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Windows 7 holdouts: Why diehard users refuse to move to Windows 10

Ian Paul | July 30, 2015
Rejoice, Windows fans. Windows 10 is finally here and it's chock full of fancy new features like Cortana, Task View, windowed modern UI apps, and the return of the Start menu. But despite the excitement--and the free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users--not everyone is willing to make the jump to Microsoft's latest and greatest operating system.

Bruce Crellin, who spends a lot of time traveling the country in his RV, offers a similar story. "We have a 10 gigabyte per month data plan split between two laptops and two smart phones. If I can't control what Microsoft pushes out to us, I could get stuck with overage charges. Unless they back off automatic updates, I have no interest in Windows 10."

Concerns that Windows 10 will kill data caps may pass in the coming months, as people get more hands-on time with the new OS. Windows 10 users on a metered connection can choose when to download updates. For some connections, Windows 10 will automatically detect when it's metered, but you can also manually set your Wi-Fi connection as a data-capped connection.

The misunderstanding about how updates work should be blamed squarely on Microsoft, which hasn't been as forthcoming as it should be with minor but important details like this.

Poor communication isn't uncommon for Microsoft's Windows 10 push. Take the company's reluctance to comment on how long we can expect to see Windows updates on individual machines. Until last week, the company only said that updates will roll out for the supported lifetime of your device. The truth is more traditional.


That failure to communicate isn't just annoying, it results in comments like those from Joan Mitchell, a former payroll clerk living in the southern U.S. who sees a subscription model looming for Windows 10, similar to what Microsoft offers with Office 365 for home and business. "The only advantage I see to having the subscription model [for Windows 10] is so that Microsoft can bilk more money out of their users," Mitchell said via email. "There is no way I will ever pay a monthly fee to use any software."

"I know they say it's not going to happen, but it would be an easy step to make this a subscription OS," PCWorld reader Carl Forster commented.

If I were the betting type, I'd wager pretty strongly that Microsoft won't turn Windows 10 into a subscription model--at least for current users. Nevertheless, the concept of "Windows as a service" has many people wary of Microsoft's intentions.

Should you switch?

If you're on the fence about upgrading, this article may have convinced you not to join the Windows 10 revolution. But let's take a step back for a second. As we said in our review of Windows 10, this new OS is "a sizeable improvement over both of Microsoft's prior operating systems."

There's a lot to love about Windows 10. Task View and the virtual desktops are a great addition for anyone without a multi-monitor set-up. Cortana doesn't quite have the smarts of Google Now but can still delight; the revamped Action Center is a welcome upgrade from previous versions in Windows; and DirectX 12 has the potential to revolutionize PC gaming.


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