For what it’s worth, fewer of my customers have been upgrading to Windows 10 before the deadline of 29th July than I expected and seem happy enough to stay with Windows 7. After all it’s not a ‘bad’ version, like every alternate revision. (98, Millenium, Vista, 8.0)
It is hard to see what the great advantage in upgrading is on a non-touch screen desktop machine other than that Microsoft will stop support and security updates after 2020. Although that is important of course, especially when, if XP is anything to go by, anti-virus support disappears a year later.
My line in the first instance is that Windows 10 Pro will cost £189 per machine after July 29th which for most voluntary organisations is not do-able. So their options are
1. To upgrade machines to Windows 10 before that date
2. To stay with Windows 7 (or 8) until the machines become defunct with age replacing machines as they expire or become security risks.
Despite appalling (correctable) privacy settings on the default installation, Windows 10
has, on the whole, been widely welcomed by adopters for better usability – after the poor reception for Windows 8 and 8.1. Microsoft say it will be the ‘last’ Windows version, thereafter having a continual upgrading process carried out automatically by the operating system itself – giving the same experience on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.
Like so much upgrading that users have to do, the biggest convenience in the new arrangement is for Microsoft itself… but there are still important reasons to consider upgrading.
- The life of a machine may be 3 years in the commercial sector but it’s more like 8 years in the public/voluntary/3rd sector
- Trustees will worry about acting with due diligence if they allow machines in their sphere of responsibility to have security holes un-patched and incomplete/non-updating virus protection after 2020
- Having to buy all your new machines at one go is impossible in many 3rd sector scenarios
Older machines with small discs and processors before Intel i3 perhaps won’t upgrade happily but other machines which need disc space but have good capacity (say 100G) or need more memory (which is cheap and quite easy to fit) can be adapted without too much pain. My very simple installation guide would be
- Not got 20G spare on the disc for an upgrade? go to accessories-system tools and use the disc cleaner to get more space. Failing that, there may be all kinds of old backups, system dumps or temporary deposits of photos, movies and god knows what. Just don’t monkey with the windows folder. The free app TreeSize from Portable Apps is useful here
- Too little memory. Investigate with Crucial Memory’s tester. Crucial are pretty competitive and reliable too for purchase and support for installing
- The process is reversible if you don’t like it
- The process takes time (3 hours per machine) – so the best way to proceed is to do it once on a ‘typical’ machine, to get the sense of it and then roll it out across the others. Start off the group of machines on the upgrade at the end of the day, going home with them churning happily away downloading, installing and rebooting and hopefully they will be finished the next morning.
- Some anti-virus will be uninstalled during the upgrade, so be ready to reinstall that.
And don’t forget – if you get incompatibilities or problems…. searching the web will usually show that you are not alone and some geek has considered a fix. The worst is that you have to bust it back to Windows 7.