How-to: Get Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop

It’s been over a month since Microsoft launched Windows 10 and if you missed the initial push – well done, where have you been? But, now you’re back on Earth, how do you get Windows 10 installed?

You have three choices: upgrade, buy a new computer, buy a retail copy. Microsoft has slimmed down the number of SKU’s (product versions), and in an attempt to force through the adoption of Windows 7, has already upgraded over a 100 million machines for free or at a discount. Continue reading

How-to: Upgrade from XP to Windows 7 OEM

Following on from the earlier post, XP eXPires, I’m now looking for the cheapest way of upgrading a variety of old hardware. Windows 7 is the better option over Windows 8 – lower hardware requirement, no touch screen, cheaper licensing for older software.

But there are plenty of SKU’s in both boxed retail and OEM versions. So what to go for? First, a couple of definitions:

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is the version Microsoft sells to PC builders to bundle with new machines. Microsoft doesn’t support it; they expect the PC maker to support the customer. The OEM versions are available to small companies and private buyers (enthusiasts) in the same basis, on the understanding that the OEM windows version is sold together with a piece of hardware (that could be just a mouse). In reality, Microsoft is unlikely to verify this. Continue reading

Windows 8 Divides – Part One

Windows 8.1 start screenMicrosoft has turned its face away from the enterprise and the stalwart ‘home’ user in an all-out bid for the hearts and minds of a new generation. And it’s not working. Did someone say ‘convergence?’

The battle lines are firmly drawn over Windows 8. On one side is the (dying) breed of PC professional who manages and maintains PCs. For them, the operating system is only a tool for getting the job done and the Not-Metro-Modern-UI interface gets in their way.

On the other side, casual user who uses their commodity PC to surf the Internet, send email, self-obsess on social media and play a few games. These folks don’t give a hoot about operating systems as long as the interface serves up some colourful, fat icons to click to get to an app. Everything these days is an ‘app.’

These folks don’t know the difference between Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer; to them Internet Explorer IS the Internet. Microsoft Office IS Microsoft Windows and file management is a pain. Continue reading

How-to: Fix Windows 8.1 Upgrades

Windows 8.1 upgrade error screenMicrosoft recently released Windows 8.1, the upgrade to Windows 8 that added features and addressed some of the user’s pet hates (no, that didn’t include the Fischer-Price ‘Metro’/Modern-UI non-desktop).

Depending on how important you consider boot to desktop, SkyDrive (OneDrive) integration, and an updated UI, with dynamic Snap for multiple apps and sharing the desktop wallpaper with the Start screen, you might elect to go for 8.1.

Most of the changes, however, are under the hood and with it’s usual flair for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Redmond’s latest service pack – for that’s really what it is – injected for some Windows 8 users a host of deeply embedded flaws. Continue reading

How-to: Check Compatibility with Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 start screenIt’s here: Windows 8.1. Boot to desktop, a Start button, and more user friendliness. But – is your software and hardware compatible with Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 is an upgrade with serious issue for a significant number of users. And there’s no option to back-out to Windows 8. Affected users are stuck with it or forced to re-install Windows 8.

So before you walk into trouble, check your computer is compatible with Windows 8.1Continue reading