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August 9, 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:18 am

If you have not heard, Microsoft has discontinued the free upgrade to Windows 10.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

For those of you that waited due to, “Oops, I forgot” I am sorry for your loss.  Loss of $119 at least.  For those of you that will never give up because of all the issues with Windows 10 — I am also sorry.  Not for the $119 loss, since you knew that would come but sorry that you will not get to enjoy it…until you purchase a new PC.

Of course, you are not alone.  MS shoots to have everyone on Windows 10 but the reality is different.  Looking at all computers in use around the world, W10 is on 21.13% while Windows 7 is still in the lead with 47.01%.  If you care, the breakdown continues as W8.x at 9.17%, XP is 10.34% and finally Mac is in last place of the big boys at 4.69%.  The others that total to 100% are Linux and “Others” that are not used very often.  So basically about one out of every five PCs are running Windows 10 as of August 1st.

All that being said on August 2nd, Microsoft began rolling out the “Windows 10 Anniversary Update”, woohoo!  It is also known as the 1607 update (for the anniversary of 07/16).  It included many changes most of which are on the backend where you will not notice much.  There were some interface changes but minimal.

One change you will notice right off is that the Start Menu has changed.  The entire list of applications now starts directly under the Recently Added and Suggested apps.  From there you can scroll down or you may still click on one of the letter labels to choose the app you want.

The Action Center button has moved to the right side of the time in the Taskbar instead of being on the left as it was before…I have no idea why.  An interesting change which I entirely approve of is if you have set up your email and calendar in Windows 10, including Gmail, when you click the time on the taskbar you will see your scheduled agenda under the time, date and calendar.

Also, if you are an Edge browser user there has been a major change.  You can now add extensions like Google Chrome, Firefox and other browsers have had for a long time. Extensions allow you to do other things with your browser other than surf the net.  Like Adblock, Evernote, Pinterest and others.  Although, there are not many they are being created often now.  When Windows 10 started a year ago there were basically none.

You will be invited to download and install the Anniversary Update when you have your next Windows update.  Mine hit on August 4th so it installed it two days after the rollout.  It was flawless but I would plan on a couple of hours to complete the download and installation, which includes several reboots.  All of it is automatic once you start the first reboot.

Good luck for all you PC users out there whether XP, 7, 8.1 or 10. I hope no one is still dealing with Vista or Millennium!

March 29, 2016

Windows 10, Ready or Not

Over the past few weeks I have received some emails from people saying they are getting warnings on their computers regarding the Windows 10 upgrade.  No, this is not a new virus, a Trojan or any sort of malware hitting the scene.  Our friend – Microsoft.

Many of you who have not converted to Windows 10 yet are getting popups from time-to-time from Microsoft.  It has already been downloaded to most Windows 7 and 8.x computers.  Yes, there is a very high probability that it is lurking in a hidden location waiting to get its command to run.  If you choose to install it by clicking the popup, then you will have it after a couple of restarts.  But what if you choose to never click the OK button?

When MS released W10 for general consumption in July, 2015, they said it would be free for all users of Windows 7 and 8.x.  It was and so far, according to one statistics site I read, about 14.8% of all desktop and notebook computers are running W10.  For comparison it also stated Windows 7 is 46.8%, Windows 8.1 is 11.4% and OS X (Apple) is 9.33%.  They also stated at release time that after one year you would have to pay for W10 if you wanted it on your computer.

One of many Windows 10 Upgrade "Reminders"Now things have apparently changed.  I have read of some people who woke up to find Windows 10 on their computers.  The issue is that when they went to bed the night before they had Windows 7.  I do not know how true that is but I do know that people are getting continual “warnings” about having to install W10.

So it sounds like sooner or later you will get Windows 10.  I do not know if they will auto-install it without your input or allow you to choose “OK,” but I believe you will have it sooner or later.  Oh and MS says the update to W10 is for our own safety.  Yeah right, that was what all the new versions were supposedly for.

One of many Windows 10 Upgrade "Reminders"On to one other related issue.  I received an email from a reader who choose to bite the bullet and install Windows 10 recently.  They immediately had issues connecting to their Wi-Fi and asked me what they could do.  I had not heard this before and looked online…there were many out there with this issue along with a plethora of fixes.  Since I had no experience with this I suggested he go to a local computer shop.  He did and found out that many W10 upgraded computers had this issue.  I found online where it could be related to older drivers on computers but sometimes updating them did not work either.

I am surprised that my computers have had no issue with this.  I have a 2009 desktop, a 2006 and a 2010 notebook and none of them have experienced this issue.  But be warned if you have an older system you could lose Wi-Fi.  I have read on a few sites which say your best bet if that happens and a computer repair shop cannot get you fixed is to toss it and buy a new computer.

Thanks, Microsoft, for the mandatory Windows 10 upgrades, especially if it stops us from getting online.  Very useful feature…not!

One of many Windows 10 Upgrade "Reminders"

One of many Windows 10 Upgrade "Reminders"

September 8, 2015

Windows 10, Part 3

Cortana?  Is it a name to be loved or feared?

Cortana is the “Siri”-like and “OK, Google” personal voice search feature found now in Windows 10 for PC.  It was previously available the first part of 2015 for Windows 8.1 Phones.  If you read last week’s article on linked and/ local accounts this continues that train of thought.  So go check it out if you missed it.

If you set up W10 with a linked account Cortana (or “Hey Cortana” as it is also called) will work just fine.  If you choose to go the route of a local account, which I suggest to most, Cortana will not show up.

