Should I Upgrade to Windows 10? Some of Your Questions Answered

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? It’s not even a year old, yet more than 350 million devices are running Windows 10. So why upgrade to Window 10? Is Windows 10 good? We explain who should upgrade to the new version of the OS, plus things to consider if you’re using older hardware and software.

Windows 10 will cease to be a free update on 29 July 2016, exactly a year after its initial release to the general public. After the free upgrade period, Windows 10 Home will cost $149 and the Pro version will set you back $199.

Also those who choose upgrade now to Windows 10 will also benefit from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that will become available on 2 August 2016.

With many new features, and various system improvements, many people have done the upgrade.  Here, though, I will explain who should and shouldn’t upgrade: the pros and cons of Windows 10.

If you’re not sure now is the right time to upgrade, there are steps you can take. If you’re looking to upgrade your computer parts and want to be on Windows 10, you should upgrade and extract your new Windows 10 product key using ProduKey. This means you can upgrade your new computer and later have the option to install Windows 10 directly on the new machine.

Microsoft has done everything it can to convince people to take advantage of the Windows 10 upgrade offer, and in the final few weeks has resorted to a full-screen ‘sorry to interrupt…’ message as a last-ditch attempt. However, if you’re adamant that you don’t want to upgrade, I suggest you also read how to disable the Windows 10 upgrade permanently.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Can I downgrade Windows 10?

One of the first questions I am most often asked when it comes to upgrading a system is how easily can you go back to your old one if you don’t like it. The answer with Windows 10 is that it’s very easy.

Microsoft has built in a simple process that only requires a few clicks to have the system roll back to your previous version of Windows (so long as you haven’t deleted the windows.old folder in which the previous version lives).  You can read my guide to downgrading Windows 10.

When I have tested this helpful feature it successfully took data and installed apps with it, meaning you’re good to go as soon as the process is complete.  Of course, as with any operating system installation, you’ll want to make a full backup of your data before you begin either the upgrade or the downgrade.  I have heard that the roll-back doesn’t always work perfectly, so there is a chance that upgrading and rolling back won’t be a seamless process: bear this in mind if you’re thinking about upgrading just to see whether you like Windows 10. Again, make a FULL backup beforehand to guard against any problems.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Cortana is a great addition

Virtual assistants are already helping out on your phone, with Google Now and Apple’s Siri grabbing the headlines, but Microsoft intends to make them big news on desktops with Cortana in Windows 10. This intelligent assistant can now be found on laptops and PCs – not just Windows Phones.

It will now allow you to control elements of your PC by using your voice. Clicking on the search section of the Taskbar will open up Cortana, and from there you can make web queries thanks to the new universal search facility that incorporates the internet as well as your device. You can also schedule appointments in your calendar, dictate notes and reminders, control your media, get map directions, and a host of other commands. What’s even better is that Microsoft is releasing version of Cortana for Android devices and the iPhone, so no matter what your choice of device you can still sync up your data.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? No Microsoft account required

With Windows 8 a Microsoft account was mandatory, as you used it to log in. With Windows 10 you can elect to create standard accounts instead, using whatever email address you want. Of course if you want the cool Microsoft-embedded features that work with OneDrive then you’ll still need to sign up.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Handy new features

Another addition in Windows 10 is that of Virtual Desktops. With this neat feature you can use the Task View mode to easily create multiple workspaces on your PC and switch between them as if they were on different screens. You can also arrange windows on your desktop using the Snap Assist feature, so that they take up one half of the screen or even split into four quarters of the desktop.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Privacy concerns

Originally when Windows 10 was first released, there was quite the backlash from people who felt that their privacy was being invaded by Windows 10, and rightfully so. Not only is Microsoft now urging people to upgrade to Windows 10, but it’s almost forcing them.

The reason appears to be data harvesting. Windows 10 collects a variety of data, some for improving the effectiveness of features such as Cortana. There are ways even before installing Windows 10 to disable most of these features and prevent your information from being captured in the first place.  Under Customize settings you can switch off everything which will give you more privacy.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Not if you have old software and hardware

One other concern for those moving up to Windows 10, especially from older versions of Windows, is whether their important applications will work on the new OS. For major software releases this will almost certainly be a smooth upgrade, but it’s worth checking with the software provider, as they may still be working on a new version. You don’t want to upgrade and suddenly find you can’t do your normal work on your PC. The same holds true for peripherals such as printers and scanners, which may require the downloading of new drivers to ensure they work properly on the new platform.

I’ve run into a lot of people that there older printers and scanners are not supported in Windows 10.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Are there bugs in Windows 10

With its launch on 29 July 2015, there were naturally many bugs and software glitches, mainly with the compatibility of older legacy devices.  Currently, the bugs and the majority of problems have been ironed out and it should only improve with time.

It’s definitely a huge improvement on Windows 8.1 but I cannot blame a lot of Windows 7 users wanting to stay with a rock solid operating system.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Are you upgrading from XP or Vista?

Windows 10 is a free upgrade for existing Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 8.1 users only. This offer doesn’t extend to XP or Vista and you can’t simply upgrade even if you’re willing to pay. Updating requires a clean install.

Whether to buy an Windows 10 for an older machine running Windows XP or Vista, I would not waste your money as majority of older computers I have seen with Windows 10 running tend to have a lot more issues.

Bottom line

While Windows 8 was an unpleasant surprise for a lot of people, Windows 10 goes a long way to putting that right. The OS is clean, familiar, like it was on Windows 7 and its predecessors, where it’s easy to understand, plus it has a wealth of new, helpful features that you’ll actually want to use. The fact that it’s free for the majority of existing Windows users, and can be rolled back quickly to the previous version if you don’t like it, really makes it very, very easy to recommend.

