This is Your Final Warning….

Crying Man CartoonOK…OK, I admit that nothing terminal is going to happen to your computer (or you!) if you don’t upgrade to Windows 10 but one thing’s for sure, if you don’t accept the free upgrade before 29 July 2016, you will have to pay Microsoft at least $US109 for the privilege when you finally realise the world’s leaving you behind!

Of course, if you’re planning on replacing your old clunker laptop/desktop in the very near future (ie this year!), upgrading to Win 10 is a bit of waste of time but for everyone else….
T I M E   I S   R U N N I N G   O U T ! ! !

I came across an excellent summary of facts (with a little positive spin thrown in for good measure) on the internet recently and I want to share it with you.

Here are my Top 10 reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 10 right now

Thanks and full recognition to Brad Chacos of PC World who wrote the original article from which I have borrowed several of his well composed paragraphs to supplement my own thoughts…

Reason to Upgrade No. 0
Windows 10 is Actually REALLY Good!

OK, so this isn’t really a technical reason (so I’ll label it number zero!). I’ve been using Windows 10 since its release a year ago and I firmly believe it’s an excellent product. I’ve been working inside the Computing Industry for almost 40yrs and I can state uncategorically that Windows 10 is the best version of Windows that Microsoft have every produced. It incorporates the best parts of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (yes, there were some good bits!) and this time they’ve merged everything into a very clean and functional offering. Smiley-face-thumbs-up-thank-you-free-clipart-imagesFurthermore, Windows 10 has had a lot of new code written for it so it reflects the best quality of software Microsoft can bring to the table. It’s a modern Operating System and feels like it. Unless you’ve got plans to change over to the “Fruity”-side of computing, you’re stuck with Windows… so why not have the best version doing the business for you on your PC or laptop?

In addition, Windows 10 definitely seems to run faster on older ex-Windows 7 machines so you get a kind of free hardware upgrade as well!!

If your “knowledgeable” friends or family members are still saying “don’t upgrade”, now might be the time to tell them that they’re dead wrong! Most people I meet at SeniorNet are willing to embrace change and if these family members are determined to remain stuck in the past, just politely wave them goodbye and show them you’re better informed – “accept” the Windows 10 upgrade now.

Reason to Upgrade No. 1
Windows 10 is a Significantly Improved Desktop Experience

Windows 8’s fugly, unfunctional, and obnoxiously colored Start screen sucked (sic!). So did the way Windows 8 hid crucial information behind hidden “charms,” which had no on-screen hints for how to access them. It scared a lot of people away from upgrading, and rightfully so.

You don’t have to worry about that with Windows 10.

Windows 10 ScreenWindows 10 takes the same core ideas behind Windows 8, but makes them palatable for the desktop audience. Windows Store apps are still present, but they run in normal, resizable desktop windows and work just like any other programme. The Start menu’s back, with a pop-out section that puts information-delivering Live Tiles to better use—and yes, they can all be deleted if you want.

And…all those settings behind the weird Charms in Windows 8 are now easily accessible from the Start Menu in the new and vastly improved Settings Application. Almost all the routine setting changes you will ever need or want to make are readily and safely available in this application.

True, there are some changes to wrap your head around, especially if you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. But the basic building blocks of the operating system will be largely familiar.

Reason to Upgrade No. 2
Under the Hood Improvements

Under the HoodIf you’re upgrading from Windows 7, you’ll be amazed at just how quick and modern Windows 10 feels. Microsoft optimized Windows’ underlying code in Windows 8, resulting in an operating system that boots like greased lightning. In fact, if you want to make a cup of coffee while Windows 10 is booting and still get back before its finished, you better change to “instant” and arrange for someone else to put the jug on in advance! My All-In-One takes about 45 seconds to get to the Login screen and another 2 minutes to start up Outlook and Skype (the two slowest starting applications on the planet!!)

It’s just one of the many Windows 8 improvements that Windows 7 holdouts will enjoy in Windows 10.

Reason to Upgrade No. 3
Native Security Protection

Windows DefenderThis appeals to all PC users (and especially to those on a fixed budget). Windows 10 is inherently more secure than Windows 7. The operating system ships with Microsoft’s Windows Defender antivirus software and Windows Firewall installed and enabled by default. There’s no longer any need to maintain 3rd Party antivirus software (eg AVG, McAfee, Avast, Norton etc) and even less need to pay these people any money. Windows Defender is FREE and updated daily! This alone will save many people up to $100 per annum in unnecessary antivirus subscription charges – these other products are now essentially redundant regardless of what the salesman told you when you bought your machine!

Reason to Upgrade No. 4
Lots of Little Extras

cortanaWindows 10 quietly eliminates many of the biggest “little irritations” present in previous versions of Windows. The Charms are gone (woohoo!) and the onscreen Power Button is easy to locate (Start, Power!). You can finally create PDF documents without additional software, and hovering your mouse over a background window lets you scroll it, rather than only the in-focus program. Once it’s released in New Zealand, Cortana’s natural language search—“Hey Cortana, show my pictures from last Christmas”—will be a serious time-saver when used correctly. The Notifications Panel in Windows 10 finally contains useful information and offers to improve things for you. In fact Windows 10 appears to be constantly engaged in self-diagnosis and self-repair – no Windows predecessor has ever felt so robust nor been so able to recover cleanly and completely from system crashes or power failures.

