Upgrading to Windows 10
Since 14 January 2020* The time for Microsoft’s support of Windows 7 has come to a close.
More and more users are making the switch to Windows 10. While some are enjoying the modern features and higher security that Win10 has to offer, others find it difficult to adjust to the new user interface.
Love it or hate it, Windows 10 is here to stay (as far as these sorts of things go). Windows 7, on the other hand, has become a security risk to its Users since January 14, 2020*.
Here are some things to consider before upgrading to Windows 10:
1. Your Budget: While a loophole to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 for free still exists, this only works for genuine versions of Win 7. That being said, even then it doesn’t work for all PCs, and only a fresh install will do the job. Also, if you are running a much older operating system (such as Windows XP, or Vista), then you will have to buy a Win 10 license to benefit from all its features when you upgrade.
2. Your PC’s compatibility: Win 10 has a set of minimum operating requirements which must be met for it to install on your computer, depending on whether you plan to install the 32-bit or 64-bit versions. You will need to make sure that your RAM, Hard Drive, and Processor meet these requirements.
TIP: To see your computers specs type “System Information” into your Windows search bar, and look at the info next to System Type, Processor, and Total Physical Memory. If under System Type it says x86-based PC, then your computer is running a 32-bit version of Windows. If it shows x64-based PC, then it is running the 64-bit version.
3. Your software: If you haven’t been keeping your software up to date, there is a chance that it won’t be compatible with Windows 10, and simply transferring data files from an older version of the software to a newer version on your new Win 10 OS won’t work. Certain accounting programs regularly have issues with this.
Also, if you have been using Windows Live Mail for your emails, you will first need to convert all of your emails and contacts into a file that is compatible with other email programs (such as Outlook and Gmail). This is because Live Mail is not compatible with Win 10. You or your IT service provider will need to take some time to look at this aspect before commencing with the update.
4. Your data: It's often recommended that you make a backup file/restore point of your current system should anything go wrong during the Win 10 upgrade. This will protect you in the event that your data becomes lost or corrupted during the update.
5. Your time: Checking your hardware and software compatibility, making back-ups of your data, downloading the Win 10 OS file, and installing/setting up your new OS takes a good couple of hours (although this does greatly depend on your hardware and internet speed, and experience with the IT side of Win 10).
With these things in mind, it's a good idea to start thinking seriously about when a good time would be to upgrade to Win 10. And for those who prefer to stick with Win 7 past its Microsoft support cut-off, you may want to invest in some very good antivirus software to protect your PC.