To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade?


To upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question. We’re already getting calls from traders on our sales and tech support phone lines about Windows 10. We don’t have all the answers about Windows 10 yet. But, we thought it would be a good time to discuss how we view operating system updates.

At EZ Trading Computers our viewpoint about the latest operating system (OS) is that it has to meet three key criteria.

  1. The new OS doesn’t get in the way of your trading because there is no new workflow to memorize (e.g. don’t take the start button away after we’ve been using it for nearly two decades).
  2. The new OS has better performance than the previous version.
  3. The new OS is supported by the hardware and software we use for trading.

Since Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users this year, you have a new decision to make about your trading computer operating system. Maybe a few of you felt good about leaving Windows 7 and moving to 8, or 8.1. The looming question is do you upgrade to Windows 10 now or later?

As a trader, we base our careers off of chart patterns. You don’t buy stocks when they are down. You monitor the stock, watch its patterns, and buy in at the optimal time to benefit from the upside.

Patterns speak loudly to us as traders. It’s our measuring stick that we apply to all stocks to predict a breakout. A pattern is a pattern. Odds are that same pattern will repeat in any given stock – allowing us to jump in at the right time to make a profit.

When considering when to upgrade your OS, it only seems appropriate to look at past Windows launch patterns to know when it is the right time for you to “buy in.”

The best way to know what to expect in the future, is to look at the past; look for the past pattern. Check out this chart:

Windows 8 stats chart

 (*EZ Trading Computers will support Windows 7 and 8 up to 10 years from release date)

This timeline chart of Microsoft’s OS releases since inception allows us to take a look at its patterns. Version 1.0 had a lifespan that lasted several decades. While others such as Windows 2000 & ME had very short lifespans. It’s interesting that the chart also throws in a comparison to the stock price throughout each release. Take a look at the nose dive it did when everyone figured out that Vista was the worst operating system Microsoft had ever released.

What do the past Windows launches suggest?

  • Did more people buy the new OS over time, or did it peter out?
  • Did the OS launch with our without issues for our hardware and software?
  • Did the OS have a long life cycle, or a short one?

You can see from the historical chart, Windows releases can be sporadic. Windows XP stuck around forever. Windows Vista was a disaster.

Bleeding Edge, Cutting Edge, Or Late Adopter.

When should you hang back on a new OS release? When is it too bleeding edge? Upgrading to a new operating system is inevitable. The concern is WHEN to upgrade.

It’s very tempting to want to be ahead of the technology curve (Bleeding edge) or upgrade on the day the OS comes out because you just can’t contain your excitement to have fresh features available on your operating system (Cutting edge). On the other hand if you subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” methodology you might choose to wait several months or years after an OS release to update (Late adopter).

When it comes to gadgets and technology, each of us might have a different mindset. However as traders, our trading computer is the epicenter of your business. Most of us don’t have employees or overhead to be concerned about. Our main vehicle to trade is our trading computer. This explains the hesitation we might feel when considering to do anything to interrupt our ability to trade profitably.

It’s all in the patterns. Here’s another example:

Take a look at Windows 8 OS release versus Windows 7.

Microsoft’s release of Windows 8 & 8.1 turned out not to be an upgrade but more of a lateral move feature wise. Two years later, Windows 8 market share is bleak and sales have flat lined. We can infer from the user adoption pattern of Windows 8 that not all new OS releases are “upgrades” to us as traders.

Windows Operating System LogosWindows 7 on the other hand still accounts for a whopping 58% of operating systems used worldwide six years after its 2009 release; comparatively, Windows 8 currently stands at 13%.

Windows 7 being a close cousin to the fan favorite Windows XP had an easier time of winning over PC users. Windows 8 on the other had seemed to bite off more than it could chew with too many changes to the workflow and function of the features in the OS.

Don’t Be A Guinea Pig

Here’s our advice about quickly adopting new operating systems: Because our trading computers carry so much importance to our business, we can’t afford to be guinea pigs.

New operating systems still run the risk of having bugs that haven’t been worked out.

Let someone else be a guinea pig. There is too much risk for us to have issues caused by bugs and new software.

Compatibility Is King

All of the points that we talked about so far are important. But, none is as important as software compatibility. Your trading software is as crucial as the computer you trade on. If your trading platform can’t operate on Windows 10, then upgrading can’t be an option.

If you are considering upgrading your computer, make sure that you comb through all your software (especially third party plugins that you use for your trading platform).

Considering upgrading soon? Here are the things you should know before you do:

  • Make sure ALL of your trading and trading related software is compatible with Windows 10. This is a MUST!
  • Backup…Backup…Backup. NEVER make any major changes like upgrading your operating system with out a back up of all of your software and data. In fact, make it multiple backups.
  • Be prepared to receive several updates in the following months post upgrading. New operating systems inevitably have several iterations before everything is running like a well-oiled machine.
  • Upgrade on a weekend. Sometimes there is some finagling to do with upgrades and reinstalling data. Don’t get caught in the trap thinking that it will be super quick and go off without a hiccup. We hope it doesn’t but build in extra time when you know you don’t need your computer for important things… like making money trading.
  • Have a reliable tech guy at the ready (just in case disaster strikes).
After reading this you may be interested in our buyers guide. It cuts right to the chase about what technology traders need and what they don’t.

We’re also happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250