Windows 10 has arrived

15. 08. 13
posted by: O. Sinclair
Hits: 2315

If you follow news at all and in particular IT news that is not exactly new information. Microsoft officially released Windows 10 on 29 July. Interestingly the CEO Satya Nadella chose to be in Kenya at a launch party in Nairobi!

This time around Microsoft offers the new version as a free upgrade during 1 year for all licensed Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 (Servicepack 1) users. So should you upgrade and if so, how?

I have been using it myself via the "Insider" program (don't worry I still use Kubuntu as my main system) and now have the official release. So far I like it, I think it is a great improvement over the mishmash that Windows 8 is. So for Windows 8 users I absolutely recommend it.

For Windows 7 users it is a different scenario. Most users (at least those I know) are perfectly happy and may not like the changed user interface at all. For corporate users there are some new functions (easier to access company servers is an example), for home users it depends. If you want to stay updated and plan to keep your computer for some time then yes - sooner or later Microsoft will attempt to stop maintenance of Windows 7. Meaning security updates and so on will no longer be available.

But if you are happy with Windows 7 and do not plan to keep it beyond July next year well then I don't see any huge reason. You might upgrade just before you offload it (by whatever means) so next user can keep on getting updates. Note however that it is very likely that your replacement will run Windows 10 (given you buy another Windows computer that is of course).

Something to note if you are on a slow and/or capped (limited data) connection: the upgrade can be quite large, I have read figures of up to 5.5 Gb. That would mean 25% of my monthly allowance on my home/office internet...

Issues for us on limited internet are further that it is near impossible to switch off automatic updates/upgrades (there is apparently a way to say you have a "metered connection" but I have not figured that out yet) and that it by default "calls home" quite a lot. The later is of course also a privacy issue if you care about that (sadly few do).

Here is a link on how to switch off many of the default "call home" functions. This will if nothing else save you bandwidth.

So how do you get it? Well your Windows 8 or Windows 7 must be updated with all Security updates. Head to Windows Update and if you are not set for Automatic Updates then check for updates and install all of them. That might mean quite a few if you have tried to save expensive internet for other use but there is no (that I am aware of) way around it.

Very likely you will have to do a few reboots and check for updates again. When all is done a small "Windows" icon should appear in your system tray area, click on that and "reserve your copy". From there on it is a matter of patience and how fast your internet is.

A clean installation actually lacks a few applications most find useful (such as a decent dvd/mediaplayer) so here is a link recommending some post-installation applications.

One last note: there is no real need to rush - this download will be offered for a year. I have read "horror stories" of users getting stuck in the middle of the upgrade and then Windows goes into "endless reboot". For now the word is that Microsoft does not have ready soluton. Unless you are itching to upgrade it might be worth waiting another few weeks.

EDIT: For now this does not work on computers that are joined to a domain - meaning most corporate users on the Pro versions. I have not found any direct answer from Microsoft as to why but the general belief is that a tool for this will be issued when initial problems have been solved

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