So, I dashed off a hurried email on Tuesday, letting you know what’s going on it you’ve had a little icon pop appear on your computer, offering you Windows 10. It’s letting you book a place to get the free upgrade when it comes out on July 29th. Even if you don’t book it, you’ll still be able to get it, but you might not be able to get it on the first day or so.
But there are a few more things you should know about Windows 10, before you decide for sure whether or not you’d like to get it.
I’ve updated the free ebook I wrote a month or two ago on it, to cover the new bits and pieces that have been announced. (You can get it here… and feel free to pass this email on to friends who might find it helpful)
But here are one or two other bits and pieces that have been worrying or puzzling people:
- A question a few people have: “Do I keep my files when I do the update?” Yes. It updates Windows while leaving your files where they are (I’ve tested this out and it works). It also tried to keep any programs or apps you have, though if you have older ones, they might not actually work on Windows 10, so you might still have them but they might not run. But I’d always recommend backing up anything important on your PC before upgrading like this, just in case it goes wrong. It’s one thing to have to get help reinstalling from scratch if it completely goes haywire – another thing to lose priceless photos. (In fact, I’d say you should always keep things like this backed up anyway, just in case.)
- There’s a change to how updates work in Windows 10. If you have the home version, it automatically downloads updates, like most people have now. But it also straight away installs them. To be honest, most people have their PC set up this way anyway, but you won’t have any choice any more, unless you have the professional (business version).
- A lot of people use their laptop for watching DVDs, maybe when on holiday or even around the house. When we’re worn out of an evening, Julie and I have been known to go to bed and watch a film together on it. But Windows 10 won’t be able to play DVDs without an extra program – at least not at first. I suspect this is a similar problem to one with an earlier version of Windows, where they didn’t include the “codecs”, which actually decode the DVD, because of a licence some other company had. But they have said they’ll bring out an update later on. In the meantime, though, you can download a free program called vlcplayer, which will run on Windows 10 and will play DVDs, so it’s no great loss. (VLC player is generally a better program than Windows Media Player anyway)
- What about Anti-virus programs… a lot of the current ones (eg Norton, McAfee) won’t yet work on Windows 10. Don’t worry, though, because first of all I’m sure by the day Windows 10 comes out, they’ll all have brought out new versions of their anti-virus programs that do work on it. So if you like McAfee (say), you’ll be able to carry on with it. Secondly, you don’t need to worry because Windows 1o actually has an anti-virus security program built in, so you don’t actually need to get a separate one anyway.
Oh, and, like Windows 8, you can also run it on a tablet as well as a fully-blown PC or laptop. The idea with Windows 8 was that it would be easier if you were using the same system on both… but it turned out that meant it wasn’t quite right on either.
With Windows 10 they’ve been a bit cleverer and it will run on both but will automatically tell whether you’re using a PC or tablet and change into a mode designed to work well with a keyboard and mouse or with just a touchscreen. You can choose to swap between the modes as well, if you want. This was looks like it’s a much better approach. You get almost the same system on a tablet and a PC, but it works better on both.
I’ll still be covering more about Windows 10 nearer the launch date (end of July), including how to go about actually doing the update if you want to switch. But if you’re sick to the back teeth of Windows 10 (I’m not, I admit, because I think it’s going to be better and easier to use than Windows 8), then take heart, because I shouldn’t have too much more to say about it for the next few emails, until we get a little closer to when it’s actually available…