this feature only works if you went through the upgrade process and not a clean install, and it only works for the first 30 days. After that, anyone looking to downgrade will have to use system discs and go through a traditional reinstall process that wipes out your system and personal files.

These are just five reasons to move to Windows 10, but there are others. The Action Center notifications system in Windows 10 is a fantastic way for programs to deliver information. The built-in Edge browser is promising, and features like Wi-Fi Sense can be very handy.

But Windows 10 isn't for everyone. Another time, we'll talk about who shouldn't move to Windows 10.