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30 DAYS WITH WINDOWS

Coastal Computer - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Windows 10 has been out for just about a month now giving the guru’s of Microsoft products enough to get in there and start playing around. And as with any major release there are some paint points but also some welcomed new features. Here’s an overview of the experiences of a few top Microsoft experts.

Microsoft screwed up big time with Windows 8 and they know it. Not only did they not understand their customer, they practically told them what they wanted, a common grievance customers have with Microsoft. There was an attempt to fix Windows with 8.1 but the new version still did not go over well. .

Their departure from the Windows 7 interface to a new—complicated and unintuitive interface compliant by many who used Windows 8. Further frustration with Windows 8 came with Microsoft’s lack of support for various apps and features..

The release of Windows 10 is hoping to start a new era for Microsoft. They feel they better understand the market and their customer. A new top-level management has also been ushered in replacing the 2012 administration.

There is a big emphasis on making all their products universally compatible with not only their own devices but also compatible with OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. Windows 10 will run on more than just 32 and 64-bit PCs. The ARM platform for smaller tablets and smartphones will also support Windows 10.

INSTALLING

Windows 10 is available through a free upgrade until July 2016 to owners of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or have a Windows Phone 8.1 device. However if you have Windows 7 you’ll first have to make sure that your machine meets the system requirements in order to install. Owners of a Windows RT device unfortunately will be left out in the cold for now.

It’s also important to mention that the “free offer” is only for an upgrade of an existing license to the aforementioned versions. A new copy of Windows 10 cannot be installed without purchasing a license at a retail store or through an online activation code. Devices with Windows XP or Windows Vista will need to do a clean install. For those who need to do a clean install David Grabham of TechRadar put together some helpful instructions in his piece: Windows 10 Review

  • • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • • A Microsoft account and Internet access

Windows 10 is a major release and with any major release there are going to be bugs. Michael Crider of DigitalTrends’ article: Common Problems with Installing Windows 10 and how to fix them” has been in the trenches with Windows 10. From it he’s put together a list of what common problems user’s experience installing Windows 10:.

1. Low Disk Space:

Windows 10 needs a lot of free disk space on either the hard drive or solid-state drive to be installed. The 32-bit version of the OS requires 16GB of free space, and the 64-bit version requires 20GB. For those installing from a file stored on the computer itself with the Microsoft upgrade tool, an additional 2-4GB is required just for the files..

2. ISO Image Issues

If using Microsoft Media Creation tool to burn a disc or create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 10, there’s a chance that the media itself is damaged or corrupt. The result is a failed or damaged installation. Crider states “unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult or impossible to modify the files once they’re written to the disc or drive.”.

3. Error Codes

Occasionally while Windows is in the process of install, the installation will stop and an error code will be displayed. It’ll be almost impossible to tell what the error code is just from looking at considering there are hundreds of error codes. Cider recommends “the best thing to do in this situation is to write down the code (you may not be able to copy it from the display screen) and do an Internet search to find the core problem, and hopefully, a solution.”.

4. Incompatible Hardware

Windows 10 runs on a smorgasbord of hardware, with some systems being quite low power. Computers with a processor with a speed less than 1 gigahertz, or RAM totaling less than 1 gigabyte for the 32-bit version or 2 gigabytes for the 64-bit version, the setup program will not allow you to complete the installation..

(for the complete list and the fixes please give Michael Crider's article a read)

Running With Windows 10

Many users are pleased with the new interface of Windows 10, which more closely resembles to Windows 7. John Brandon of ComputerWorld has states that the re-introduction of the start button, which was noticeably absent in Widows 8 and 8.1, has many thinking this is heading in the right direction.

Microsoft’s overall business strategy is to make all programs function and display universally amongst all devices and Continuum is one way they hope to achieve this. Continuum lets users switch between desktop and tablet while keeping a consistent display.

 

The Action Center, which appears as a vertical panel on the right side of the screen when you swipe from the right or tap displays all your notifications, email, instant messages, etc. Brandon describes his experience “(Action Center) would occasionally make unwanted appearances, especially for users of laptops with touchpads. They when moving the cursor around the right corners of the screen could surprise Touchpad users. For tablet users, the Charms are a perfect fit. But enough about the Charms; they'll be history when you upgrade to Windows 10 later this month.”.

 

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal assistant built into all Windows 10 subscriptions. If you’ve heard of Apple’s Siri, you know Cortana. Microsoft reportedly spent a great deal of effort to give Cortana a personality. How does it function; did Microsoft step up the AI game? Ehh, most reviews have stated the Cortana is not better than Siri, it’s simply just Microsoft’s version. .

 

Of course this a brief overview of Windows 10 highlighting some of the main features out-of-the-box. To learn more about Windows 10 and recommendations on updating or to find out whether or not your system can support Windows 10 please feel free to reach to us.