We are starting to get a few emails and calls about the upcoming Windows 10 upgrade and wanted to answer a few questions that have come up. Hopefully, this will clear up some of the questions that you have. Of course, you can always call either of us for more information. I have been testing the Windows 10 preview for nearly a year now and there is a lot to like here, but we have to be cautious with any upgrade of this magnitude.
Is it really free?
Yes, Microsoft has announced that any Windows 7 or higher user can upgrade to Windows 10 for no cost during the 1st year. They would like to move a billion systems to this platform within 12 months.
What happens after a year?
We don’t know what the price (if any) will be at that time. They may keep giving it away or they may start charging for it. If you have a free version, it will continue to work and get updates
Why is it free?
Windows 7 was very popular and remains so today. Windows 8 introduced several new features that were aimed at touch centric devices. Many people did not like using that interface on desktop machines. Microsoft has “merged” some of the best parts of Windows 7 and 8 to create 10 and they want it to be a hit for them.
I see an icon on my toolbar asking me to reserve a copy of the upgrade. Should I do it?
If you “reserve” a copy, Microsoft will go ahead and download the installer to your machine over a period of a few days or even a week. Once it is there, you will get a popup telling you that it is ready for installation. For the most part, installations have been smooth with all of your files and applications preserved. I have only seen one case where a video card issue in a laptop created a problem and I was able to roll that one back to Windows 7 easily.
Should I do it?
Well, that depends. For most home users I would say, yes. If you want to see the new version and don’t mind learning a new OS, then go for it. Business customers should be more cautious. Many of you run specific software. Most of this software is not certified with Windows 10. That means that if you have a problem then it may be unsupported. While incompatibilities might be rare, they do exist. This can be especially bad for you if you need to run older versions of a software package. Intuit will certainly make sure that their latest version of Quickbooks will run under Windows 10, but what if you have customers that are still on Quickbooks 2010? It’s doubtful that Intuit will go back and update previous versions of their software. This would apply to any legacy software. Accountants are often asked to complete tax returns from several years back and they do it by loading up the software from that year.
Another thing to consider is the browser versions. Some of you need a specific browser to access a site. Court sites often require IE10 or less to get documents. IE10 is NOT part of Windows 10 and there is no way to install it. Microsoft has improved the compatability settings for IE11 in Windows 10 but we should test it with your sites before you migrate to make sure that you can get online. If not, then you should not upgrade.
I suspect that over the next 6 months most vendors will certify their software for Windows 10. You have until next July to take advantage of the free offer. That gives us plenty of time to test out a machine or two in your business to see if there are issues before jumping into it wholeheartedly. Just give us a call if you’re interested in migrating and we can help make sure that everything goes smoothly but, most importantly, that we have a good way to recover if they do not.
Microsoft has started rolling out this upgrade as part of the recommended updates that your PC downloads automatically. Although there is a screen asking you for permission to install Windows 10, you have to be paying attention. The best way to avoid getting this update if you don’t want it is to turn off recommended updates.
First, click on start and All Programs and scroll down until you see Windows Update.
Then click on CHANGE SETTINGS on the left.
Finally, uncheck the box that says “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.