I Was Almost Tempted….

I had a weak moment during the week. I thought about upgrading my system to the new Windows 10.

I have been installing the latest Windows version on my system since Windows 1 in 1985. In the early days, installing Windows was really time-consuming with a big stack of floppy disks (5.25″ back then) and a complete re-installation was needed even if you just wanted to change the resolution of the display being used. (That was a bit of a problem if you wanted to demonstrate multi-scan monitors, so we did multiple installations at all the different resolutions, checking for changed files between each run. We then copied the changed files onto a hard disk and used batch files to just copy the changed files over which cut the time to a couple of minutes).

Since those days, things have improved radically, especially after the arrival of plug & play with Windows 95 and most versions of Windows have been better and more stable, especially since the arrival of Windows NT in 1993. NT was the first version of Windows that was really stable and resilient, although originally aimed at workstation and server users. XP was the first mass adoption version that was based on NT. XP workstations with NT servers became the popular platform for almost universal adoption of Windows by businesses and consumers.

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Vista was next and that reinforced a long held view among users of Microsoft products from the early days of DOS and the birth of the PC, which was that every alternate operating system was good, but the intermediate ones were not. DOS3.1 was “good”, 3.2 not so good, 3.3 good, but 4 not. Dos 5 was good. The same broad principle has continued to this day. Windows 95 was good, 98 not so good. XP was good, but Vista was not. Windows 7 was good, but Windows 8 not. So Windows 10 should be good.

I spent a lot of time wondering about this pattern in the past and decided that the problems happened because Microsoft try to push things along with innovation, which leads to some problems, but then adjusts the innovation on the next release to get things fixed properly.

I wrote an editorial along these lines when Windows 8 was launched and said perhaps I should avoid it. Frankly, I probably should have. I have long been a complete sceptic about touch on desktop monitors and so the irritating Windows 8 user interface has often caused me to curse. So, I ought to go onto Windows 10. However, I still have some very old bits of software that I run in virtual XP machines that run on Windows 8. Will they still run OK on Windows 10? They should do, but at the moment I don’t have the time to fix any problems that arise. However, I do hear good things from those that have “bitten the bullet”, so I expect I’ll wait until a break such as Christmas to upgrade my personal system.

If you have any experiences to share, I’d welcome feedback to [email protected]