Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Windows 10 - "To BE or Not to BE"

 

November 1, 2017 | View PDF



"To be, or not to be--that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles"

As I'm certain we are all too familiar with this famous quote from one of William Shakespeare's most beloved plays, "Hamlet", we too are faced ofttimes with a dilemma we'd rather not face. In his infamous soliloquy, Hamlet toils with the notion of whether to continue to exist or not – whether it was more noble to suffer the slings and arrows of an unbearable situation, or to declare war on the sea of troubles that afflict us.

Okay, let's not make upgrading our computer system quite that dire - although at times it can feel nonetheless as daunting a chore.

Question is, with ransomware scares and other worries, is it time you upgraded to Windows 10? I'll explain what you need to consider if you're using older hardware and software.

Upgrading to a new software system, especially on a computer, can be a big upheaval that causes stress and confusion ("Where'd my Control Panel go?" "Where'd they move the 'download' button to?").

As a standard practice, The first, and most important, thing you should do before upgrading ANY OS (operating system, PC based OR Mac) is backup your entire system (and not just the data files). This can be achieved by utilizing the built in system backup software or a third party program capable of "imaging" your computer. This ensures your ability to restore your hard disk back to its current condition should you decide you don't like the new OS.

While the free upgrade to Windows 10 ended on 29 July 2016, you can still upgrade, of course, but should you is what many still ask? With scare stories of ransomware encrypting files on unsupported versions of Windows, there are certainly valid reasons to consider it.

Microsoft has pulled the plug on Windows Vista support on April 11 2017, and Windows XP hasn't received security patches for a while now. In the wake of multiple ransomware attacks, Microsoft has taken the unusual step of issuing a patch for both operating systems because of the high risk and fact that millions of people are still using these versions of Windows.

However, this has come after computers have been infected, which is why it's best to use a version of Windows that receives automatic updates that help to protect you (and your files) from disaster.

Windows 8 isn't supported either, but most machines with Windows 8 should have been updated to Windows 8.1, which is still supported. Windows 7 also receives security updates and will until 14 January 2020.

On ending support for Vista, Microsoft said, "the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies", meaning that it will no longer receive Windows security updates, nor will developers offer support for the dated operating system. We advise upgrading to Windows 10 as you'll have limited access to new software and may be vulnerable in terms of online security.

Windows 10 is the most powerful operating system that Microsoft has ever made, but it's also seem like the most complex. They have increased the performance capability of your machine's memory, hard drive usage, as well as a dependable self-contained anti-virus protection "Windows Defender" software already built in. While the user interface is extremely intuitive, you'll have to dig a little deeper to customize your experience, get maximum performance and make the most of its many new features.

So, how do you face the "Giant" of getting used to a new version of your favorite operating system? You could begin by visiting a "Brick and Mortar Store". You could easily buy a new laptop, or desktop online without ever touching it. However, physical stores still exist. This is a great way to ask questions and get a brief hands-on experience while working with an experienced salesperson. Also, do NOT be afraid to research the upgraded system either online and/or by purchasing a "How-To" resource guide.

Darnell Hughley is the Owner, Certified Technician and Consultant for HY-Tech Solutions, LLC - having more than 23 years of total experience in the PC Repair and IT Consulting field.

 

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