Windows 10 is coming

Some of you have started seeing a popup concerning Windows 10.  Don’t panic.  Microsoft’s Marketing Machine (M3- I just made that up) is hard at work pushing the latest operating system upgrade, which is due to release on July 29, 2015.  No matter what you click, nothing will install right now.  They are just trying to get the word out that upgrading to Windows 10 will be free.  If you no longer want to see the upgrade notification, you can turn it off.  Click “Customize” in the System Tray and turn off the Get Windows 10 app notifications in the menu that comes up.

Andrew Clarke

Before you decide to upgrade, however, do your research.  Make sure all the programs and features you use will still be available.  Microsoft has already announced that some features will be removed if you upgrade.  The feature depreciation section of their specifications page shows the following:

  • If you have Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center and you install Windows 10, Windows Media Center will be removed.
  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
  • Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be removed as part of installing Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 Home users will have updates from Windows Update automatically available. Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the ability to defer updates.
  • Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts Games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed as part of installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released our version of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” and “Microsoft Minesweeper.”
  • If you have a USB floppy drive, you will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the manufacturer’s website.
  • If you have Windows Live Essentials installed on your system, the OneDrive application is removed and replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.

Bear in mind that this list does not include any non-Microsoft software you might have, so make sure you check with each software vendor to ensure compatibility for software products you use.

For more information, visit Microsoft’s specifications page [http://www.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/windows-10-specifications].  Once you’re there, you can click on the Windows 10 menu item for an overview of Windows 10, Questions and Answers (Q&A), and information on how to upgrade.  The Q&A page also provides information for anyone who accidentally chose to reserve a copy of Windows 10, but now wants to change their mind.

My suggestion:  Aim for the leading edge, not the bleeding edge.  You don’t need to be the first to upgrade unless you absolutely hate the version of Windows you’re running now, and you know that you will still be able to work if you upgrade.  Otherwise just wait.

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