Well, next week is a big milestone for Windows and Microsoft. Windows 10 comes out on Wednesday – this is the version they say will be the last fully new version as they’ll just keep on tweaking it as it needs it, rather than bringing out a wholly new one every few years.
My general advice on Windows 10 is that I think it’s better than Windows 8 or 8.1 – I think it’s easier to use. So unless you really love Windows 8, if you have that, I’d upgrade.
If you have Windows 7, I’d be more cautious. I think Windows 7 works pretty well. Windows 10 will probably be a bit better – but if you’ve already learnt to use Windows 7, it might not be worth having to relearn things (though it’s not as different as Windows 8 was).
But whatever version you have , if you’re thinking of upgrading, my advice would be to wait a month or two. That gives them time to find any bugs they’ve missed so far (or rather for other people who’ve upgraded straight away to find them!) and fix them.
The upgrade is free (if you have Windows 7 or 8) if you do it within the first year after it coming out, so you’ve got time to give it a month or two… just don’t forget and realise after 13 months!
By the way, don’t worry if you’ve already booked it for Wednesday and now want to wait until a month or so later. What you’ve booked is downloading the new version of Windows – but then it won’t install until you tell it to. So you can still leave it a while if you like.
If you have an earlier version of Windows (XP or Vista), the upgrade isn’t going to be free. They haven’t announced the price, though – whether it’s worth it will largely depend on how much they charge. But generally I’d say it’s much better than either of those versions (and XP isn’t really safe on the internet any more anyway).
We’ve now got what’s supposed to be a finished version of Windows 10 in the office (there’s a pre-release version for people like us who write about computers) but it only includes Windows itself, not the upgrade system, so I can’t tell you exactly how it’ll work on Wednesday, until I do it myself.
But from what they’re saying if you book it in advance (by clicking on the little four panelled window symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and going through the options there), then at some point on Wednesday or shortly afterwards (depending on how busy their servers are – they might not do everyone on the first day) it’ll download to your computer.
Then you’ll get the option to install it. As I say, I’d probably recommend waiting a month or so, but if you want to get stuck in, you can! I’d backup everything important on your PC first, though. It shouldn’t lose anything, but best to be safe.
It’ll probably take a fair while to install – maybe even an hour, so best not do it when you’re in a rush.
I’ll do a more detailed “how to download and install it” once it’s actually available!
Introducing – well, sort of introducing…
Not that long ago, I mentioned we’d recently taken on Simone to help with Customer Service. Well, she’s settling in nicely (and I’m proud to say she’s already had several people contact us to say how friendly and helpful she was on the phone) but she’s no longer the “new girl” – well, in a way.
Even with Simone, we were struggling a bit to keep up with everyone asking for copies of the new tablet books – and I hate the idea of not getting books out straight away when people order them (we always try to get orders that come in before the post is collected out the same day so no-one has to wait too long). So we’ve got another person to help: Emma.
If you’ve been a customer of ours for a few years, you might remember Emma – she worked for us before (in fact she and Laura were the first people I took on to help) but she left after having a couple of children. They’re a bit older now so she’s back again, albeit part time. Having worked here before, she can remember a lot of the important stuff so is up to speed quickly.
So if you ring up and talk to Emma and you happen to notice she’s not mentioned where it says “ring up and talk to Louize, Laura or Simone”, that’s why: she’s new (well sort of new) and isn’t on the bit of paper yet!
Something coming up shortly…
Some of you have probably heard about my Inner Circle (in fact some of you are members!). It’s a group of people who get access to various extras – including some articles, videos and even some ebooks that no-one else can access. There’s a clubroom to answer questions, as well, whether it’s asking for advice about tablets or how to sort a problem you’re having with your computer.
As you can imagine, it’s quite time-consuming and I want to make sure we do a good job, so I don’t let it get too big. In fact since October last year, the doors have been closed to new members.
But next month I’m planning to open them again (just for a few weeks) to let new members in.
I used to call it my PC Inner Circle (and still do sometimes) but really it’s not just about PCs – we talk about PCs, laptops, tablets and even smartphones.
Anyway, the doors aren’t open yet, but if you aren’t a member, I’ll be giving a bit more information about it shortly (including when the doors open). If you are a member, you don’t need to do anything but I thought I’d mention it in case you know anyone who might be interested – if they sign up to the free emails at www.helpfulbooks.co.uk I’ll keep them up to date with what’s happened and they can read about it for themselves.
But as I say, the doors will only be open for a few weeks – more info shortly.