Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Windows 10: A chance to change the scenery? UPDATED

I'm possibly a rare beast in the world of Tech. I find Windows 8.1 easier to use than Windows 7. I got to this point by taking an early upgrade on much of my plethora of tech. I have rarely used Windows 7 since and, for all its strengths, I now prefer to stick with Windows 8.1 as my default Windows installation.

I'm not saying I think it is better than Linux or OSX mind you. Though, again, I find it easier to use than both these excellent OSs. Some of this will be down to simple lack of practice with anything else, bar Ubuntu. Either way though, I hate to admit it, but Windows 10 has a hard act to follow in terms of ease of use.

Now I've got that out the way though, I do have a few questions about Windows 10 that I think everyone should be asking. That's especially true of early upgraders looking to get a free copy out of Microsoft, who have remained somewhat tight lipped on the process. I like upgrades, but iOS and Android have gotten me used to getting a good deal.

So, my questions are:

1) Is Microsoft only handing out one free copy per email address registered with them, is it one per person, or is it one per valid Windows key? I have multiple copies of Windows, and they tend to cycle through from machine to machine. If they're only offering the single free copy option, that means paying for seven additional copies in my case. That could very well slow down my upgrade process, especially as my habit of reinstalling means a couple of my keys aren't working.

A) It's one upgrade per installed device folks.

2) If Microsoft is offering key based upgrades, will they be allowing people to register their Windows keys rather than using the within OS process? As I alluded to above, I have eight perfectly legal Windows keys. Two are Windows 8 OEM keys linked to the originating machine, but six of them are not. I'd find it much easier to simply register my Windows keys and receive the corresponding number of Windows 10 keys in return.

A) It's one upgrade per installed device folks.

3) Will Microsoft be offering the option to buy DVD backups like they did for Windows 8? Strange though it may be, I bought a backup for every copy of Windows 8 I could get my hands on. When I tried to reinstall Windows 7 on an older laptop last night, I came to realise just how useful such backups can be. I have a backup of the 32 bit version, but not the 64 bit. I therefore have a key that I can't use unless Microsoft reinstate Windows 7 downloads.

A) Yes, alongside the ability to create recovery media.

4) Is a copy of Windows 7 that was replaced by Windows 8 still eligible for a free upgrade? I'm an early adopter by nature, and only one of the machines related to my Windows 7 keys wasn't rocking Windows 8 from day one. Should I therefore assume that two of my OS keys aren't eligible for an upgrade? I may not have the tech to use them currently, but I collect PC like other people collect stamps, so I will want to use those keys at some point.

A) No. The keys for such copies aren't valid anyway.

5) Do Microsoft have a plan for competing with iOS and Android on upgrades, whilst still keeping PC users happy? PCs may be dying a slow death among most consumers, but they still have a place. With Android and iOS offering free upgrades on qualifying tech, and fully open source OSs beginning to edge into mobile, Windows 10 risks disappointing everyone by charging where it should be free, and refusing upgrades to older tech that can eminently handle it.

A) We'll see.

Ok, so these probably aren't my only questions about Windows 10. I work in web design, so I'll be interested to see what it has to offer for coders and graphic designers. Efficiency and responsiveness will be the watch words here. Also, I want it to have finally find a way to deal with 5400rpm drives and how much they bottleneck things like startup when you have lots of apps to load, especially cloud sharing ones. But I'll be pondering the five questions above before and during the upgrade process, and so should everyone.

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