Final call…for Windows 10 for free!

So it’s been a year already since Windows 10 launched? We were all so innocent then. But to everything there is a season, and to every promotional period there is an abrupt end. Upgrade Windows 10 today, because tomorrow it’ll cost you!

Its, up to you, so no pressure. But after tonight, jumping from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 will no longer be free!

End of support for Google Chrome on Windows XP and Vista

Google have announced the end of support for Google Chrome on Windows XP and Vista. So is this the time to ditch XP or Vista? If you want to continue to use Chrome for sometime then possibly yes. Once Google stop providing updates and security in April, then problems that occur with it you’ll be open to. Also eventually as technology moves on you might not be able to view current websites correctly.

The easiest alternative is to switch to another browser that is supported – Mozilla Firefox another popular free browser hasn’t announced end of support for Vista or XP and so will continue to provide updates. They probably won’t do indefinitely but until that computer breaks you should be able to carry on using at least for now. There are alternatives such as the Opera browser that will also continue to be supported and updated however Firefox is generally more used.

If you want to carry on using Chrome you can either risk it and carry on using or upgrade your current computer to Windows 7 or later to get the latest updated version. If you can’t upgrade to Windows 7 and you still want Chrome, sorry it might be time for a new PC.

Don’t want Windows 10?

If you don’t want to upgrade to Windows 10 and that icon in the corner is bothered you to telling to upgrade or you are worried that someone might click it there is something you can do!

Unfortunately Microsoft want you to upgrade whether you want to or not and don’t make it easy to disable that icon. There is a free piece of software called GWX Control Panel that allows you to disable the annoying popup icon.

GWX Control Panel http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/

Please be advised that while Agile Computing has used and tested this software, Agile Computing does not produce this software and cannot be held responsibility for issues with installing it.

 

3 Months of using Windows 10 – Good or bad?

Its been 3 months since Windows 10 launched – is it all it cracked up to be?

Due to the free upgrades its already more popular than Windows 8. But do those people that haven’t upgrade, take the plunge?

Google chrome still remains more popular than over hyped Edge browser. Edge seems faster on some websites, but some websites it struggles with and sometimes needs you to open in Internet Explorer. It seems unfinished and for that reason I still recommend Google Chrome, officially the worlds most popular browser.

Cortana

Do I really need a personal assistant as part of Windows 10? Personally i’ve turned it off as it was annoying, I think its a marmite feature you either love or hate.

Start Menu

Everyone seems to like that the new start menu is back but for tablet users you can still use the tiled interface. I personally actually think the new start menu is better than the old Windows 7 one.

Upgrading

There have been quite a lot of issues with upgrading to Windows 10, with computers either not working afterwards or giving errors and problems afterwards. If the PC was working perfectly before generally these PC’s seem to upgrade fine, if you computer was crashing or slow these are the ones that cause issues when being upgraded. My advice is to reset your PC to factory settings (if you know how) before upgrading and if you don’t know how get a professiona or someone who know how to, to upgrade it for you. Always check your PC is compatible before upgrading.

New Windows 10 PCs

In general these seem to have no more or less issues than Windows 8. Given the improvements with Windows 10, if you have a choice of Windows 8 or Windows 10 opt for a Windows 10 PC. If you  are a business, Windows 10 works fine and again is better than 8, but dependent on other computers in your business you may be best sticking with Windows 7.

So do I upgrade?

Windows 8 yes, but if you have Windows 7 – the jury is still out. If you have software that will only work on Windows 7 you may wish to think twice as its worth noting that the mail, media and video applications that Microsoft provide for free aren’t as good in Windows 10 (or 8) as in the Windows 7 versions. Also bear in mind the upgrade may be problematic.

However if you want or need the new Windows 10 features and the above doesn’t give you concern and you’ve checked your PC is compatiable then upgrade. It remains to be seen what Microsoft will do regarding charging next year and whether they will charge for it after July. However what they will probably do is start charging for their free apps after this point to try and make some money out of people upgrading.

Windows 10 is here – do I upgrade?

Microsoft’s new operating system is now here and from everything i’ve seen its an improvement on Windows 8, but should you rush to upgrade?

I have XP or Vista do I want to upgrade?
If you have XP Vista, check that your system will take it, the requirements are the same as Windows 8, but as rule of thumb most XP machines will probably not run adequately. As the upgrade isn’t free for XP/Vista users currently there is a question whether its worth the money upgrading a machine of that age, when the performance might not be that great.

I have Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1, do I want to upgrade?
If you are running Windows 8 or 8.1 then realistically you will probably want to upgrade as the requirements are the same and Windows 10 is not substantially different from Windows 8 and the upgrade is free (for 12 months). You can still have the Windows 8 start screen or you can use the start menu whichever you prefer. If you are running Windows 7, then its also free (for 12 months) but its a personal choice whether you upgrade. If Windows 7 does what you need to and you don’t need the features of Windows 10 then Microsoft will still support in terms of bug and security fixes up until 2020. You don’t have to upgrade, but you may find that newer software starts to become only available on Windows 8 or 10.

I have Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 and I want to upgrade, should I upgrade now?
Don’t rush, you have 12 months to get this new upgrade for free if you have Windows 7 or 8/8.1 and there is likely to be bugs found on launch. Unless you have a specific need to upgrade to Windows 10, such as you need to use its new features or need a Windows 10 only piece of software I wouldn’t advise rushing to do it.

