Need to reinstall machine, Windows 8 or 10?

So my main machine is in dire need of a total reinstall and I have put it on hold as I simply haven't had time to do it. This machine is important to me, I do all my work, programming, watching movies, playing games, surfing, running VM's and more, so I need a really stable machine. I've been using Windows 8.1 for quite some time now and really enjoyed it, but reinstalling it when W10 is out there feels a bit...backward. Still I don't like the tracking bullshit MS is doing.

I am going to build an entire new computer, probably next year and have to do a reinstall then anyway. What would you do? My current installation does random reboots, crashes, slaps error messages in my face and it has started to really get on my nerves and impede my workflow.

Should I reinstall Windows 8, 10 or just wait a year?

I might add that a total reinstall for me will take quite a while and will irritate me for weeks before all the settings, programs and tweaks that I use is in place.

Linux is sadly just not for me, at least not in this desktop enviroment.

If you're up for it, just get windows 10 now, as if your system is as broken as you say, there is no harm in fixing it now, however if money is an issue and you aren't a pirate then its down to you to make the decision. Personally 'I have never liked paying for my windows' if you get what I mean, so a reinstall was never a big worry, but with an actual product key to worry about then the situation changes, if you have valuable data on your PC atm than fix your PC with a reinstall, but if you feel you could wait till you build anew then holdout till then. As I said the decision is yours to make.

I've got tons of legal licenses (MSDNA FTW). Yes I know it's my decisions, just wanted other peoples opinions. :)

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There are plenty of tools to disable the tracking stuff, but for all I know they may be doing some data collecting on their own.
MS also has a tendency to work around these tools, so you'll be updating them all the time. It's a constant battle that lasts until you either give in or switch to another OS altogether.

They did backport the Win10 tracking to 8.1 and 7, and are now implementing it in the cumulative updates because users were cherry picking the good updates while blocking the bad ones. There's no escaping it really, unless you disable the updates (bad idea) or switch to Linux (which you said is not an option for you).

If you like an OS where you are constantly battling the attempts to collect data, that makes your PC reboot at random times to install updates regardless of whether you were doing something important or not, where said updates are barely tested, resulting in them causing more problems than they solve, then Win10 is for you.
If not ... well ... Vista is still supported for a couple of months and XP until 2019 (assuming you tweak the registry). But Win7 and Win8.1 ? Even as a Win7 user I'm having a hard time recommending them.

As you said, the spying tools are backported, so there is no reason to not choose Windows 8 over Windows 7.

But as this is my gaming pc aswell, it would be nice to have W10 when (or maybe if) DX12 is the norm.

That really depends on the type of games your playing.
On the tracking stuff.. honestly if your concerned about that Windows is the wrong OS for you.
You should have the option to reset your OS which would negate the need for any new licencing or driver hassle I think.

if you want stability, windows 10 is not for you. if i were you i would reinstall windows and go with 8.1 for the stability first and privacy reasons second. a year of random crashes and bullshit sounds like literal torture.

I would say 8 but you stated gamer so in the end DX12 will be normal so 10 is where that is.

Win 10 is no problem, just use Pro or better. You can defer updates with Pro if you want, for example. The telemetry data is not really a big problem, set it to basic and call it a day. If you use stuff like google drive, onedrive etc you're giving away a lot more telemetry data already. The basic setting really is basic, do a packet capture of a Win 10 pro machine set to basic and check it yourself.

There is no real reason to install Win 8.1 over 10 of you have the licenses.

Sounds like your leaning towards 10, which would be my suggestion.
I'd just add that I think you should buy a new SSD to load it on. This way you can keep your 'sucks but still works' current OS/Programs/Data as a backup.

If you are a student or work for a research institution, try looking into Microsoft imagine. The program gives one free key of the embedded industry pro key(I got a 8.1).

Some people mentioned that the Windows 10 embedded industry pro key has less telemetry than the pro key

I'd go with Windows 10.
*cough* Linux *cough*

If you didn't have problems with 8.1 and all your stuff was working, I'd consider sticking to 8.1 really. 10 really isn't that bad as an operating system either though. It works, and I think a lot of peoples complaints with it are partially user error. Yes the privacy concerns are there, so that bit is up to you if its okay or not.

my personal vote is windows 8.1 enterprise or windows 7 ultimate. taking windows 10 off the table even the enterprise versions cant stop calling home. at least with 8.1 it somewhat listens better and with 7 you can install most updates not not get the spyware. in all honesty if i was in your position id get another HDD and toy around with different linux distros and try to find one that i could do 90% of my work on and reboot into a windows machine or use VM for the other 10%

Windows XP or a derivative of Linux.


Windows 7

Windows 10 if you can't help it.
I don't see a reason to run 8.x