Windows 10 and the Court Reporting Profession

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Windows 10 has been around for a while now, so what does it mean for me?

By now, everyone has seen and heard dozens, if not hundreds, of opinions on the whole Windows 10 issue. Everyone from your neighbor to your grocery bagger to your local tech expert has likely weighed in on this issue, and opinions are across the board. However, I have worked with court reporters for many years, and with technology and Windows for even longer, so I trust you’ll find me qualified to offer advice on this subject.

The most important thing I will say is that there are two major issues at hand here that need differentiating: should I UPGRADE to Windows 10, and should I buy a NEW computer with Windows 10? These might seem the same, but I can assure you that they are two totally different animals.

Upgrading from one version of Windows to a new version of Windows has always been inherently dangerous. Just about any doomsday scenario you can think of is possible during an upgrade as extensive as an operating system, and I am fairly certain I have seen most of them personally.

Admittedly, Microsoft has made a LOT of progress improving the upgrade process over the years, most of it between the Windows 8 and Windows 10 lifespans. I could bore you with all kinds of horror stories, statistics, and even a list of improvements they have made; but the single most important one they have made is an effective rollback system that lets you “undo” the upgrade to Windows 10 should you decide it was a bad call. With that said, even after the rollback there can be major issues, including leaving the computer completely unusable; so my recommendation on UPGRADING to Windows 10 is to NOT do it. Stick with whatever operating system you have right now because THAT is what your computer was designed to work with.

I’ve seen many people who have taken the plunge, both intentionally and accidentally, and there are pros and cons to each side just as with any issue. Whenever I approach a big decision like this, where things could go either way, I always ask myself: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” So in this case, is the benefit of upgrading to Windows 10 from my current copy of Windows 7 or 8 really worth the possible BAD things that could happen, the time and headache it will take, AND the changes I would need to make and get used to? From a court reporting professional’s perspective, I can guarantee you that it isn’t worth the squeeze as Windows 10 just doesn’t bring enough (or really ANY) enhancements that will make your life better or your job easier.

Now let’s talk about Windows 10 and NEW computers. Windows 10 has proven itself to be a very reliable and very stable operating system. There are virtually no compatibility issues I have seen with major programs between Windows 7, 8, and 10. Windows 10 does a very nice job of quickly starting up and shutting down without cutting corners or keeping the computer secretly in hibernation like Windows 8 did. See where I am going with this? Purchasing a NEW computer with Windows 10 already installed on it is PERFECTLY SAFE, and I would encourage you to do this.

I saw a great comment on Facebook recently that went something like this: “Why would you walk into a computer store and ask for old, unsupported technology?” While I can find quite a few little arguments with that statement (see anything involving Windows Vista or even Windows 8.0 to an extent), it really does hold true. Windows 10, at this point, is just as stable as I have ever seen Windows 7 act for court reporting purposes, and it contains a lot of enhancements that help speed the computers up these days, enhancements BUILT for newer technology that Windows 7 doesn’t know how to handle properly.

See? That was easy enough. The upgrade process itself is too dangerous for an average consumer to deal with themselves IF something goes wrong, but Windows 10 on a NEW system will treat you well for years to come. And if you are more comfortable with a Windows 7 look to your computer screens, Classic Shell can come to your rescue. More on that in a later article!

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