Redmond SignA cynic might even concede that Microsoft have been listing to their customers (for once!). There are so many obvious and logical improvements that REAL people outside the hallowed halls of Redmond WA. must have been involved here. All in all, these little touches add up to a big usability difference.

Reason to Upgrade No. 5
Microsoft Edge

microsoft_edge_logoMS Edge is the new, completely rewritten browser which Microsoft have developed for Windows 10. It replaces Internet Explorer (which is actually still there but well hidden) and goes a long way towards answering the critics who were concerned that IE was very bloated, slow and very prone to being hacked. Sadly for Microsoft, the uptake of MS Edge has been severely blunted by its own poor promotion of the tool as well as an extremely aggressive campaign by Google to get people to (wittingly or unwittingly) install Google Chrome. Statistics show that Chrome is winning the battle hands down but that takes nothing away from MS Edge which I’ve found to be easy to use, quick and well integrated into Windows 10.

Let me be clear….THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MS EDGE, it does its job very well although some techies are still complaining that some high-end add-ons still don’t work for them.

At SeniorNet we teach our classes using MS Edge because it’s already pre-installed on everyone’s PCs during the upgrade and with a couple of settings tweaks, does everything our members need it to do.

Reason to Upgrade No. 6
Windows Mail

Windows Mail LogoMicrosoft have also introduced a new Mail Client with Windows 10 called simply Windows Mail. SeniorNet Kapiti is in the final stages of preparing a new Course to teach our members how to use this new tool. Again, like MS Edge, it’s also very easy to use….once it’s connected to your Mail (be it Paradise, Clear, Xtra, Gmail, Hotmail or Outlook.com etc). The user interface is simple and clean with plenty of obvious icons to drive everything. It doesn’t look anything like Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail but it is supported by Microsoft and will continue to be maintained for the life of Windows 10. The same can’t be said for Windows Live Mail (WLM) which we know still works on Windows 10 but has recently started showing cracks around the edges. Migration to Windows Mail is a real and viable possibility for those still on WLM (and may yet be a necessity) and our new course will help you make the transition.

Windows Mail is built for modern (imap-based) Mail systems like Gmail and Outlook.com (Hotmail) but it does work with Paradise and Xtra and therefore provides a migration path for those members sick of the many “issues” with Paradise and wanting to move on to say Gmail. There’ll be more on this subject from us during 2016.

Reason to Upgrade No. 7
A Microsoft Account with Free Cloud Storage

Setup MS AccountOf course you don’t have to have a Microsoft Account to migrate to Windows 10 but once your migration is successful, we strongly recommend that you move away from using a Local Account (esp if you came from Windows 7) and start logging on using your Microsoft Account. The benefits of a Microsoft Account can be summarized;

  • 5Gb of free Cloud Storage comes with every Microsoft Account. You can use this to backup your documents (automatically), share files (documents/photos etc) with friends and family anywhere in the world, or just provide a common storage place for documents you want to view on your tablet or phone when you’re away from home or travelling
  • Access to the Microsoft Store which contains literally thousands of free programs (called Apps) which you are welcome to download and try. There are also thousands more Apps you can purchase with an average price of around $US10
  • Free backup of your PC Settings. No need to write them down – they automatically synchronise with the Cloud and if you ever have to rebuild your PC, buy a new one or just purchase a second device, the “old” Settings are automatically installed on the new device the moment you sign in with the same Microsoft Account.
  • As an aside, we have also had a few Windows 10 “problems” which were solved simply by getting the user to change from a Local Account to a Microsoft Account.

If you migrate from Windows 7, you’ll initially log onto Windows 10 using a Local Account. You need to go to Start, Settings, Accounts and select the option Sign in With A Microsoft Account to change over. It’s easy!

Reason to Upgrade No. 8
Windows 10 is going to keep changing

Microsoft have made it clear that they won’t be rolling out Windows 11 next year…or any other year! Instead, they plan to incrementally improve Windows 10 over time. This is a huge change from the past where we have been faced with significant change every 5 years or so. Now, we’ll have smaller, more manageable changes occurring every few months. In fact, the first significant change to Windows 10 is about to arrive. Windows UpdateSoon after July 29th, there will be an Upgrade which will make a number of changes that have been implemented in response to customer feedback (and of course there will be bug fixes too!). This upgrade will take a few hours but you will be able to just leave your PC running overnight and in the morning it will (again) be on the latest version of Windows 10. Your friends and family with their heads in the sand will still be running on their olde versions of Windows 7 and 8 while you’ll have the latest version of the newest Operating System on the planet! I think these smaller incremental upgrades will prove to be much easier for our members to digest than the step-changes of the past but you only get them if you’ve already upgraded to Windows 10!

Reason to Upgrade No. 9
There’s no need to be nervous – SeniorNet is here to help you!

