With just a few months left before the free Windows 10 upgrade offer from Microsoft ends (29th July 2016) it's probably time to start considering the move. If you choose to upgrade after this date you could well be parting with AU$125 (W10 Home) up to AU$250 (W10 Pro) for a full W10 licence key. Having watched the progress of Windows 10 in the media and across the Internet since its release it appears to have stabilised, and as importantly, there are fewer complaints about inadvertent breakages or disappearances.
Of course there are still major issues with privacy and security, but security is improving and the upgrade process takes in to account your existing paid anti-virus suite. However if you run a free antivirus suite, or your paid package has lapsed, it could well be uninstalled in favour of the lesser Windows Defender and the like. During the upgrade process there are now a couple of options to turn data reporting to Microsoft off to a degree, but it's not a complete list. Microsoft can still track your usage.
There are other issues which are being played down. Firstly, the upgrade to Windows 10 can cost you a massive 3.5GB to 4.5GB of download bandwidth. If you're one of many who are still on a small monthly bandwidth (e.g. 5GB) you'll blow this out of the water inside the one day. Windows 10 also applies updates and patches in the background too, so you could well be reaching for your wallet for extra monthly bandwidth across the coming months. Indeed a recent major W10 upgrade would've cost you more than 1GB. Secondly, 3.5GB can take hours to download on a standard ADSL connection. You could be up for an entire day in time to upgrade your computer.
Gumtree Computer Services can help you with your Windows 10 upgrades. For AU$95 per computer ($150 for up to 3 computers; for more units please contact us) we'll take care of the upgrade onsite in approx 1.5 hours, and we won't use your precious bandwidth. The offer applies within 25kms of Orange; further away will incur travel costs. Actual upgrade time also depends on hardware capability.
There's always fine print! The deal, which runs up to 28th July 2016, excludes time required to backup your data and system and any post-upgrade reconfiguration of apps which were modified during the upgrade. The version of WIndows 10 you'll receive depends on your existing qualifying Windows version. For example, Windows 7 Home Basic SP1, Home Premium SP1 and Windows 8.1 will become Windows 10 Home; Windows 7 Professional SP1, Windows 7 Ultimate SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro will become Windows 10 Pro. All Enterprise licences need to contact Microsoft directly. Earlier Windows versions will have to be upgraded to one of the above qualifying Windows versions prior to the W10 upgrade (extra charge for this qualifying upgrade process). Gumtree Computer Services cannot take responsibility for any old or incompatible apps that no longer work after the WIndows 10 upgrade, but we can advise, prior to upgrading, the validity of currently installed apps for Windows 10.
With upgrades probably closing in on 100 million around the world now Windows 10 has taken off, but before you take the plunge and click on the free upgrade option, think about this; with every new operating system over the last 20 years - Windows, Apple, Linux etc - has come the usual headaches, bugs, security issues and general user nightmares. Windows 10 is proving to be no different, except the general public and certain IT specialists have quickly forgotten these woes.
As always you may get lucky and the upgrade will run smoothly but in the last few weeks we've seen some really serious privacy and security issues rear their collective ugly heads, and indeed more than a single professional IT colleague of ours has been rendered useless with their Windows computer whilst patches are applied and fixes are found. It's also been revealed that people's privacy within their own computer has effectively been compromised with Microsoft now actively monitoring and tracking most of what you do, both locally and across the Internet. There are features built in to Windows 10 that automatically track and report to Microsoft; a pretty unsavoury situation. Microsoft will of course state that it's so they can refine their operating system upgrades towards the areas needing attention and which are most popular. If you're OK with this then upgrade, but be aware that you're now very much being tracked, for better or for worse (more than was Windows 8 and its predecessors).
As with every single release of operating system there are the inevitable security leaks and loopholes which no end of beta testing can prepare for. Although Windows now automatically updates your Windows o/s without you knowing (that's another chapter!) there have been some pretty large holes found.
Another feature you will have to face - if you're on a small bandwidth Internet contract through your service provider, for example, you're on a basic 5GB/month deal so you can check your emails, then you're going to find that Microsoft's insistence on updating your Windows in the background could have you in big hot water with your ISP for blowing out your monthly bandwidth. Indeed the full Windows 10 package can amount to more than 3GB in one hit. If you're on anything less than a very large bandwidth allowance per month then STOP right where you are; if it's a big month in background updates you could blast past your limit and not even realise it. Outside of the Enterprise version of Windows 10, apparently, you don't have the option to turn this off (easily).
Our advice is to hold off before you upgrade your perfectly good Windows 7 or 8.1 computer. You have until July of 2016 so where's the rush? Let the rest of the world iron out those inevitable and numerous bugs, patches, leaks, loopholes and errors before grabbing your free upgrade. Consider upgrading your ISP's Internet monthly bandwidth (the ISPs will love you for it!), and hold off clicking on that Windows 10 download button until closer to the middle of 2016. Windows 10 will still be available after July 2016 but you'll be paying for it. Your current Windows version could be a lot more secure and stable than chancing your luck with your data and a new operating system just yet.