Byte Me Article 280 – End of Free Upgrade Approaches

Limited Time for Windows Upgrade

This year is rocketing past faster than I can remember any previous one and we already have upon us an important IT deadline – that of the end of the free period of Windows 10 upgrades.  In less than 3 weeks on the 29th of July Microsoft will cease to allow you to upgrade a computer that is currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8 or 8.1 to the latest version of Windows, which is Windows 10.

In recent weeks I have been outspoken about how Microsoft has changed the upgrade notification pop-up as it now tricks unwary users into accepting the upgrade.  Regardless of my like for their latest operating system I still don’t like this bullish behaviour and believe that users should be allowed to make this decision based on their own preferences instead of what Microsoft wants us to do.

So what am I recommending?  I have been a supporter of Windows 10 from the time it was released 12 months ago and we have installed it on nearly every single new computer leaving our shop since then.  It runs fast, reliably, has got lots of useful new features and it will be thoroughly supported for many years to come.  However, as an upgrade from a previous operating system there are some catches.

If you already have a computer with Windows 7 /8 / 8.1 then unless you are very tech savvy, the chances of doing the upgrade to 10 yourself without experiencing any problems is rather slim.  This is the cause of heaps of bad publicity surrounding 10.  It is a great operating system but if you are upgrading to it then there are a number of things that can and often do go wrong.

In the very least you need to do a full backup of all of your data, you need to have an Internet connection with the ability to download around 3GB of data and you need to allow a couple of hours for the actual upgrade to take place.  You also need to be prepared to reinstall your printers from scratch, reinstall your anti-virus software and often muck with your email software unless it is a cloud based one like Gmail.

So what is good about upgrading?  If all of your software was compatible and if you successfully do it yourself or have it professionally done then it normally results in a computer that boots up and runs significantly faster than it previously did.  The upgrade can also get rid of a certain number of problems that may have previously plagued your system.

Once upgraded to 10 you can also rest assured that Microsoft will be putting vast efforts into keeping 10 running smoothly and will not be changing things around again for a significant number of years.  This is in stark contrast to Windows 7 users who at present are going to find themselves left out in the cold as far as Microsoft support is concerned when we get to the year 2020.

We also see a number of customer both in business and in home situations that have got some of their PC’s running 10 and others still on 7 / 8.  We certainly encourage people in this situation to finish upgrading everything to 10 before the cut-off date as having multiple operating systems on the same network is simply a pain.

How much will things change on July 29?  There are no exact indications on how much an upgrade is going to cost in licencing fees after this date but I would suggest you could count on around $150 for a home edition upgrade and probably $200 for the same thing on the professional edition.  Either way, I am sure the next 3 weeks will see us kept mighty busy.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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