From a technology perspective, it feels like my birthday. My cake (angel food with vanilla frosting, just in case you were wondering) has 10 candles on it … as in Windows 10. It. Is. Here.
For months now, I’ve been playing with Windows 10 beta versions and having a ball doing it. When I got the final release mid-summer, I tossed my Windows 8.1 aside like a tattered pair of Chuck Taylor high tops. Windows 10, how do I say you’re the best of the past and future? Well, you are. I love having the start menu back (Windows 8.1 users, rejoice!)—a savvy mash-up of the traditional menu format and metro tiles. Cortana, you’re so intuitive as a personal assistant; you just seem to “get” me. Bye, bye, Internet Explorer, I grieve not for you. Edge edged you out. Oh, and I would be remiss to not address Continuum, a Windows 10 feature that sports seamless integration across all my devices. Makes my life flow easier, that’s for sure.
A bit more detail on what makes these upgrades sing. First, virtual assistant Cortana can be configured for voice activation, allowing you to just say “Hey Cortana!” followed by a command like “Remind me to dial up Frank next week.” Honestly, it makes Siri look downright feeble-minded; Cortana is much more intuitive.
Also, Windows 10 gives you interaction with your PC similar to the kind you’re used to with your phone. The Edge browser may be the first suitor worthy of prying you away from Chrome (or Firefox and Safari, all heavy users of memory and server resources). You’ll be pleasantly surprised by Edge’s minimalistic overhaul, enhanced security, and less resource-intensive features.
A few housekeeping notes: the actual upgrade process is easy. Windows 10’s minimum system requirements are about the same as Windows 8.1. Before upgrading, consider: are your applications currently Windows 10 compatible and supported (if you’re not sure, we can tell you this)? If your apps worked and were compatible in Windows 8.1, they’re likely going to be compatible with Windows 10. HOWEVER, that does not mean that your third-party support vendor will support Windows 10 just yet. By far, this is one of the most important question to ask before running the update.
Ok, so I’ve gone through all the gotcha’s. Let’s say you know that your system is supported and can run Windows 10. What now?
Use the search feature on your start menu and click or type “Get Windows 10.” Find the upgrade app, then click “Reserve Your Free Upgrade” to join the upgrade queue. If you don’t see it, you may need to ensure all of your Windows updates are current. If you’re still having challenges, call us!
The upgrades take about 20 to 40 minutes depending on your setup. The cool thing is, it hardly requires any interaction (although you can’t use the computer while it’s upgrading). The download itself is about 4 to 5GB so the longest part may be just downloading Windows 10 (20 minutes to a couple hours, depending upon your Internet connection).
Of course, the big wow is that WINDOWS 10 IS FREE for the first year for almost all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users! After the first year, the Professional Edition will cost $200. Microsoft may extend the free period but, for now, that’s the plan from the folks in Redmond, Washington.
CRITCAL NOTE: If you are using your PC in a work environment, 3Points recommends that you wait to upgrade to Windows 10. There may be many incompatibilities that exist in a business network that may not be apparent on your PC. Please contact 3Points for advice on whether or not upgrading to Windows 10 is appropriate for you.
1. See a great, in-depth review of Windows 10 and find out why it scored 91 out of a hundred by Engadget.
2. Read a good, quick Windows 10 overview.
3. Read a Windows 10 article from Small Business Computing.