Microsoft has delayed the release of the first service pack for Windows 10 until November. There is no official announcement so the update may arrive anywhere between Patch Tuesday (November 10) and the end of the month. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, you’ll have a better experience if you wait until after the service pack has been released.
I’ve been counseling delay before upgrading until early bugs are worked out and some features are added, hopefully including progress on the nearly unusable Edge browser. Microsoft has reportedly locked down the new features that will be in the service pack, known internally as “Threshold 2,” one of the final steps as it is readied for public release. The next few weeks will be spent on fixing bugs and polishing up rough edges.
The service pack is now being tested by participants in Microsoft’s Insider program. There is a long list of new features and improvements, all welcome, none earthshaking: Skype will be the backbone for a separate messaging app and Cortana is getting smarter, for example. More important are the bug fixes and improvements in driver compatibility as Microsoft absorbs the feedback from 110 million computers that have been upgraded to Windows 10 already.
Not everyone should upgrade. If you’re wondering about the upgrade, please go back to my checklist and see if it will be worth it for you. In short:
• New computer: Absolutely, upgrade right away.
• Windows 8 computer: Your upgrade will likely go smoothly and you’ll like Windows 10. Go ahead and upgrade.
• Windows 7 computer that’s less than four years old: Well, sure, upgrade, but only if it seems interesting and you’d enjoy something new. It won’t make your computer faster and Windows 10 won’t fix your computer’s problems. There are some good reasons to keep getting your work done without changing your computer and instead looking forward to Windows 10 on your next computer.
• Windows 7 computer that’s more than four years old: The risk goes up that something will go wrong during the upgrade, and the rewards go down because it will still be an old computer when you’re done. Don’t upgrade; save your money for your next computer while you wait for this one to die.
In the next month, I’ll have some advice about the steps you should take before upgrading. Maybe more valuable, I’ll summarize the steps to make Microsoft’s insistent notices disappear if you decide not to upgrade.