Windows 10 Now More Aggressive Update

If you are a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user, who don’t want to upgrade to Windows 10 now or anytime soon, you might be sick of Microsoft constantly pestering you to upgrade your OS.  I have even heard now that the Windows 10 upgrade is almost installing itself.

With its goal to deploy Windows 10 on over 1 Billion devices worldwide, Microsoft is becoming more aggressive to convince Windows 7 and 8.1 users to upgrade to its newest operating system, and it is getting harder for users to prevent the OS being installed.
But if you’re worried that this out of control Windows 10 upgrade process will force you into downloading an unwanted OS; I have an easier solution to block Windows 10 upgrade on your PCs.

If you don’t want the Windows 10 upgrade, then have a look at this link:

HOW TO DISABLE THE WINDOWS 10 UPGRADE PERMANENTLY

If, it has already done the install and you want to go back, you have a limited time this will work but look at this link:

DOWNGRADE WINDOWS 10: GO BACK TO WINDOWS 7 OR 8.1.

After you downgrade, then it might be in your best interests to disable the Windows 10 upgrade with the previous link.

Do take into account that the Windows 10 upgrade will no longer be free after the 29th July 2016.

If you are running Windows 8.1, I would recommend the upgrade.

Microsoft: Windows 10 To Be The Only Supported OS On Modern CPUs

It’s been a long time since we’ve had to worry about CPU / OS incompatibilities. In fact, the last time it was an issue was the shift from x86 to x64, but that was largely transparent to consumers thanks to AMD and its x86-64 specification, which was later adopted by Intel. Now, with Windows 7 having just entered its extended support phase, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to drop the news that only Windows 10 will be supported on upcoming CPUs.

Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states — which is challenging for WiFi, graphics, security and more.

As such, the company has made the decision to distance itself from older processors and platforms. Intel’s Skylake refresh “Kaby Lake” will mark the start of this transition:

Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon. For example, Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming “Kaby Lake” silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming “8996” silicon, and AMD’s upcoming “Bristol Ridge” silicon.

A list of supported devices will make an appearance in the near future and will help clear up what will work where:

In clarifying this policy, we are prioritizing transparency with enterprises on where to find the highest reliability and best supported Windows experience: Windows 10 on any silicon, Windows 7 on the down-level silicon it was designed for, or a device on the support list.

That doesn’t mean Windows 7 will magically stop working on new CPUs and it’s clear in the above statement Windows 10 won’t suddenly explode on older hardware. It does however draw a line in the sand for Intel, Microsoft, AMD and other companies where we can finally make the proper transition to cutting-edge 64-bit silicon, rather than wallow with one foot in the 32-bit pool.

It was going to happen eventually and while it was a painful day when 16-bit applications stopped working in Windows, we all got over it eventually. And hey, there will always be Linux.

Watch Out For Two New Scams Related To Windows 10

Windows 10 is making an unwanted name for itself in the scam department after malicious actors are using two different tactics in efforts to obtain information from unsuspecting users.

There are two primary vectors where an scammer/attacker could use the enthusiasm and discussions around Windows 10 to entice you to let your guard down.

Tech Support Calls

One scam that has been active for quite a while is the phone call that comes into your home claiming to be some type of tech support and many times they will use Microsoft’s name to try and add some legitimacy to the call.

They then commence to tell you that an alert was received on their end of an issue relating to your computer and that they can help resolve that.  If you give them access to your machine, typically using Team Viewer software, they then show you errors on your system in order to convince you of the problem. Once you grant them control they could plant a piece of malware on your system and block your security software from detecting it.

Another thing they might tey is to indicate they can help you get Windows 10 installed on your system so you then grant them control and you end up with malicious software instead of Windows 10.

They may at anytime in this process attempt to collect fees for their assistance as well once they have your trust.

A variation: Cold calls attempting to help you reserve the Windows 10 upgrade for a fee or getting your permission to send an email that would contain malicious code/attachments.

Windows 10 Upgrade Email

Microsoft has sent out official emails to anyone who successfully reserved a copy of Windows 10 to let them know there place in line is safe and that they will soon be able to start the upgrade. It is believed millions of people were able to reserve the upgrade and are waiting for the download/upgrade process to begin.

The scammers will take advantage of this anticipation by sending a malicious file attached to what appears to be an very official looking email and tell the recipient that opening it will begin the upgrade and/or download process.

That begins the attack on your system.

A variation: Instead of attaching a malicious file to the email they may send you an embedded link indicating that site will help you begin the upgrade process.

My Advice

 

The best cure for both of these is to know that Microsoft will not contact you over the phone about the Windows 10 Upgrade nor will they email you any type of executable file that will begin the process.

Currently the only legitimate methods to get Windows 10 onto your system is through the Get Windows 10 app, the small white Windows flag icon in the lower right corner of your computer screen, or to use the installation media creation tools Microsoft released last week.

Alternatively, you can contact me and I will assist you remotely to start the upgrade process.

Be vigilant and keep your security software up to date to provide yourself maximum protection against these and other malicious/phishing attacks.

Some Reasons Why Not To Upgrade To Windows 10 Yet!

Many Windows users are looking forward to the imminent release of Microsoft’s new operating system. But they may want to wait.

Windows 10 is just about here and many users, especially those who have been wrestling with Windows 8.1 are probably eager to upgrade. But even if you can get it now, the upgrade will be sent first to those who signed up for the Windows Insider beta program and then in “slow waves” to everyone else.