I’ve been a fan of Microsoft since the original MS-DOS days. I’ve also been a software developer since then. I do love all of the latest technology, and I’m happy to experiment with all of the new ideas. I’m the rally guy … I like to whip up enthusiasm for the new products.
So I was quite willing to jump into the Insiders program, download Windows 10 Preview, and do testing on a desktop, tablet, and phone. The desktop is doing OK, the phone is delayed, and the tablet was not a good experience. However I’m a techie and all of these things are OK for me during the preview stage. Bugs will get worked out and I’m good with that.
HOWEVER, it is my belief that releasing Windows 10 on July 29th could be a disaster for many computer owners, and Microsoft. There are bugs in the current release, and in some cases, the software is having serious problems on some computers. All of the diversity in devices simply has not been addressed yet. This is technology, designed and tested by people who roll with the punches. Fine. But not so in the real world.
Windows 10 will have problems, people will need help, and that is where the tsunami comes in. Microsoft Support is just not able to handle the need, and the result will be very irate and frustrated users, the non-techies who want to use their computers productively in business, and communications. To them this is far more than a toy or entertainment center. Their livelihood depends on it.
I’m particularly sensitive to this because I’ve encountered some issues that really need simple answers. No one can give them. Hours on the phone get answers without meaning, or “appointments” for 15 minute time slots where the needs will simply not be resolved. I’ve walked this road, wasted hours, and if I were not tech savy, the responses I’ve seen would drive me nuts. Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be on 1 Billion computers and yet it is not error free on the comparatively small numbers of test machines.
Look at the Microsoft Answers community. Far too many scripted answers are being provided by contractors to answer questions that were not asked. The faithful will try following that advice and find themselves in a true disaster. They will also get angry when some support person tells them to buy some software they know they don’t need, or pay for a service to fix something that was not their fault. The cautious will ask questions, get no ( or incorrect ) answers, move ahead, and have problems. People will turn to the manufacturer of the computer who will tell them “We only support Windows 10 on those computers where it was installed here in our factory before the sale.” However, most people will be upgrading computers, and their current configurations may have problems that need help.
How can I say this ? Because it is going on today, and no one is fixing the problem. We need good press for Windows 10, not an outcry of anger and frustration. Before Microsoft releases this product, they need to take an aggressive look at their support services and fix the massive problems. They also need more testing, and should be having daily focus groups with real world ( non-techie) users. Consumers and small business owners do not depend on IT professionals. Quality help is just not available to most of them. If Microsoft can’t provide quality, accurate, and fast support, Win 10 will be DOA, not because of the product, but because people can’t get past the issues that arise. The complaints will surface on social media and then be reported on all of the broadcast and print venues. As this talk emerges,, others will not upgrade, and the Win 10 reputation will be sealed. That would be unfortunate because it really is a fine product.
The question asked in the Title is, should you upgrade on July 29th ? If you are a techie, and your computer is not mission critical, and your analysis is 100% clean, then you may be OK. Just be prepared for hiccups. They are there, and they may be specific to your system configuration. You may have to do some workarounds, or wait for fixes to come in the stream of automatic updates. If this does not describe you, then you need to wait for the dust to settle. Eventually you will want Windows 10 for all its benefits, but the initial release may be more than you bargained for in your daily work.
Frankly, I think Microsoft would have been far wiser to go with an October release date. I realize the marketing department has their sales season ( before people return to school, and before the holiday shopping season ), but if this release fails, it may strike a blow that severely diminishes Microsoft in the coming years. The ideas are good, the technology promises to be amazing, in some controlled situations the product already works well, but that is not sufficient in the real world, outside the development labs of Redmond. Those of us who rabidly support Microsoft want Windows 10 to be an all out success. That means smaller steps, with ample quality support, driven by wise leadership and not a marketing department focused on selling a dream that is not yet ready. Extending the release date might be the most difficult decision facing Satya Nadella today, but Insiders have some strong agreement that it might be very wise to do so.