29th July 2016 is the date you need to mark on your calendar. It will be the first anniversary of Windows 10 and the date Windows 10 will cease to be free. If you were waiting for some miracle to happen before upgrading to Windows 10, then you better pray that this miracle happens before 29th July 2016. If you were waiting for some convincing before you could decide to upgrade to Windows 10, then I hope this article convinces you to do just that.
Before I provide you with the most important reason as to why upgrading to Windows 10 is necessary, it is important to first highlight many of the Windows 10 reviews that are out there, some positive, and others negative. One particular interesting reviewer is Ephraim Njega who holds remarkable influence on Facebook. Immediately Windows 10 was launched, on August 10 2015, he had this to say to his Facebook friends about upgrading to Windows 10:
Upgrading to this windows 10 requires the patience of an angel but it seems like total device software convergence is now here with us. When using your desktop, laptop, phone, tablet etc with Windows 10 you can work across the devices with much ease as they are all running on the same operating system.
The upgrade is a lengthy and convoluted process. It took me the whole night to download and install the software running into excess of 3GB for an upgrade. Sometimes the process sticks at a certain percentage for a long time that your patience is really tested. The challenges I am getting is that this OS may be due to bugs is hogging resources such as RAM and CPU. I also understand that updates are now compulsory hence will download and install automatically whether you like it or not. You also need to change your internet connection to metered failure to which your bundles will be used in a flash.
The upgrade is free but you need lots of internet resources to do it. I will update you on any issues that may arise.
A day later, he posted this:
The new Windows 10 is a real revolution
He then followed that Facebook update with this comment,
This thing is too good to believe.
Others too commented on the Facebook status update, with most comments praising the newly launched Windows 10. For example one commenter had this to say:
Very nice, patience is required to upgrade though. Even the edge browser is very fast, a good competition for Mozilla.
Then months passed by. People around the world upgraded to Windows 10. Reviews creeped in. Backlashes were seen in several sites. Questions were asked. And the netizens were split on whether Windows 10 was a real revolution or if it was crappiest product Microsoft ever made. There were those who, after praising Windows 10 at launch, changed their mind to the other side of the camp. There are several others who have maintained their stand that Windows 10 is the best Windows out there. As an example, look at what Ephraim Njega had to say about Windows 10 in March 11, 2016:
Having used Windows 10 for the last 4 months or so I can tell you this is one of the most dangerous operating systems. Not because of the security threats or viruses/malware but because of the control it gives to Microsoft of your machine. Windows 10 does not give you an option to chose whether or not to install updates as was the case before.
It downloads the updates (woe unto you if you are using metered connections such as bundles) and it installs them forcefully. It schedules a restart and it doesn’t matter what you are doing it will forcefully restart your machine and start installing the updates. The updates can take even more than an hour to install. Imagine if you are presenting somewhere in a conference and it restarts your machine? That would be disastrous.
This is dangerous because it means Microsoft have full control of your machine. They can install anything including spying software. If you have unlicensed software such as office they will even disarm it. With this control don’t be surprised when Windows Software is given free of charge.
To prevent the updates from downloading you can set your internet connection as metered. However this may not save the situation since in the event you are using another connection say in the office the updates will download and before you know it they will be installing themselves.Windows 10 is also notorious in terms of backward compatibility with previous softwares. There is also no significant gain in using Windows 10 over say Windows 7 or 8.
The above Windows 10 review is really scary, right? If you do a simple Google search, you will notice that similar comments against Windows 10 abound in the world wide web, comments that can easily discourage those who intend to upgrade to Windows 10. Despite some of the seemingly genuine concerns, my own experience with Windows 10 and reviews I have read from other experts vindicate Windows 10 as the best Operating System we have today; okay – the “best” part of that statement comes from the other expert reviewers since I haven’t used any other Operating System other than Windows line of Operating Systems.
Now, it is important for me to respond to Ephraim Njega’s negative review carefully so that we both be on the same page as far as upgrading to Windows 10 is concerned – that Windows 10 is the best Operating System out there. There are two elements to his review: 1. Inability to have control over Windows 10 updates and 2. The ability of Windows 10 to interfere with other Software especially the pirated ones.
- How to take control of Windows 10 updates
Microsoft says that with Windows 10, Windows has been moved from being a product to a service. As a service, Windows 10 should be treated the same way we treat Google, or Facebook or Twitter, services that are regularly upgraded without the user consent. For example, do you remember a time when interacting with your friends through Facebook required you to interact with them through their Facebook Wall? Then kaboom, Facebook Timeline was introduced. Many were disappointed and took to Facebook to complain, complains that reached Facebook’s dead ears. Today no one remembers the Facebook Wall. Most recently, Facebook forced Facebook users on mobile to Install Facebook Messenger otherwise they could not chat via Facebook App. Many including myself complained, but today everyone with a Facebook Mobile App has the Facebook Messenger. When Google upgrades its search algorithm, no one is consulted.
