I Think I’ll Wait to Wash the Windows

userpic=compusaurUnless you’ve been  hiding under a rock (or perhaps an apple), you’re probably aware that Windows 10 dropped and is available to install. As to why it is numbered Windows 10, given that it follows after Windows 8.1, the answer is simple: stupid programmers. Yup. You probably remember Windows 4, Consumer Edition? This was the version that followed after Windows 3.1, and ran on top of DOS. Microsoft, in their wonderful style of naming conditions, called that version Windows 95, and its successful successor was Windows 98. Application software tested for this by, you guessed it, testing for the string  “Windows 9”. Now there is hopefully none of the code from the Windows on DOS branches left in the OS (except perhaps for the start button), but those applications are out there: and Microsoft didn’t want to break them. Thus the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10 (because presumably there are no Windows 1.0 applications still running).

[In case you’re curious, Windows 10 is not from the Windows on DOS branches: it’s lineage traces back to Windows NT 3.5, which begat Windows NT 4.0, which begat Windows 2000 (NT 5.0), Windows XP (NT 6.0), Windows 7, Windows 8 (and 8.1), and now 10. Windows-on-DOS died with Windows ME.]

In any case, Windows 10 was officially released yesterday, and for a year (until 29 July 2016) it is available as a free upgrade for anyone on a home edition of Windows 7 or greater. There’s a little Windows icon where you can reserve your copy and everything. All of the early adopters are downloading like crazy. The reports are that Windows 10 is a pretty good product (Ars Technica, TechspotNewsweek), but they are also noting that if you don’t need it immediately…. it’s probably worth waiting a month or two for problems and patches to settle down. Then again, there are good reasons to stay on Windows 7.

I would tend to agree. There have already been a number of problem reports, from odd installation problems to problems with too many items in the new start menu. I’m also leery of how upgrades vs. clean installs work: I want to see some actual reports from users in the field that Windows 7 actually upgraded well, and all applications still were in the right places and ran. That will take some time.

However, all the news is coming out now, so I figured I’d do a post to help me keep it in one place. Feel free to comment with useful articles of your own. This is the stuff that interests me:

[ETA 150731: PCWorld has also published a superguide bringing together all their articles. Note that many of the links they have are also linked above.]

So what are your thoughts? Did you upgrade from Windows 7? What do you think of Windows 10 on  a former Windows 7 machine (for the record, I’ve got an intel Core i3, 2.4 GHz, with 4GB (3.80 available) memory. The other Windows 7 laptop is an i5 processor. The old XP print server is an AMD Athelon 64 3200 with 160GB disk and 512MB memory (I think the HP has more memory, perhaps 2GB)). (XP issue is OBE: We installed a Dlink Printer Server card instead.) Have you upgraded an XP era machine, and was it worth it? What installation problems did you run into? What do you think of the new OS?