Windows 10 for better or worse


Windows 7 is expiring in January 2020; the only option is to upgrade to Windows 10, if you want to stay on that platform, says computer guy Matt Bentley.

So what’s in a name? What’s better/worse about Windows 10?

The pros:
• Longevity. It is meant to be Microsoft’s ongoing operating system, meaning it will receive feature updates, but not actually change to a new version. In practical day-to-day terms this doesn’t mean much, but may result in more software compatibility long-term.
• Security. It is more secure than Windows 7, which is a good thing going forward, as the internet takes over more aspects of our day-to-day lives.
• Hardware Support. This is one great thing Win10 has going for it. I’ve installed it on systems that are 17 years old, and it works just fine.

The cons:
• Updates. Win10 has a history of updates accidentally knocking out wifi and various other issues. Most users are not affected, but there simply isn’t the quality control we’ve seen in previous versions of Windows.
• Performance. By default it enables a lot of unnecessary applications and background processes, which consume memory and processing power.
• Look and feel. For anyone used to previous versions of Windows, the default experience can be rather befuddling. The ‘flat look’, as it is now called, gives little indication to users about which things do what actions.
• Telemetry ie spying. Microsoft, following in the footsteps of Google and Facebook, now gathers data about user activities (supposedly anonymously) on a hitherto unprecedented scale.

Luckily all the ‘cons’ above are fixable. There are a lot of ways to improve the performance, and you can delay updates so that you only get them once they’ve been more thoroughly tested. The latter is a bit technical and beyond the scope of this article, but it’s doable.

I’ve just created a package deal where I will upgrade any Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 and fix the cons above in the process. If interested check out the services page on my new website.

If you don’t want Windows 10 though, what’re your options?

If all you do day-to-day is browse the internet, check your email and send the occasional photo someone’s way, cross-grading to Linux is a good solution (and I have a package for this also). Linux doesn’t have any of the cons listed above and is very stable. Once you start getting into more specific software such as Microsoft Office however, the Linux-based equivalents may or may not meet your needs. Also some of your hardware and printers may not be supported.

NB: I’ve renamed my business to Bentley Home PC Support (from Waikato Home PC Support).

Email Matt on or phone 021 1348 576.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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