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Windows 10 – The final hurdle

This is the last in the series on Windows 10 for the moment. Here, I will outline the actual update procedure so that you may carry this out with peace of mind. Do note that you do not HAVE to upgrade to Windows 10 at this stage. This is a free update that is valid for 12 months – after which you will have to pay for it.

This upgrade is only available for Windows 7 and 8 users – all other users will be required to purchase a copy. I would highly recommend this upgrade though – especially for new Windows 8 users who are struggling a bit with the new interface.

To upgrade, the first thing you do is go to your Windows Update screen and check for updates. If it is available, you will see an advice that you can now upgrade – this upgrade is over 2.0GB depending on version. If not – do not worry – as long as you have a legal version of Win7 or 8 – it will happen. The upgrade should definitely take over an hour – plan for at least two hours in Malawi – based on your bandwidth, during which time your machine will not be usable. So plan your time and bandwidth availability.

Once you have clicked the Get Started button and accepted the licencing agreement, you will be shown a scheduler screen – where you can decide when to run the update. Once started, your PC will immediately restart and will do this a number of times during the update. Therefore – in Malawi – it is also important to choose a time when you can (if at all possible) guarantee no power outages.

Once this is complete, you will get the option to do an Express or Custom configuration. Choose Express at this stage, whilst you learn more about your new software. This should bring back you PC to an usable state with all your data and familiar desktop items. You should see some new versions of applications such as Microsoft OneDrive and Internet Explorer, but otherwise it is back to work as normal.

When you have some time – explore and experiment with the very slick new functionality. A good start would be to look at the login options, Virtual Desktops, Microsoft Edge (which replaces Internet Explorer) and customising your start menu. If you do not wish to follow the online update process – you have the choice of downloading the Windows 10 ISO file and carrying out a clean install at a later date. Do note that a clean install will require you to backup all your data and restore this – together with any applications, such as Microsoft Office on your PC.

If you are a corporate business, you will need to seriously consider areas of bandwidth usage and loss of productive time. Look seriously at utilising the ISO image, or a bootable flash drive to deploy across a large number of users. Ensure your users are prepared for the new desktop experience. You may also need to consider hardware and software upgrades. Ensure that you use best practice methodologies for this deployment to minimise disruption.

If I have any criticisms about this new version – it would be that updates can no longer be scheduled as in the previous versions. Microsoft – as part of its vision as “Windows as a Service” – is talking about at least 4 major updates per year, which will add on new functionality when ready.

Combined with the need for a daily (or more) Defender anti virus patch update to ensure full protection – I fear that data capped internet users will be sorely penalised, and ISPs will be making a lot more money. Unfortunately with the new taxes imposed by government – so will government, and I fear these combined costs will impede the smooth roll out of this update.

We will be carrying out introductory courses to Windows 10 over the next few weeks to ensure that users can maximise benefit of this update. Email me on info@ syncitafrica.com to register your interest.

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