From the Desk of  Sam C. Chan    August 3, 2015   minor update: 8/9/15

To Windows 10 or not?  You neither need nor want "recommendation" from me...

Rather, you should rely on me to research and comprehend all the relevant aspects, experiment in various simulated (to yours) environments & scenarios, define the decision process, furnish the perspectives & guidance, along with prerequisite knowledge, with contextual background, cut thru the hype, expose the disinfo & misinfo, and allow you to arrive at the invariably self-evident choice.

Find out what is it, really!  Chances are, a particular item on the itinerary would render Windows 10 a "must have" for you... perhaps, only to be overridden by another lone deal-breaker item! Yes, for those who care 1 way or the other, the final decision often hinges upon a single point. For vast majority, there is not much beyond hoopla. In any case, a cursory investigation is always worthwhile.

Historically, at release of OS xyz, I'm asked:  Do you like it? Should I get it?  My response--a familiar refrain:

Been using it for 9 months (Win10) ... 14 months (Vista, since pre-CTP build) on non-production systems. Much to love. Quite a few issues. Already prep'ed new admin scripts & procedures, etc., more to come...  Awaiting 3rd-party vendor "refresh"...  It's all about priorities, justifications, suitability and timing.  
[notably absent:  Yes | No ]
In short:

For new station... why not? Barring any significant valid concerns... go for it!  NOTE: For business organizations, there ARE indeed many concerns. So, address them comprehensively & systematically first.

For upgrades...  Are you the 2%? What's in for you exactly? How much is your time worth? What's your tolerance threshold for potentially catastrophic down time? At your present level of "IT attentiveness," a single deal can blow 2~3 months of IT budget!

Consider tabling the plan for now and
re-evaluate at the 3-week point (SR1 vetted),
and again at 4-month (Wave 2 settled), and finally
at the strategic 11-month point ("free" upgrade expiring)



The following is my framework for analysis, presented here as part of my executive tech briefing, in the course of our IT strategic planning meeting/discussion session. No need to comprehend the alphabet soup. Look up as needed if you wish. The key is become somewhat conversant with various pertinent aspects (but not-at-all versed). To maximize the ROI of your time, focus on those aspects that:

  1. are previously unaware
  2. contradict your presumptions
  3. alter your current understanding/believes

How much changed? Bravo New Deployment Status Mainstream
O.S. U.I. Archi-
H/W Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
w2000 NT Family Only major enterprises (domains) & engineering firms have adopted NT
w98 DOS Family 100% of consumers & 99% of small biz migrated from 98 to XP--the then-new "unified O.S."
9 0 2 2 1 month 90%: NT kernel, MMC, GP, integrated Zip archive, RDP host, ACL!!!! and modern TCP/IP, corporate domains (confederation, not Internet)...  made for a no-brainer! 6 months 75%:
fully embrace Win5.x
9 months 99%: NT kernel mandatory 3.5 years
9 10 9 10
7 10 7 10 2 months 50%: drastic increase of hw req. + up-rooting of concepts & procedures, next gen networking & SMB2, new driver model, win API, abstraction layers, powershell, UAC! 9 months 75%:
fully embrace Win6.x
12 months 99%: x64 is a necessity! 3 years
3 2 2 1 6 months 50%: still standardizing on Vista, while while printing glitches, etc. evolve 10 months 75% 14 months 99%: new standard 6.x 1 year
5/1 1 5 1 3 months 50%: a better win7 on many fronts--no-brainer! entirely possible to ignore touch & Metro 8 months 80% fuzzy 1.8 years
1 0 1 0 1 month 90% 2 months 95% 3 months 99% 1 year
2 1 3 0 2~3 weeks 25%: obviously... a fluid situation in-progress. Just an interim pronouncement... a placeholder, to be revised. 4 months 75%? 11 months 90%? 1 year?

The 3 stages indicate how rapidly (months after release) I arrived at the respective pronouncements, and how clearcut (universal applicability vs high variance) such pronouncements were.  Stage 1: % of new stations I recommended (or agreed to) deploying such newly released OS for early adopters, with understanding of accepting some limitations & risks.  Stage 2: Officially supported, routine deployment status, while many are still justifiably opting for previous OS.  Stage 3: Default choice, barring explicit override, e.g. elaborate enterprise-wide policies/cycles, or anecdotal mission-critical software incompatibility.

The 4 columns of blue numbers above denote my assessment of how drastically different (1~10) each aspect is, compared to its predecessor. This is very telling, and effective in educating you on what really matter, and leads to intelligent questions.
  1. User Interface elements design, visual theme & style, menu structure/sequence, concepts
  2. Architecture: x86/x64, BIOS/UEFI, MBR/GPT. NTFS FileSystem version, network stacks, SMB protocol generation, Windows API, device driver model, security policies/apparatuses
  3. Functions & Features added/removed, for end-users, app developers, and system administrators
  4. Hardware requirements & Support: CPU family, memory consumption, storage classes & capacity barrier, RAID, GPU (formerly aka graphics accelerator), IPv6, Wifi A/B/G/N WPA2, touch, biometrics, USB3, projectors, Xbox stream
Interestingly, in the last 15 years of my 35-year IT career, I have only recommended O.S. upgrade for 2% of the existing workstations within my IT jurisdiction. Of those 2%, 90% are done via fresh install + migration, instead of in-place upgrade.  In earlier era (during the 80s & 90s), upgrade ratio ranged from 90% to 25%!   This time, it's particularly favorable, with multiple tangible factors... I forecast it'd end up being about 10%.