On July 29, Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 as a free upgrade to everybody using Windows 7 or Windows 8. This is a big deal. Microsoft will be able to convert one billion customers to a unified version of Windows, making the world a much better place in the end by simplifying it. Apple’s Macintosh has been doing this for years – they force their users to upgrade quite often and they make it easy and FREE. The benefit is that once people perform the recommended updates, they are all using the latest version. Software writers are forced to update their software or become obsolete. Users are forced to adapt to new features and things. But in the end, we all win since it puts everybody in a common state – simplifying the state of software for everybody. Support becomes easier, software works better (since it can focus on supporting only the most recent versions of software), and people stay on top of the latest trends in a gradual, painless way (I hope).
I recommend that you DO NOT UPGRADE to Windows 10 when your computer asks you to. I suggest you defer the installation until mid-August or even September. And I suggest that you contact me for advice when the transition comes and we can make a plan. Microsoft is more than happy to upgrade your machines (laptops, desktops, tablets) automatically, but certain things can be optimized PRIOR to the upgrade that will improve the way your devices work for you.
Factors and complications to consider while upgrading:
- Converting from local accounts to Microsoft accounts on your devices will allow them to tap fully into Microsoft’s system, storing many of your settings in the cloud as part of your user profile. These settings will carry across your devices, meaning that your preferences will follow you around. Also, you can go from device to device seamlessly. But many people skip this step and use “local” accounts. This will rob you of many fabulous features.
- Moving your files to the cloud. This can be Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, Box, or any other provider. Different cloud storage locations work better for different purposes, but they all share a common beauty. . . they keep your files in the cloud and sync a copy of them to your devices. . so you never have to backup your files, photos, music and other files again. (This assumes you are set up properly, however, and that all of your files are cloud-based). I talk more about the cloud below and specifically about security in a cloud-based world.
- Updating and cleaning up your applications. If your files are in the cloud and your accounts are in the cloud, the only thing your computer has that aren’t based in the in the cloud are your applications – things like Photoshop, Office, Chrome, Quicken, Turbotax, Quickbooks, iTunes, etc. . . We can look at what you’re using and make sure it will work with windows 10. Most high quality programs will easily transfer. Some may need updates or conversions to newer versions or standards. You don’t want to move to Windows 10 and have certain things in your life stop working as you expect.
- Deciding whether to start from scratch or simply upgrade. This also includes deciding how and whether to back up the system prior to the update so that in case of trouble, we can revert it. In many cases, the upgrade is an opportunity to reset and clean up some things, so a fresh installation of Windows 10 is a great idea – especially if we first moved your files to the cloud, linked your settings to your Microsoft account, and took inventory of your applications. A new computer always works best, and a new Windows 10 computer would be no exception. Windows 10 is all about working better and faster than before, but if you upgrade and bits and pieces of your older machine are still there (preserved for you to keep everything compatible), you might not get the benefits of modernizing!
- In rare cases, printers and devices that work with Windows 7 will not work with Windows 10. This happens when, for example, a printer manufacturer doesn’t release updated software for a 10 year old printer that is no longer in production.
- Old computers that run Vista and XP can run Windows 10 as well, and will probably run faster and better with Windows 10. But since the upgrade is not free for those systems, it is either a time to buy a copy of Windows 10 for the old machine or to replace the old machine with something shiny and new. Deciding whether it’s a good time to also upgrade or replace your machine or hard drive. We may decide that it’s cheaper and easier to buy a new machine rather than upgrade an old one and potentially create work for ourselves. Or we may decide to replace the hard drive at the time of upgrading to give you the incredible speed of the new “Solid State Hard Drives” at the same time we’re doing the other work. Solid state drives, unlike the dreaded hard drives of the past that are known for catastrophic failure, contain no moving parts, use less energy, and are many times faster. Computers are plenty smart these days – most of their time is spent moving information around between the disk storage and the memory and such. Once you have a solid state drive, that time goes away and the computer is 2-3 times faster in all ways. It’s a very simple upgrade, and it wouldn’t add any time to the upgrade process.
Please give me a call at 619-459-0977 or e-mail me to make arrangements for Windows 10!