The second question on the issue of updating to Windows 10 is on the issue of controlling how and when Windows 10 updates itself. Ephraim Njega mentioned that you could take control first by telling your Windows 10 that it is accessing the Internet via metered Internet Connection (follow the link to check how), but he faulted the procedure by saying that Windows 10 will override this setting immediately you connect your device to a new Internet. However, as pointed out by one commenter in his review, the solution would be scheduling updates to take place at a particular time of the day or night by following this procedure.
The other problem Ephraim mentioned was that after updates Windows 10 automatically restarts computers. This, together with the problem of being unable to disable Windows 10 updates altogether, can be controlled by following this procedure, a procedure that I think could be dysfunctional in a near future.
Finally on the issue of taking control of Windows 10, it is important to remember that the updates are very important as they bring to your device upgraded security patches that will continually protect your device against malware attacks. As reports abound, the malware in existence today are extremely deadly meaning at any given time you need to ensure that you are using the most secure software and devices. When it comes to security, Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever developed by Microsoft. On the issue that Microsoft may decide to remotely install malware or some untrusted programmes on your device without your consent – just forget that possibility. Microsoft is not ready to lose customers anytime soon on the basis of malpractice.
2. If Windows 10 is disabling pirated software, then that’s a win
In the review from Ephraim Njega we read: “If you have unlicensed software such as office they will even disarm it. With this control don’t be surprised when Windows Software is given free of charge.” I do acknowledge the fact that almost no one in Kenya buys genuine software. Our Adobe Suite and Microsoft Suite of software are pirated, no wonder the concern that Windows 10 could be disarming unlicensed software. But as much as this may come at a cost to those fond of using pirated products, we cannot as a people encourage anyone to use pirated software.
What I may say is that software developers need to understand that majority of those living in developing countries are unable to afford their highly priced products (Windows 10 to cost around Kshs 12,000 after July 29th) so the best thing they could do is to subsidise the software for us. WhatsApp for example has continued to allow us to use the WhatsApp services free of charge despite the fact that in the developed world people are required to pay $1 per year to use the WhatsApp services.
Now that I believe I have sufficiently answered some of the criticisms against Windows 10, I guess the best thing to do is to also tell you a few benefits as to why upgrading to Windows 10 is the best thing you can do to yourself. First, according to this YouTube video, there are at least 10 good reasons for upgrading to Windows 10, and my favorite is productivity across multiple devices.
Truth be told, computer based productivity is basically a function of a PC like device and Windows. The other day I tried to edit a simple 4 minutes video on Android and the stress I had to go through is not worth it. I have tried more than once to write and publish a blog post on this website but I couldn’t. Working on productivity suites like the Microsoft Office, Adobe Graphics Editing Software Suite, CAD based software, and many others require a minimum of a PC fitted with an external keyboard and possibly a mouse plugged into a device running Windows Operating System.
Windows 10 takes this productivity a notch higher by allowing you to easily and automatically sync your work across multiple devices. Take for example a situation where you are working on an Excel document in the office and the situation demands that you carry the work home. With the previous Windows Operating Systems, the easiest way you could do this is by saving the work document or the entire work folder in an external storage device like a Flash disk, then once you have arrived at home, transfer the work from the Flash Disk, work on it, save it, then transfer it again to the Flash Disk so that when you go back to work you may upgrade the office files; a process that has messed many causing frustrations and headaches.
With Windows 10 in conjunction with Office 365 and OneDrive, you can now sync your devices so that whatever it is you are working on device 1 is automatically and seamlessly reflected in devices 2, 3, 4, 5 and more. In this new scenario therefore, that Excel document you normally work on in the office will not need to be stored in an external device after saving it in OneDrive. When you arrive at home, your document will be available on your laptop or even Windows operated tablet or phone so that you can continue working on it just from the point you left it.
At this point it is important to remind you that Windows 10 might be the last Windows that came from Microsoft. By this I mean that subsequent “windows” will not be anything other than the upgrades to Windows 10. For example the coming upgrade which will empower Cortana to do more in the lines of managing your device and collaborating with third party Apps for bookings, working with the Surface Pen to jot down reminders from Sticky Notes and much more will be rolled out on July 29th as Windows 10 anniversary upgrade.