Windows 10 - Free Upgrade
News - General Technology News
Monday, 06 July 2015 23:01

Windows 10 is on its way, most of you will probably already know this and have read reports online, in newspapers or even seen a TV news report extolling the virtues of Microsoft's newest and greatest operating system.  But what does the introduction of this new system at the end of July 2015 mean to the average user?  Is it something to be worried about?  Do you have to do something to get the free upgrade and should you get the upgrade.  Hopefully this article will give you a little more information and help you to make the choice.


Even if you haven't read anything about this new system you may have noticed a new icon in the taskbar of your computer, shown below.

This icon is inviting you to register for Windows 10.  It will appear on all computers running genuine copies of Windows 7 and 8.1

As always here at Alien Technologies we have been involved in testing the latest version of Windows and have actively been using it on a laptop and desktop computer for approximately one year.  As with many of the previous versions of Windows as well as other new pieces of software I find the new version superior and beneficial as well as annoying.

My assessment of Windows 10 is largely based on how my customers will cope with the differences rather than myself.  Having worked in the industry for many years and been a computer user for over 30yrs I can get used to anything.  However many of my customers are still getting to grips with Windows 7 and 8 and another change may not be the best thing for them.


So do I like Windows 10?

The simple answer is yes, more security, clearer controls, in some ways simpler operation but the big bonus for those that have struggled with Windows 8 is we now have a Start Menu again.  Most of the Win8 machines we have set up for those migrating from XP have a menu system installed as an addition to help the transition.  Some of our customers would be lost without it so it's reappearance is very welcome.


What happens if I register?

Nothing, initially at least, Windows 10's official release date is the 29th July 2015.  If you click the icon and register, Microsoft only need an email address at this point, all you are doing is reserving the option for Windows 10.  On or around the 29th July your computer will start to download the installation files, these files are about 3Gb and could take days or weeks to download dependant on the amount of time your computer is actually turned on and connected to the internet.

I suspect over the next few weeks we will get many calls from customers complaining about slow computers and internet speeds.  This is inevitable while the downloads are taking place.


What happens if I don´t register?

Nothing, your machine will not download Windows 10 and your current Windows installation will continue as it is now.  The offer is open for a year and you could decide to make the change later.  If you leave it too long however and miss the boat, you would then have to buy Windows 10 for approximately €100 dependent on the version.


What will happen to Windows 7 or 8.1 if I don't upgrade?

They will keep on working as they are but are subject to Microsoft's support lifecycle and will eventually become obsolete.  Windows 7 is going to continue receiving extended support from Microsoft until 14 January 2020 and Windows 8 will receive extended support until 10 January 2023.  Full support information from Microsoft can be seen here.


Is my computer capable of running Windows 10?

The minimum specification to run Windows 10 is fairly low in comparison to todays new computers.  As a general rule though anything bought in the last 4 - 5 years should be capable of running the new software.  It is possible to get an assessment from Microsoft which may help you decide without actually agreeing to anything.  To check for compatibility;

Firstly click on the new Windows 10 icon in the bottom right of the screen, on the taskbar near the clock.

Next click on the three bars in the top left corner of the new window.

Next once the list appears click Check My PC from the list.

This will give you the basics as to whether your machine is compatible, however it will not check every single piece of software you have.


What do Alien Technologies recommend?

For those of you with machines that are only 1 or 2 years old, that are interested in something new and are ready to embrace the future, then go for it, but please read all our notes first.

For those using a computer as part of a business with dedicated business software who would be completely lost if it went wrong then, hold off until you can speak to you computer advisor and full software/hardware compatibility has been established.

For normal everyday computer users, with a reasonably new machine then by all means register, but we cannot guarantee what will happen when the upgrade actually happens.


How can Alien Technologies help you?

As we said earlier, we have been testing the new version of Windows for some considerable time and think that most customers would benefit from an upgrade.  We cannot however simulate the upgrade process and at this point are not completely sure what will happen.  To that end we now have 4 different computers, desktop, laptop, all-in-one and a small net top, all ready and waiting for the process to begin.  We will have a few others before the date also.  All of these machines have been set up with differing software packages and are of differing specifications.  Once the process begins we will monitor the situation to assess the impact the update will have on our clients computers.

After the updates have completed we will then write a report to give you some hints and tips on how to proceed.  What we are suggesting to most people is to register, allow the download and then wait until we have written our report or at the very least give us a ring to get an update before you proceed to installation.


As always if you require any help or assistance with this upgrade Alien Technologies will be happy to help or take on the job completely.


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