Ten Things You Need To Know About Windows 10
A few days ago many Windows users started getting messages popping up recommending they “Reserve Your Copy of Windows 10”. The messages are legit – it’s Microsoft working hard to build awareness about the new version of Windows before it’s July 29 launch date.
Should you “Reserve Your Copy”? Here’s 10 things you should know about Windows 10 before you click that button:
10: It’s Not Bad
Let’s be honest the most recent version of Windows, Windows 8, is bad. Really bad. Like, so bad that PC manufacturers like Dell and Toshiba have lost millions of dollars because nobody wants to buy a computer with Windows 8 on it. (Disclaimer – all the computers we sell, new and (most) used, come with Windows 7).
Windows 8 was especially disappointing to us since the most popular Windows 8 video on YouTube features our own Chip Reaves and was filmed right here in Anderson! Search YouTube for “Windows 8” and you’ll see it a the top – but notice that most of the comments love the video but still hate Windows 8!
There are a lot of reasons why Windows 8 was so bad, but suffice it to say Microsoft knows they screwed up and they’ve worked incredibly hard over the last two years to make a new version everyone will love. Almost all the early reviews agree they’ve succeeded – if you’re used to Windows 7 or Windows Visa, you’ll find Windows 10 very easy to get used to.
9: There Is No Windows 9
There are lots of reasons why Microsoft skipped the “Windows 9” version number altogether. Some say it’s because it looks too much like “Windows 95”, the popular version from 20 years ago. Some say it’s because Windows 8 was SO bad they want to put more distance between it and what comes next.
Maybe Microsoft’s marketing folks just wanted a mystery to keep people talking about Windows. Whatever the reason, you’re not crazy – there is no Windows 9.
8: It’s FREE! (Mostly)
Windows 10 is completely free for computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8 (or 8.1). It’s not only free it’s very easy to install – see below. The free upgrade is available for one year, starting July 29. We don’t know if Microsoft might extend that, but I suspect they will.
For computers running Windows Vista, unfortunately there is no easy upgrade. Microsoft support for your Windows will end in April 2017 so we recommend replacing your computer by then. An upgrade to Windows 10 can be purchased, but it will require a clean install and your older equipment may not be compatible.
For Windows XP, your support ended last year so in most cases your computer should really be replaced or upgraded immediately.
7: It’s EASY To Install
For Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers, Windows 10 can install as a simple (though large) Windows Update. No software to buy, no CD to install, it will install by itself after a few approving clicks from you.
All your programs and data will still be right where you left them when the upgrade is complete, BUT be aware that some programs may not be compatible with Windows 10 so check with your software provider before clicking “OK”.
6: It’s the LAST Version of Windows. Ever. Sort Of.
Microsoft has said that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows, ever. Once you install it, or buy a computer with Windows 10 installed, you’ll never need to buy Windows or upgrade your version ever again.
Now, that doesn’t mean Windows 10 won’t get updates – it definitely will (that’s a requirement in a world where hackers are constantly trying to find ways to break into your system to make $$). But those updates will be more of a continuous, ongoing process without the big version milestones we’re used to.
5: It’s Designed For “The Cloud”
With Windows 10, like the latest operating systems on the Mac, iPad, and Android, is “designed for the Cloud”. What that means in this case is that it’s just as easy to save your documents and photos to your OneDrive or OneDrive for business cloud account as it is to your local computer.
I know there are security concerns, but this is a GREAT thing for most people. Every day we work with clients whose hard drive or flash drive has died or been stolen, and they’ve lost things. Important things. Like, photos of the kids or business financial documents kinds of things.
Storing files in services like OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive eliminates the risk of losing your important files due to hardware failures, theft, natural disaster, or accidental deletion. Plus it means you can access your files anytime, anywhere from another PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Microsoft, Google, and others see this as the future of computing and they’re working overtime to make cloud storage safe, easy, and cheap, and Windows 10 is another step in that direction.
4: It’s Safe
One of the few redeeming features of Windows 8 was that it was much harder to infect than previous versions of Windows. THAT feature is one that Windows 10 keeps – security is one of the highest priorities throughout Windows 10.
3: It’s Fast
Sometimes new versions of Windows s-l-o-o-o-w d-o-o-w-n older PCs, or even newer PCs that don’t have beefy processors. Windows 10 was designed for speed, and in many ways is the fastest version of Windows in years.
2: Internet Explorer is (Almost) Gone
Internet Explorer, the browser that has come with Windows for 20 years, will still be included in Windows 10 – but it’s no longer Microsoft’s recommended browser. That honor goes to a new program called Microsoft Edge.
For a lot of technical reasons Internet Explorer will always have problems viewing certain websites, but it’s still necessary to use a few sites – such as the government’s e-verify site. In recent years most people have started using alternate faster browsers like Firefox or Chrome.
Switching to an entirely new, more modern browser means that Edge will load faster and work smoother than Internet Explorer – but IE is still around, just in case. For now.
1: Should you “Reserve Your Spot”? Probably Not.
Despite that message on your screen encouraging you to “Reserve Your Spot”, and despite the mostly very positive reviews Windows 10 has had from the 1 million users who have been testing it since last fall, we don’t recommend that you “Reserve Your Spot”.
For one thing, “Reserve Your Spot” just means you’ll be able to download Windows 10 in the first day or two after it launches. By early August anyone will be able to upgrade anytime, so your reservation is really only helpful for folks who want to be first to get it.
Also as we mentioned above you may have software which is not compatible with Windows 10. The upgrade is a one-way street, once you’ve upgraded there is no easy way to go back if you find a critical program stops working, so give your software vendors some time to catch up to Windows 10, and make sure they guarantee their programs will work with it, before you make that upgrade.
As always we’re here to help with any of your technology needs or questions: 864-225-1888.