Upgrade or Clean Install?
When you decide to upgrade, please bear in mind if you computer is slow and has issues then it might not be good idea to upgrade your existing operating system over the top, you may be better doing a “clean install” but make sure you backup your files first! If you are upgrading from XP or Vista you will only have the option of a clean install as there is method to direct upgrade.
If you’re happy doing it then i would suggest a clean install.

Should I do myself?
This is a question only you can answer. Microsoft say its easy to do but I’d suggest you do if you feel comfortable doing yourself and have backed up your data first. If you need help we’re happy to advise and we can upgrade your computer to Windows 10 for a reasonable cost.

Windows 10

Windows 10 has been announced amid bad sales of Windows 8. Its apparantly so revolutonary they’ve skipped Windows 9. But the good news is the start menu is back but with a mix of Windows 8 tiles and other features plus some new ones. The pre production versions seem promising so maybe Microsoft will do their usual trick of one bad operating system followed by a good one. Time will tell!

 

Windows XP – Do I need to upgrade?

After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014 – but what does this mean for users?

This means that in theory Microsoft won’t release anymore security updates to fix issues that computer hackers exploit. Microsoft will continue to do so for governments and high end users who are paying for this privilege, but for normal business and home users there will be no-more updates. Microsoft inevitably are trying to scare people into upgrading so they can sell Windows 7 and 8 – but do we really need to worry?

Windows-XP-My-Recent-Documents
Business Use – This is a no-brainer for businesses, if you don’t upgrade to Vista, Windows 7 or 8 you could end up with significant downtime and potential security problems. If your computer doesn’t connect to the internet or use is minimal, then there is obviously less risk, but we would suggest remaining on XP unless you really have to. If you are staying with any computers on XP, then make sure you have a robust and updated Internet Security package installed and if practical block internet access from that PC.

Home Users – It would always be recommended to upgrade if you can, as its hard to predict what security issues could arise. However particularly if you’re a low use user, potential downtime and issues arising may be worth your risk compared with the cost of upgrading. However if your computer is used for sensitive documents, banking etc… its worth pointing out that these things could potentially be at risk. If you do intend to remain with Windows XP make sure have a robust and updated Internet Security package. Unfortunately you won’t be able to continue to use Microsoft Security Essentials as Microsoft are ceasing to support this on XP also. Something like Panda Internet Security provides some of the best security i’ve seen so far.

Windows 8.1

So is Windows 8.1 worth the upgrade? If you have Windows 8 its a no-brainer as its free, although it doesn’t install as an update, instead you have to go to the Windows Store which is slightly odd. If you have an older version and are buying a new pc, yes its an improvement to the original, but not massively. You don’t have the start menu bar back (as a lot of people hoped) but you do have a more limited version on the desktop if you right click where the start menu used to be. Ultimately Microsoft were never going to back down with their vision for the future. The other major changes are you can boot directly into Desktop mode instead of the tile-based app user interface, you can snap more apps side-by-side for better multitasking and there’s also better cross-system search, along with search that ties into cloud-based SkyDrive storage. There are some other tweeks and updates but nothing of major note, but my previous comments I think are still valid – if you have a touchscreen its great, if you don’t its not worth the price to upgrade. Its a shame the original offer price of £25 of Windows 8 isn’t still available as this makes it quite attractive particularly to people on the notoriously buggy Windows Vista.

As an operating systems its quick, responsive and once you are used to it easy to navigate, however I wouldn’t suggest anyone upgrade unless there upgrade to a touchscreen or they have a specific need to upgrade. Its a shame that the manufacturers haven’t caught up and brought the price of touchscreens down, at a look in PC World the other day there are far too many non touchscreen PCs with Windows 8/8.1 which as I’ve said really needs a touchscreen – but this is mainly down to price.

Windows 8?

 

Ultimately if you are buying new you don’t have a lot of choice with most retailers as its generally all thats available. Its not a terrible operating system, but its really designed with touchscreens in mind and its a lot different to using previous versions of windows. The tile system is actually fairly intuitive and if you’re used to a Windows phone is fairly logical. However things switch between the new tile interface and the old desktop interface which is a bit confusing and seems a bit clunky.

For new users I think its probably easier as it will be how things move to in the future and if you are buying a PC with a touchscreen its a must. If you’re an existing Windows user who isn’t buying a touchscreen PC then I would suggest going for Windows 7 if you can.

For businesses there will be few who will switch as there are no real benefits but lots of confusion for people used to Windows 7 and previous versions.

Its only worth upgrading an existing PC to it if you have a touchscreen PC (and use the touchscreen!) If you don’t have a touchscreen and are running Windows 7 then its probably not worth it. XP computers are also not worth upgrading (not all will run anyway) however if you are running Vista which is notoriously unreliable and often slow it can be worth considering. Particularly as there have been some good offers to entice people into buying Windows 8.  I personally upgraded one of my vista computers and it does work better on Windows 8 – it is quicker and better to use.

If you hate the way Windows 8 works (the tile system rather than the standard desktop/start menu) you can always change it to work like Windows 7, click here to see how to do it. Although personally I would say get used to the new look as I doubt new versions will be any different. Windows 8 is the start of things to come, but its not really an essential upgrade without a touchscreen – it will get better in time.

Fake/scam microsoft calls resurface in Redditch

A few of my customers have had calls from people pretending to be from Microsoft again. Don’t be taken in by them! Microsoft can’t see into your computer and don’t ring people like this. These are scams designed to get you to give access to your computer so the scammers can get access to details such as bank accounts and credit cards. If you are in any doubt just put the phone down on these people. Never give anyone access to your computer to anyone you don’t know who they are. If you’ve had one of these calls and are concerned they may have access to your PC, give us a call.