When (Not) to Upgrade Windows!
I read an article today on LinkedIn that caught my attention…but not for the reasons you might think…
The author was a marketing and social media “guru” but the article she linked to was about “upgrading to Windows 8-point-something”…
Now, right away that bothered me…”Why would a marketing and social media specialist be writing about technology?…
“Maybe she was a techie,” I thought. So I clicked through to her post. That linked to an article written by someone else…Not uncommon…”She was re-posting some content that she thought was valuable,” I figured…
Wrong again…sort of! I mean, I’m guessing from her intro to the re-posted article she thought it was valid information. That’s where she was wrong!
I read her 2-paragraph intro to the “sage advice” article she was sharing in her linked article and felt myself getting…(er — there’s no nice way to put this)… pissed off. Pardon my language, but her advice and the advice in the article was just plain WRONG! The information in both her tacit support for the article and the article itself was so incorrect and off-base, I could only conclude it must be a “sponsored post” … [Sponsored posts, BTW, are basically content that has been paid for by someone else to be passed on as “news.”]
I HATE it when I see pure misinformation being put out there. I did reply to her post, in an effort to correct this bad advice, and save anyone inclined to jump to Windows 8…
Last I saw, my reply was “pending approval by the moderator.” [We’ll see if it ever shows up…I have my doubts, as I have not been emailed that it has been posted…hmmmm.] ♦UPDATE: My “Comment” was finally posted…like some 2 weeks later, with a nice “Thank You” from the marketer, saying she would not be upgrading to Windows 8 any time soon! At least I convinced her to avoid the Window 8 debacle!
So, in an effort to counter any other mis-information and bad techno-advice, this is my take on the subject…
So, how DO you know when it’s time to upgrade Windows?
The LinkedIn poster suggested that if your computer is slowing down or “acting sluggish” it’s a good indicator that you need to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, specifically Windows 8.1. [Now you see why I suspected this was a sponsored post…Windows 8 in all of its versions is selling VERY poorly…Could this be a marketing ploy by Microsoft as a last-ditch effort to boost sales???]
This is bad advice!
Here’s my reply to the marketer:
While your computer’s OS is obviously important (can’t work w/o it), an older OS is rarely the reason for your computer slowing down or exhibiting the symptoms you mentioned.
Usually, those symptoms are easily remedied by doing a “defrag” using tools built into Windows. It also helps to “empty the temp internet files” (also easily done within any version of Windows). Regular “housekeeping” practices like these — just like regular backups — will prevent these errors and/or slow-downs from happening in the first place.
It can be caused by malware or a virus, but you should be running anti-malware software to protect it. (And, PLEASE don’t fall for those ads offering to “cleanup” your computer: they are all scams! Don’t EVER let any company “login” to your computer remotely!)
As far as Windows 8, specifically… It was designed for Microsoft’s (and other hardware manufacturers’) new “touch” tablets (hence the “tiles” in the interface). It was erroneously and unwisely assumed [hoped?] by Microsoft that all devices could use the same OS, being designed for tablets with touch screens…This turned out to be a terribly WRONG assumption on Microsoft’s part; Windows 8 (in all of its versions) is terribly-suited for non-touch-monitors/-screens.This is not only my opinion…Although I didn’t reference other technical reviewers’ opinions in my reply, all you have to do is go to technology review sites like ZD-Net and search for “Windows 8 Reviews“…or Google it… You will find a few positive reviews, but there are a huge majority of negative ones, citing very unhappy user response and the reasons why. Research it for yourself!
Unless you are using software on your computer that doesn’t play well with your older version of Windows (such as XP), or are going to need to do so in the near future, there is NO reason to upgrade to Windows 8. If you must upgrade, purchase a legal copy of Windows 7 and install that!
I have multiple computers, ranging from a Netbook running XP… to a quad-core desktop which runs Windows 7… plus several laptops of varying ages. All my computers (except the Netbook) run Windows 7. I will NOT be running Windows 8!
Installing a new OS will not solve these problems and installing Windows 8 will only cost you more resources (time & money) in headaches and (likely PAID) trouble-shooting.
An older operating system is rarely going to be the problem…Remember: Those recommending “upgrades” are usually the same ones who will benefit from the sales and service of the same!
My Street Cred…(or Why You Should Listen to Me)!
I’ve been in computers for over 30 years, since before Windows even existed…The above advice comes from having owned countless PCs…I’m not “diss”-ing Microsoft or Windows! I am a dedicated Windows proponent. But Windows 8 has been a series of bad choices and assumptions on the part of Microsoft (likely their marketing team, trying to be competitive with Android & iOS tablets) from its initial release.
I don’t want to see unsuspecting consumers further complicate their computer experience by making the Windows 8 “mistake!”
BTW, if a new PC purchase is your future, call the company and insist it has Windows 7 installed on it. You can Google “new PCs with Windows 7″ or something similar. You will have to do a little leg-work, as most companies are being “urged” (by Microsoft) to sell Windows 8 to increase their dismal sales record. BEWARE!
If you are wondering about upgrading your OS, first ask yourself WHY?
- It’s true that XP is not supported by Microsoft.
- It’s possible that you need — or are going to need — to run software that requires a more modern version of Windows. However, if that’s the case, your hardware may not be compatible with the newer OS either.
- Chances are very good that if new software requires a new OS, you’ll also need to upgrade your system or buy a new one. In this case, you need to check on the minimum hardware requirements from the software company, then go “bigger.” The minimum won’t get you very far. You will need “room to grow” for when the minimum hardware requirements are upgraded and your (new) system can no longer handle it.
Next, start searching for a legal Windows 7 package. Then determine if you will attempt the install (it’s really not that complicated; do a clean install rather than an upgrade). If you’d rather not DIY it, get quotes from your neighborhood techie places, or call on a techie friend who knows what they are doing… If you’re in my area of SoCal, call me!