How-To Geek

What You Said: Are You an Early Adopter?


Earlier this week we asked whether you were the first in line to try out new things—operating systems, upgrades, etc.—and now we’re back with a roundup of your responses.

So how do you adopt new tech? Some of you jump in with both feet, living on the edge of technological adoption. Niko writes:

For those that wait on the fools to rush-in and work out all the bugs… you are welcome :)

Upgrade adoption schemes? What schemes? I just jump in with reckless abandon and hope for the best. I’ll simply have a full backup ready in case something goes wrong.

Although, the developer preview for Windows 8 is installed on a virtual machine. That is my preferred method for new OS testing.

The slightly more cautious among you adopt new operating systems and software as long as your hardware can hold out. Steve-O-Rama writes:

It depends on the timing. If I have a pretty much new machine that’s made to take advantage of whatever a new OS or software offers, then of course I’ll at least try it. I don’t build my own machines merely because I’m a cheap bastard; I want decent performance for a decent price, and the OS is almost always an integral part of the machine. Let’s not forget cost though: a free OS is free, but only benefits me if it doesn’t cost me time. That said, I don’t have time for notoriously-buggy operating systems, nor ones with very-specific faults, e.g. will not work with certain software packages, programs, compilers, CAD systems, whatever I’m doing at that moment.

Contrariwise, let’s look at the machine I’m using right now: a $300 Acer Aspire One netbook from 2009, powered by an Intel Atom CPU, running Win7 on an Intel SSD (originally WinXP on a WD Scorpion [Blue?]). I think I’ve pushed this machine ‘upward’ as far as rationally possible. Its performance is exceptional for such an inexpensive item, and I’m happy with it. However, if it’s found that Win8 can really make an Atom netbook fly faster and/or prolong battery life, I *may* give it a spin.

I’m due to build a new PC in the next 8-12 months, and it will be a Socket R (aka LGA 2011). NOT likely an X79, as that’s going to be the first generation (read: overpriced and only an appetizer), plus it’s already shaping up to be a feature-crippled, lackluster remix. Most likely, I’ll wait for Ivy Bridge. By that point, the only logical option (besides Linux, yes, shut up) for a Windows PC will be to use Win8, almost no matter how “finished” a product Microsoft has at that time.

On the opposite side of the “Bring us all the shiny things!” group are readers like KB Prez who’d really rather have you work out the painful bugs before they have to suffer through them:

I’m not an early adopter. I’d rather wait a bit and let others find the bugs. The only exception is when I upgraded my OS early to Win7. My experience with VISTA was an absolute nightmare and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it!

Robert Waller weighs in on timelines and when he’s willing to adopt:

Windows 8 is still in Developement mode NOT Beta so I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole, when it goes public beta then I might give it a go [i did when Win 7 came to public beta but only because I hated Vista]

Indeed; we don’t think anyone is clamoring yet to go full time with Windows 8 but it’s sage advice about how early is too early to jump on the adoption wagon.

Check out the full comment thread for more reader insights into the adoption process and when it’s worth it to be the first in line to try out the shiniest of new apps and upgrades.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/16/11

Comments (12)

  1. marie

    Yes if you give it a name “adopter” like somebody who take up new idears and try it YES I am a Adopter
    – everything happend under the early 70 and 80ths. when everything in tech was like fresh and new, ME i was just not doing well in school and I found that school didntn go well with me,
    my spelling and writing was a disastrus, so they gave me an Typewriter, a black one ,and I learned to type and I learned the Tutch techinks, with no looking on the tangents and I could now easly write a line with nearly no missspellings and blindfoulderd
    (i leranded later that there was the same “game” with the M16 mashingun used in Wietnam)
    Then came the first Personal Computer 1980 out on the market, and Iturned like I was on drugs or something iIthougt I was in heaven. I could now program the Typewriter and make it doing things for me….
    .Yea i was in heaven. and my education was to be an secretarys assistent….Bur I found the computer and the computer found me. but then begunn happend strange things I was suddnetly getting very illl and suddenly I got in to the Hospital an tryed to get well but the Doc tryed to kill me
    ,that means the Doc didnt want to help me……guess what happend next……!

  2. Tom

    I AM with no doubt !

  3. Wayne

    I used to be an early adopter. Now, I leave it to younger geeks than I. I prefer stability and reliability in my old age.

  4. Dean Foster

    I know it said not to adopt this OS as your primary one, but I have done so and with a few app installs from the net, this OS works perfectly! The only thing is, you do need to download MSE because no other antivirus will install just yet. VERY HAPPY!!!!

  5. JeR

    I been using Windows 8 on my laptop for several days, so far I like want I see. Since I have used all Windows versions over the years I like the Metro screen. For person just want to read emails, web surfing, and other office apps then when I setup the system I can have all tiles ready to click and run.
    Most likely I will install beta versions of 8 as they are release. Yesterday I lockup Windows 8 but no blue screen of death. Windows 8 kill the program which caused the lockup and keep on running. I like the ribbon on Explorer makes easy work of moving files and see hidden files with couple clicks of mouse.
    I hope they will have MS Store open I would like to download other games. I notice there is no card games like in the other versions of Windows. No solitaire, how can I teach the use of mouse without solitaire.

  6. LD

    Generally I am not an early adopter with MS OSs, except i heard such good things about windows 7 (and I was running xp at the time) I installed it once it hit open beta. I also was running whs 2011 in open beta (rather than server 2003). Since I’m very happy with Windows 7 I dont plan to run windows 8 as a primary os for quite a while.

  7. Harkunwar

    I am the biggest fan of Microsoft.
    i like Mac OS very less and i hate any Linux distribution BEACUESE i never can never understand
    i was searching on the net for next version of windows when i was going to get my new laptop as a birthday gift four months back.whenever i got time i searched for it.
    i downloaded windows 8xtreme edition, windows 8 build 7989 and unlocked with redpill
    Since it has came officialy now i have download it and i am very happy although i find some bugs

  8. Ronald R

    Well I installed it , for a little while. I didnt care for it to much.
    I did find it easy to use though. I’ll never buy it.
    I’m picking up a smaller new hard drive today ,then applying the 64 bit system to a newer labtop.
    I’m not going to wipe out another windows 7
    To see if that makes me a little more happy with it.
    Thank You for the windows 8 .

  9. Andre

    I adopted Windows 7 as soon as it was released here in Brazil (I guess it was October 22nd, 2009) and so far I have no plans to having that fast to Windows 8. Many companies and personal users here in Brazil still use even Windows XP and are not migrating that fast even to Windows 7. I plan to move to Windows 8 in some 2+ years still, cause I don’t think it will be THAT different yet from Windows 7.

  10. Ashwin

    Don’t you think MicroSoft still keeps the habit of stealing ideas! Their Metro is a modified version of Ubuntu Unity! Their so called new copy dialog feature is part of Linux OS long before. All I can say is selling stolen things in new bottle is MicroSoft’s habit. I still prefer Win XP which is rock solid and good! I’m not going to buy M$ so called new craps.

  11. dlgn

    I say, try new OSes in VMs, wait till they’re established enough to show that they’re reasonably reliable, then upgrade.

  12. deviator

    Hm, I would be an early adopter. However, as early adoption has to do with investments, my wife prevents me from purchasing every new piece of hard- and software so I need to take my time in order to rething blowing out my money ;-)

    I case of software and operating systems, thanks to Virtualbox, testing isn’t too complicated.

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