Yes. For thus said the wise man to the monkey: "Upgrade to Windows 10."
This opinion is not provided lightly, I've rigorously followed all my usual computer habits this week and given careful consideration to absolutely none of the thinking between the new Windows. Welcome, to the future of investigative journalism, ahead of schedule.
My recommendation to upgrade is based on two reasons First, if you have Windows 8 you cannot be worse off for upgrading. You might think you've got a good thing but objectively, logically and by all that is sane and good, Winsows 8 is rubbish. Second, if like me, you have Windows 7 then you get a new feature of a customisable lock screen - which for me now shows Tintin and Snowy marching across a globe.
You could argue that this is a shallow reason for recommending an upgrade. And you may well be right, but look at that movie poster, beautiful or what? And as with a lot of things in life, it's the little things that add the joy. For me, it's having the opportunity to geek out twice - once over my desktop background and once over my lock screen. Enjoyment of logging onto my computer has been effectively doubled.
The other new feature I like is that there's a search bar right next to the start button. It has been surprisingly well used this last week. Mainly looking for things I used to easily find. Beyond that I have noticed a ten second decrease in start up time and that's it for differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10. Apparently, there is some kind of artificial intelligence built into Windows 10 who can organise my life for me. She's yet to introduce herself though and I'm doing a pretty good job of running my own life so we're unlikely to get acquainted. The story where I fall in love with her will sadly remained untold.
The other good news is that the upgrade proceeded without a hitch. It downloaded, installed over half an hour, and then I was away. I've only had one piece of software stop working on me (Zonealarm free firewall) and it should hopefully be updated soon enough to start working again.
The bad news is that, as the economist said to the complaining NHS patient: "You get what you pay for." And while getting a new operating system for free is a bargain by any stretch of the imagination then it's not going to revolutionise your computer experience. As much as I heartily recommend upgrading, there is one big issue that needs to addressed. Microsoft have by default set all the privacy options to share. That's right, all of them are turned on and your computer will share all your data from browsing history to location to photos to what apps you install to contacts, to your wifi password to your mother's maiden name with a) Microsoft and b) Any contact in your Microsoft account who comes to visit.
This may be a little bit of an exaggeration but only very slightly. Fortunately, it's easy enough to remedy. When you are upgraded, go to start, settings, privacy and work your way through every option on the sidebar and turn everything off. Make sure to follow all links as well, because one option can only be turned off by going to a website.
When you create your windows account in the first place, choose a local account and not a Microsoft Live account. This will minimise data sharing too. And to deal with the wifi problem, go to Settings, Network & Internet and turn off wifi sharing with contacts.
Speaking of online, please don't use Edge, the new browser from Microsoft. As a matter of common decency then install a new browser. The process for changing the default is, surprise surprise, not as simple as it used to be. Head to Settings, System, Default Apps and change browser to another one (you must have installed the other one already for this to work).
Arguably, I should not need to tell you any of these things. Windows 10 should protect my privacy not send data to all and sundry. It should be easy to customise the desktop to my needs and change the default browser without having to look up how on the internet.
Yet in this imperfect world, Windows 10 is not the operating system we deserve nor is it the one we need right now. Ok, that Batman quote didn't quite work. Windows 10 is an upgrade for free that vaguely improves things although not so you will notice much. You may as well upgrade now because it will be marginally better than your current system and if it all goes wrong there is an option to revert back.