A Windows 10 eXPerience: A real-life small business story

This article was originally written for Windows 8 64-bit. I've since upgraded to Windows 10 64-bit (and I'm also a member of the Windows Insider program, which receives the pre-release versions) and the vast majority of the comments below would still apply.

I'm not normally one to rush out and get the latest technology just for the sake of it, but I became an early adopter of Windows 8 within a few days of its release on 26 October 2012.

There were a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was still running Windows XP on my home and work computers. As a bit of a power user, I'd found XP was beginning to get a bit clunky: I'd had to find some obscure hotfixes to resolve a couple of issues, and software is now beginning to appear which won't run on XP any more (Adobe Photoshop Lightroom being a notable example).

 Also, most of the common flavours of Windows XP, as with other 32-bit operating systems, can only address 4GB of memory. This was unachieveable at the time of its release in 2001, but nowadays a 4GB stick of memory for a reasonably modern computer is only about $25. 64-bit versions of programs are now starting to appear that take full advantage of this cheap extra RAM.

The upgrade price of just $39.99 at the time was the 'tipping point' - plus I was recently given a defunct laptop which, after repair, would be quite powerful enough to run the new operating system. This would make an ideal test bed for eventual deployment on the work computer.

If anything was going to break, this was surely going to do it. This involved not only an upgrade to a version of Windows three steps higher, skipping Vista and Windows 7 completely, but also a jump from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Bearing in mind that small businesses don't have unlimited funds to upgrade expensive hardware and software, especially when they're meeting existing business needs quite adequately, I'd thought I'd document my experience on these pages over the next few months. What things worked straight away? What had to be tweaked? And what fell over?

How did I go? Suffice to say that the upgrade was an absolute no-brainer!

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