Smooching eldersAt SeniorNet we have a number of ways to assist you through the upgrade and settling-in phase once you “take the plunge”…

  • Our article (here) written a few months ago steps you through the entire upgrade process
  • Our Introduction to Windows 10 Course will help you to get all the right settings in place and will give you a comprehensive introduction to this new and exciting Operating System. Along the way we’ll highlight the similarities with the past too
  • Once you’re up and running, our How Do I…? Workshops (held twice a month) are there to answer all those little questions that inevitably come up as we embrace something new. If the settings in the Intro Course were beyond you then come to a How Do I…? with your laptop and one of the Tutors will set them up for you
  • Our monthly Q&A Workshop always uses Windows 10 for demonstrations and answering your questions so once you upgrade, the things we discuss will make more sense back home
  • Last but not least, all our Courses have been upgraded and are already being taught using Windows 10. In parallel, all our Learning Centre PCs have Windows 10 as their default Operating System so you’ll be better able to replicate what you see at home in our classroom and our instructions will make more sense when you sit down to email a friend or Skype the grandkids.

Reason to Upgrade No. 10
Because you Belong to SeniorNet and Keeping Up-To-Date is Just Plain Smart!

You’ve already shown your friends and family how smart you are by joining SeniorNet Kapiti…why not show them how you’ve benefited from that membership by running the latest Operating System on your Windows PC or laptop – they’ll be impressed!

Remember, you only have until July 29th 2016 to accept the free upgrade. The days for procrastination are most definitely over. Windows 10 Taskbar IconPlease don’t leave it any longer – reach over into the bottom right-hand corner of your screen with the mouse and click the little white Window…..in less than 4hrs you’ll be running the world’s most modern Operating System.

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4 thoughts on “This is Your Final Warning….

  1. Thanks Peter, I guess my view is biased, being one of the small group who’ve had problems. I certainly enjoyed W10 while it was working and it was disappointing to go back to W7, so it was the process that was the problem, not the product. I agree that we paid too much, at a charge out rate of $70 per hour, so we won’t be using that particular operator again. He came back at least three times as he would fix the computer and then it would seize up again at the next download. Interesting to get your feedback on that, thank you. We do plan to get a new computer in a year or so so will eventually get to enjoy Windows 10.

  2. Thanks but no thanks! See the article in the Dompost today,, 20/7, page A12 “Uproar over unwanted upgrade.” This mirrors our experience, W10 installed successfully and all went well, but every time updates were sent, more problems, until finally the computer would not open at all. Eventually, at great expense, well over $1000, the computer was fixed and W7 reinstalled, also the programme “no Windows10” to stop more unwanted downloads. I wrote to Senior Net at the time and was sent helpful advice. Our computer technician went through all the points made and explained how he had done all this and more, but to no avail. At that point, about six weeks ago, he had been called out to over 100 computers with similar problems, most of which he had been able to fix,but some (about 6) like ours had to be completely purged and programmes reinstalled, or a new computer bought. I think Seniornet’s articles on this subject have been over optimistic to say the least and I urge everyone who is wavering to read the above article and proceed with caution!
    Belinda McLean

    • Belinda,
      Thanks for your feedback and I’m very sorry to hear that your Windows 10 upgrade experience didn’t go well. Sadly, there are always going to be issues with such a complex upgrade and in a very small number of cases machines will have to be reverted to their original operating system. I have personally upgraded around 20 systems (Win 7 and 8) and only one of them failed to “stick”. The reversion to Windows 7 went perfectly and the user, while back to square one has not lost any data. I am greatly concerned that you spent over $1000 getting your computer repaired. Even at $50 per hour, that’s 20hrs work and there is no way it takes that long to rebuild a Windows 7 machine. Assuming proper backups were taken prior to the upgrade, a rebuild should take no more that 4hrs. I also accept that early in the upgrade period, there were some nasty problems (eg missing start buttons!) but these were mostly fixed by Microsoft within weeks of occurring.
      I am disappointed in the negativity of the DomPost article in today’s paper as nowhere does it mention anything positive about Windows 10 – this close to the end of the free upgrade period I find that to be very poor and unbalanced journalism! It’s important in this discussion to remember that there are well over 300 Million people who have successfully upgraded to Windows 10 and the level of problems being experienced is most definitely lower than similar upgrades in the past. Furthermore, most well-publicized issues which are occurring get fixed very quickly through Microsoft’s update cycle. I realise that wasn’t the case for you but your experience is certainly not normal for this upgrade.
      Yes, I freely admit that I am optimistic about Windows 10 and yes, I do present a rosey picture – it is a great Operating System! I want our members to keep as up-to-date as possible with technology because getting behind and then finding that no-one can cost-effectively assist them creates unnecessary stress, especially in some older people. I most certainly don’t want our members stuck using Windows 7 which is already 1 year outside mainstream support from Microsoft. This means no more updates to their operating system from Microsoft and while everything is OK for now, the minute something breaks, the only solution for less-technical members will be to call in the “experts”. This, as you have discovered, is sometimes more costly than buying a new laptop.
      Thanks again for your feedback and comments. It’s important to hear from both sides of the discussion to give our members the full picture.
      Peter

  3. Peter did an excellent job on Windows 10 info. How lucky Senior Net is to have him.

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