MS Windows 10 First Impressions

Windows10
Many of you may be aware of the fact that Microsoft released Windows 10 today. Well I logged into the Microsoft Partner Portal earlier and downloaded the MAPS (Microsoft Action Pack) copy of the Enterprise edition. I then loaded it up in a virtual machine and had a quick play around with it. This article lists some of the new features and hopefully helps you decide whether to upgrade or not. Also check out our video below to see how Windows 10 looks and feels.

The Start Menu

Many of the folks who experienced the previous operating system, Windows 8, were very put off by the Start screen, which highlighted “metro-style” apps and live tiles. In Windows 10 Microsoft have brought back a more familiar style start menu in the lower left corner of the screen.  The menu is a bit of a hybrid between the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 app-driven start screen. It features live tiles and is highly customisable. If you love the start screen though don’t despair as Microsoft gives users the option of using the new start menu or the Windows 8 style start screen. 

Cortana

Cortana is a bit like Siri, Apple’s voice-driven assistant.  You can essentially talk to your computer to perform searches or access information on your computer. Unfortunately I tried to use Cortana but was met with a “feature not available in your region” error (I’m located in Australia). As this was the first day of release I was a bit disappointed but hopefully it will be available soon.  

Microsoft Edge 

Internet Explorer has been replaced with Edge. Edge is very minimalist compared to Internet Explorer – there are no toolbars, icons and settings to get in the way of viewing various web pages.  I haven’t fully tested it but it seemed nice and fast. Users can also install their favourite browser though (eg Google Chrome, Firefox or even the “old” Internet Explorer).  

Should You Upgrade to Windows 10?

While I believe that Windows 10 will be successful for Microsoft, I would strongly advise you not to upgrade straight. I haven’t fully tested everything yet but this release may still have some bugs to work out which may cause issues on your computer.  It may be better to wait a few months for these to be worked out.  

When you do decide that you want to upgrade, here are some things that you will need to do first:

  • Make a complete backup of everything on your system.  If something goes wrong during the upgrade process, you want to have a way to restore your computer to the way it was before the upgrade.  The easiest way to do this is to use the built-in tools with Windows 7 or 8 to create a system image on an external hard drive.  
  • Install all of the latest updates on your operating system.  It would be best to run Windows updates on your system prior to an upgrade to be sure that you have the latest security and system patches.
  • Make sure that your current software and hardware is compatible with Windows 10.  Everything may run just fine on your current system but it may not run smoothly on Window 10.  Microsoft will release a compatibility tool which will inform you if your hardware and software will work with Windows 10.  We recommend that you install the latest device drivers for your computer (particularly video and network devices) prior to upgrading.  
  • Be sure to back up your data.  In addition to a full system upgrade, it would be wise to create a separate copy of your critical data (documents, pictures, music, videos, etc.) prior to upgrading. You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway.

Upgrading your operating system is a daunting task for most users.  If you are in Adelaide South Australia and feel that this is beyond your technical ability, we encourage you to give us a call. We will be offering a special Windows 10 upgrade service to our customers beginning in early August.

 

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