Cortana getting you to link your accountIf you choose a linked account you will need to run an easy setup.  After your upgrade to W10 click in the Search box located at the left side of the Taskbar on the bottom of your screen.  The Search window will come up and you will then click on the notebook icon, third from the top on the left.  Then Settings.  In the next screen you will see “Hey Cortana. Let Cortana respond to ‘Hey Cortana’.” Click the button to the “On” position if it is not already on. Then, if you have a microphone on your computer you can just say, “Hey Cortana” and give it a command.

There are many things Cortana can do so I will not list them all here, but you could try some.  Like, “Hey Cortana, search for Windows 10 help.”  You can also set alarms, search for directions, open programs, send email or try, “Hey Cortana, help” for a list of commands.

(more…)

July 1, 2015

Windows 10 Upgrade Info from MS

Filed under: ALERTS,Columns,Tech Info — Tags: , , , , , — Ron @ 11:43 am

Here you go a link to answer many of your questions about the Windows 10 upgrade coming on July 29th…if nothing changes.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq

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June 30, 2015

Windows 10, Part 2

Last week we looked at Windows 10 requirements and a few other housekeeping tasks regarding getting it for free.  Today a few questions I have received about it for the last several weeks are answered.Windows 10 logo

First, why is it free for the first year?  The main reason seems to be that Microsoft wants everyone using it.  The money they once made on OS sales has continued to drop over recent years.  Apple stopped charging for upgrades to their OS several years ago.  And as always the Linux operating systems, (mainly Ubuntu) have been free since their inception; though used by few. 

They will even be rolling it out to users with pirated (read illegal) copies of those qualifying versions of Windows. However, these versions will still be unregistered. I do not believe there has been any clarification as to what that means for the users.  MS just wants everyone in the world on Windows.

I have been using W10 for a month or so now and have a few thoughts about it.  You will probably wonder if you should opt to get it for free or not.  I would suggest if you are a normal user, i.e., not a geek like me, you may want to wait for month or two after the original roll out.  The main reason being that some things will most likely have to be ironed out during the first few weeks of the OS.  This is standard.  So wait and get it after all the news stories are over.

Next, will you like it?  I think that for those who loved Windows 7, you will most likely appreciate 10 and for those who hated Windows 8.1, you will most probably like this version. 

The much hated Metro screen is gone.  And yes, the Start Menu from W7 is back as in the past, plus it has a few of the "Live Tiles" on the right side.  Those tiles can be rearranged, added, deleted, etc. so you can pretty much do with them as you would like.  In the test version, you could not totally remove them all but rumors abound for the final version in July.

MSIE 11 to MS Edge logosAnother big change is the default web browser.  Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) has been around for 20 years.  When W8 was released MSIE was, and is, at version 11.  However, this all changes with W10, it has been rebuilt from the bottom up and will been known then as "Microsoft Edge."

Edge has "Page Annotation" built-in meaning you can write notes on a web page with your mouse, or finger if you have a touchscreen device, then you can save the graphics and/or send them in emails, Facebook, Tumbler or any other social network. Also, "Reading Mode" is in Edge which allows you to read a web page more like a magazine.  It will remove ads, extraneous graphics and other junk from the page which does not pertain specifically to the article you are reading.  This is available in other browsers now, but Edge is catching the MS browser up with features offered by others in the past. 

Add info to a web page

More to come next week.

June 23, 2015

Windows 10

For a while now I have put off installing Windows 10 which also led to me not writing about it; however, this has now changed.

I installed the "Windows 10 Insider Preview" several months ago and have been putting it through some paces.

Windows 10 logo

Windows 10 will be given away free to people who have a computer with specific Windows Operating Systems on them.  If your computer has Windows 7.1 SP1, 8.1 (Windows phones too) then you will get the free upgrade.  If you are running 8, upgrade for free to 8.1 and you will be covered. 

The version of the OS you have affects which version of W10 you will receive.  If you have Windows 7 "Starter," "Home Basic" or "Home Premium" versions you will get W10 "Home."  If Windows 7 "Professional" or "Ultimate" you get W10 "Pro."  For W8.1 you get W10 "Home" edition.  For 8.1 "Pro," "Pro Student" and "Pro WMC" you will get W10 "Pro."

Your computer must meet the following minimum criteria.  A 1GHz, for 32-bit computers 1GB of RAM or for 64-bit 2GB, 20GB of space on the hard drive, and at least a DirectX 9 graphics card and a 1024 x 600 pixel display.  Basically most any modern computer today will meet those requirements.  Even my nine year old Netbook could run W10. 

Next, why is it called W10 when W8.1 was the one before?  Well first off a short history of their naming conventions. They started with "Windows 1" through "Windows 3," then Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, W7, W8, W8.1 and now W10.  They are not very orderly in their naming.  I have heard reasons such as possible programming confusion between the "9" in W9 and the nines in Windows 95 and 98.  Although, that sounds unlikely to me; I guess it could be possible. 

I have also read that the Japanese consider nine to be unlucky because in Japanese the word for nine sounds similar to the word for "pain" or "anguish" and MS did not want them to feel uncomfortable about Windows.  The bottom line is, only a few at MS know the real reason and right now they are not sharing. 

Microsoft Windows 10 upgrade iconNow if you qualify and want Windows 10 for free you must download and install it within a year of its official release date.  At this moment the date for release is July 29, 2015.  If you have a qualifying computer you will see a small Windows icon on your taskbar near the time.  To get W10 click the icon (shown in the graphic on right). 

You will be asked to enter your email address if you want to receive notifications of its arrival and several advertisements about how great it will be.  You do not have to enter your email but you do have to click the, "Reserve your free upgrade" link.  It will then be downloaded sometime around Wednesday, July 29. 

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