Windows 10 Coming

Did you know it will be FREE? What!?! That is the word on the street. PC World published in January that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users. See: Windows 10 will be a free upgrade. There is some question about Vista, but it looks to excluded.

Windows 10 Logo

Windows 10 Logo

I am somewhat surprised that Windows XP users are not included. But, I know that transferring users from XP to 7 and 8 is a technical pain. It is so bad I only ever move data over now. Installing over XP as an upgrade while a limited possibility, is usually a disaster. A new install is the practical and much easier way to go. Even the Microsoft transfer program doesn’t really work for an XP to 7 or 8 transfer. 

So, the lack of an offer to XP users is probably more a technical issue for XP to Windows 10. But, I would have thought they would have at least offered some pathway to XP users. But, on the other hand, Win 7 & 8 have problems with older hardware. If mother boards do not have the newer controllers for hard, CD, and DVD drives then installing Win 7 & 8 is a problem.

Ain’t this free upgrade wonderful? … but are you starting to wonder about this offer? Think there might be some strings? There are. The fine print is pointed to in the PC World article: Windows 10 page.

You will find that not all hardware will qualify. I suspect you’re not going to be able to transfer it to a new machine that has no operating system.

You will also find that Enterprise level software (think servers) does not qualify. But, they have upgrade paths in their subscription plans.

You must be connected to the Internet to update. This is in keeping with Microsoft’s push to get us all cloud based. Have you tried to install Windows without opening an Microsoft Live Account? It can be done. But, they have it set up so it is blatantly counter intuitive and saying  MS is out right deceptive is well justified.

The offer only lasts for a year. I think this is just a sales point. I’m not sure how hard nosed Microsoft will be on this point. Will they allow tricky ways to update after the year? In a way I suspect so. In marketing it is a standard tactic to place a time limit on an offer to get people to act now. I think that is what the one year limit is about. All the reasons for providing a free update include nothing, other than a push to do it now, I can think of that is enhanced by a time limit.

Corporations will now pay to follow a slower update process. This is tricky. But, more on that later.

We know Windows 8 is a flop. Horrible sales. People hate the Win 8 User Interface. People change out or modify the UI to get something more like Win 7, which is easier to do with 8.1.

Many businesses have seen no reason to upgrade from XP and Win 7. Only a very few of the companies I work with have upgraded and they are avoiding Win 8. I’ve been asked to install XP on new hardware even when it would be way cheaper to move to Win 8. Where we can get Win 7 machines we do.

There is pressure on Microsoft to give free updates. Apple is giving out free OS updates.

You may not have thought about it but mobile OS updates are free too.

There is the computer hacking pressure too. Computer security is becoming more and more of a issue as the world moves down a path similar to the one followed into WWII. We have free OS updates for security now. They invisibly update as Microsoft pushes out new fixes. The Lab has some what adopted a similar update process.

Businesses have been resistant to updating. Major changes in the OS user interface require training and incur costs. Plus buying new OS software for a mid-sized company with say 400 computers requires the IT department to justify the expense to hard nosed managers and accounts that want to know what they are getting for their money. Free OS upgrades means no more cost justifications. That will allow Microsoft to speed up their agenda to keep Windows secure and move people to the latest software.

To avoid the update pace that Microsoft wants to follow corporations will have to subscribe to long-term-service plans. These will let them decide when to install updates. Everyone else will be on automated updates.

All business use of Windows 10 is said require new licensing. Also, Microsoft apps, tablets, notebooks, and mobile devices are not clearly said to run or not in Win 10 without new licensing. See: Computer World.

Then there is Microsoft (MS) Office; the famous Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook email. These are free to use in a demo period. But, Microsoft is pushing to move people to the subscription model. Office 365 is the cloud version of Office. Office 2013 was the last mostly non-cloud based version. So, with 10 the push to have you subscribe to these packages is MUCH stronger.

For Second Life I have yet to notice anyone talking about the Lab testing the viewer with Windows 10 betas. I suspect they are or soon will be.

I’ll remind that the viewers have the lowest crash rates on the newest operating systems. So, upgrades to new is generally a good thing for SL users.

But, for business use companies are being forced down a path. Less so with with private users, but will they follow. I am having to find alternatives to MS Office for smaller companies. One of those is Google Cloud with free Word, Excel, Power Point, and other MS Office like applications. There is also installable software like LibreOffice. So, there are viable alternatives for the MS apps.

What is New?

We expect a better User Interface (UI). Windows 8 just didn’t work for a majority of users. Everyone has learned the basic START menu seen in Windows 95, 2000, XP, Vista, and Win 7. Moving away from that is a problem for many. So, the new UI in 10 is moving back toward that with a bit of Win 8 hanging on.

But, touch screens are more common and Win 8 improvements for touch will still be around and they affect the desktop mouse user.

Cortana the Siri-like voice controlled assistant comes to the MS desktop. This is supposed to integrate all things computer-ish for improving our lives; calendar, email, social networking, pictures…

I know my calendar is now in my phone. Only my secondary things are in my desktop calendar, like the things I have to do when at my desktop. The Microsoft idea is to get all the devices you own using the same service so that your calendar is everywhere and in sync. We will have to see how well MS can pull it off. Google has a considerable lead and Samsung and Apple are competing hard, which is good for us.

C/NET explains how to get a beta copy and install it. I’m not ready to add an experimental Win 10 to one of my machines. But there are some demo videos on YouTube.

January 23, 2015 – 13 minutes

What is the Outlook for Win 10?

A free update and what looks to be the better features of Win 7 & 8 with some new apps… it is going to be hard to resist. I expect this update to widely accepted. From what I’ve seen I will be updating. I expect many of my clients to be updating too.

I’m now planning to have new hardware this year. I expect I’ll go with Win 10 on it.


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