PC Tips and Tricks

Windows 10


Windows 10 is the first step to an era of more personal computing

Microsoft has fired the starting gun for Windows 10 release. If the press is to be believed midyear 2015 although a more likely release date autumn 2015.

The biggest surprise is Windows 10 is FREE for those running Windows 7, 8 & 8.1.

Why Microsoft will say they want their customers to benefit from the innovations they are delivering in Windows 10. More realistically their business model is changing to a services based business. If Microsoft is to sell their services they need customers with devices able to utilise their offering. Another factor their traditional software license model is fast becoming a foot note in history. That may be one reason why Microsoft is rapidly moving their software towards an open source platform. The principal advantage, common source code makes it easier to integrate software from different publishers. One benefit, you spend less time inputting the same data into multiple applications.

Just for a moment think about customer relationship management (CRM), accounts, email marketing, survey applications. You may have a website with a newsletter registration link. The visitor clicks and is directed to an email marketing form for example Mail Chimp or Instant Contact. An employee extracts the data and enters the data into the CRM. A marketing campaign is run. A prospects contacts a sales employee. The employee converts the prospect into a customer. Generally the same data has to be input into multiple applications for example CRM, accounts etc. Perhaps a customer filled in an online survey and the results needs to be linked to your CRM.

What I’m attempting rather clumsily to state; you mostly likely use different software packages and much of the data input is the same or very similar. Transposition errors can occur. After all it is laborious having to input the same data into multiple programs. Even if you just copy and paste. Another integration benefit you may wish to extract business analytical data from multiple sources and merge data into one. For example link sales to geographical location, sales volume, value, who sold the product service and use maps or charts to display results rather than generate text based reports. Windows 10 is the first real step to enabling such integration. Of course this capability is available now but realistically given the cost only really available to corporate enterprises. Windows 10 offers users a hell of lot more. But I’m confident you can find that out for yourself. So the question has to be is it realistic to upgrade.

Do you have a Windows 7 PC, or laptop?

If you do then the next question has to be; did you buy your hardware when Windows 7 was first released?

Early adoption really requires top-notch hardware if the hardware is to remain useable towards the end of software support date. If you purchase low or average performance hardware it will work satisfactorily for some time but I’m sure you’ve noticed as time passes your hardware struggles to perform as well as it did when you first brought it. Of course you can regularly rebuild your PC, and minimise what software you choose to install and of course I’m hoping you have no
registry cleaners, or
third partybrowser plug-ins installed.

I should mention, if your hardware has a mechanical hard disk then moving the hardware while functioning can damage the disk. Mechanical parts do wear out. Replacing the hard disk adding additional memory can improve performance but probably not enough for you to be overly impressed. I should add mechanical disks at this moment in time (February 2015) probably have a longer life time than solid state disks. The principal reason solid state disks don’t manage deletions as well. There is tendency to not reallocate the total deleted file space as efficiently as a mechanical hard disk. Having stated this solid state disks will replace mechanical hard disks and will eventually outperform a mechanical disk.

The reality is low spec hardware is probably going to struggle to run Windows 10.

Do you have a Windows 8 or 8.1 PC or laptop?

If you do then upgrading to Windows 10 is probably a viable option.

Again hardware spec is the determining factor.

You’ve decided to upgrade – what should you do?

Regardless of what operating system or hardware you own, there are a few steps you really should undertake before you upgrade.

  1. Backup all your personal data. All your documents, pictures, music, videos, Outlook pst or ost files.
  2. Backup your operating system (create recovery disk).
  3. Create a system image backup

If you correctly complete the above and if at later date you decide the upgrade isn’t for you, then you can return your hardware to the original operating system. That is before the upgrade. Remember using backups returns the hardware to the time (what) you backed up. If you created new Word, Excel documents etc. back up those files prior to reinstalling the legacy operating system. Usually upgrades do have a capability to reverse the process nevertheless you really still need to create the above backups.

One reason if you need to replace the hard disk you will be able to install the original operating system then upgrade. Currently you won’t be able to install an upgrade without the original operating system. You never know Microsoft may release the full version which means you wouldn’t need to install the original operating system. However at this moment in time you are best advised to create a system back-up. Another reason reversing an upgrade doesn’t always work as well as envisioned. There are numerous reasons as to why, which I won’t cover in this article except to reiterate the mantra backup.

Summary

  • Backup your data.
  • Check your hardware capabilities met Windows 10 system requirements.

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