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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Computers

Three reasons to hold off on Windows 10

Some users may be better off waiting a few weeks before upgrading to Windows 10. Here's why.

Microsoft

The release of Windows 10 is just around the corner. The operating system will be available as a free update to Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users on July 29.

There's a lot to be excited about with Windows 10 . The update adds numerous improvements to the operating system, such as the Cortana voice assistant, DirectX 12, Xbox One game streaming and of course, the return of the Start button. Not to mention a handful of bug fixes and security enhancements, too.

While these features may sound great, there are a few reasons why you may not want to hold off on upgrading right away. Here's why:

Incompatible programs

Is there a program you frequently rely on for work or personal use? I for one still use Photoshop 7 from time to time, which was released way back in 2002. The last thing you want to do is upgrade, only to find yourself not being able to get your work done.

While a majority of users probably won't run into any issues, those who still rely on an old (pre-Windows 7) program should check with the software provider to ensure compatibility.

Incompatible hardware

This may also be the case with certain peripherals, such as a printer or scanner. You will likely be required to download a new driver for the device to work properly. You should check with the manufacturer to ensure that support will be continued with Windows 10.

Gamers who plan to upgrade to Windows 10 Home have another potential problem -- automatic updates. There is no way to disable the feature, meaning that once Microsoft pushes new drivers, bug fixes and security updates, you get them right away. This is great for the average user, but it could cause some headaches for gamers.

In the past, small updates to the Windows operating system could sometimes cause compatibility issues with the graphics drivers gamers download from Nvidia and AMD. Hard-core gamers may be inclined to explore upgrading to Windows 10 Pro, which will give you more flexibility on installing small updates and patches.

Bugs

Whether they are crawling on the ground or in our software, no one is a fan of bugs. Early adopters and developers have been testing Windows 10 for the past nine months, but similar to the release of a new update for your iPhone or Android device, it's inevitable that some bugs will slide through the cracks. While it's unlikely for anything major to be prevalent, small bugs could affect how some programs and features function.

Bottom line

If any of these possible problems make you uncomfortable, you may be better off waiting a few weeks, or even a couple of months, before upgrading to Windows 10. This is especially true if you plan on upgrading your primary computer or one you may use for work.

Microsoft's free Windows 10 promotion is available until 2016, so there's no rush to update. Sometimes it's even better to wait for the first patch to fix some of the initial bugs.

Microsoft has also confirmed to CNET that you will have one month to downgrade back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 from within Windows 10. You will find this option in the Windows 10 Settings app under Recovery.

Plan on upgrading to Windows 10? Be sure to check out CNET's complete guide for more tips and tricks.