A big thank you to David Shear from Albox Computer Club for this Windows 10 advice. If you live close to Albox in Almeria, then make sure you scroll down for an invitation.
Windows 10 – A significant change in Computing
- But what should I do about it?
Many of you that already have a computer, be it desktop or laptop (plus a very few with tablets, which often use different Operating Systems), will already be using the Windows Operating System. Most likely with Windows 7 or 8.1 – but older ones with Vista or even XP.
If you haven’t yet heard, Windows 10 is imminent. Yes, that’s correct – there never was a Windows 9 – Microsoft have gone straight from 8 to 10.
Win10 (as we’ll call it for briefness), is due for release to the public on July 29th – and it’s an important milestone, and the way you get it is really different ! For all current Win 7 and Win 8.1 users it’s a FREE UPGRADE to regular private users and small businesses. Because there’s so many (up to a billion) potential upgraders, it won’t be available to everyone all at once. The Internet and the servers which supply the upgrades, simply couldn’t handle that. So it’ll be rolled out over the following days and weeks. The upgrade will be FREE to do for 1 year from July 29th – after that it will have to be purchased, but of course that may change.
Microsoft are aiming at getting as many as possible upgraded to this new (and improved) Windows, within a year or so. And it really is improved, and it is a touch different. It’s designed to automatically detect whether you’re using a touchscreen or keyboard/mouse system, and adapt the screen and way of working accordingly – a distinct improvement over Win8. Plus it’s designed to be as consistent as possible across desktops, laptops, tablets and ‘phones, with many common features and software. And it has a new Internet browser called Edge, which is smarter, sleeker and FASTER than clunky old Internet Explorer.
You may have already been notified about the upgrade, in the form of a new icon in the system tray (in the form of a small 4-paned windows (what else?), which if opened invites you to register to receive the upgrade. XP and Vista users will not get this notification, and will have to buy Win10 (or a new computer with Win 10 installed) if wanted. Registering for the upgrade is optional, and you’ll be able to get it whether you register or not.
WARNING – DO NOT INSTALL THIS UPGRADE WITHOUT REALISING WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WITHOUT SAFEGUARDING YOUR EXISTING SETUP
There are many ins and outs you need to consider about compatibility, when to do the upgrade, how to do the upgrade, how to safeguard what you have now in case things go wrong, and so on. So the $64 question is “WHAT SHOULD I DO?” – and how should I do it.
This is where we at the Albox Computer club can help. We’ll be holding a public forum on July 22nd in Albox, and Club members will get ample advice and help in the regular Club meetings. The Club has been running the “Developers Preview” of Windows 10 for over 6 months, and senior members have been and will be further testing out the upgrading system as it’s finalised. So we’ll be well placed to give you guidance and to help sort out issues, including the best courses of action for those with older systems.
It is NOT essential to upgrade – if you’re happy right now, you can just carry on – though you will miss out on the improvements. The club’s advice is that you should strongly consider upgrading, but not right from day one (July 29th). Waiting a month or three may be safer to let things stabilise.
What you MUST do before you take the plunge, is make a total backup (image) of your system and work, so that if things go wrong (and they inevitably will on some systems), you can at least get back to the current working system for the meanwhile. The Club recommends an external hard drive for this, and has a recommended (free) program to do this, too. If you don’t have a proper recovery system in place and the upgrade fails and goes wrong, you could end up with an unusable system and an expensive repair and/or loss of your information.
The Club’s public meeting is on Wednesday July 22 at our regular venue – La Parrilla in Albox. It’ll start at 10:30 and last between 60 and 90 minutes, with a chance to ask questions. There will be the club computer, running Win10, of course, on display. We have a large screen and projector to make the presentation and of course general information about the club and the part we try to play to help local computer users. There’s a map on the Club website.
Albox Computer Club is a legally registered non-profit Association, with the Junta de Andalucia. Our aims are to teach and give assistance to Members. We also have an arm which refurbishes old computers and donates them to local deserving causes, from a workshop provided for us by the local council of Arboleas.
Entrance to the venue will be free, though donations are always welcome, and we will raffle a new high capacity external drive, which is the number 1 essential for making system images and other backups. The club offers other benefits to members, including a fair range of items for loan to try out and for cover in emergencies.