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What should you know before upgrading your Windows into Windows 10?

There are a lot of great features to Windows 10 Technical Preview that does make it worth testing out. Most notably, the new Start Menu. It’s like a combination of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, all packed into one button. Everything you use is there, plus you can “pin” useful apps onto the Start Menu. As an added bonus, your frequently used apps will appear on the left of the Start Menu but Windows 10 is available as a trial version only and as such, there may be strange bugs that could cause your system to lockup or crash. Happily though, many users have reported that Windows 10 runs smoothly, so your time spent with it should be relatively painless.

What you should know before upgrading is once you install Windows 10 Technical Preview, you cannot roll back to your original version of Windows, so ensure that you’ve backed everything up before installing a brand-new operating system.

Windows 10 Technical preview is really only recommended for the “expert” user though. You’ll be testing software that’s still in development, and as such the interface may change over time. You’ll have to truly know your way around a computer, as this requires a full format of the hard drive to begin. If you’re confident enough, it is scheduled to be released in 2015, and is currently in public beta testing. During its first year of availability, upgrades to Windows 10 will be offered at no charge for consumer users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Essentially though, if your computer can run Windows 8.1, it’ll be able to handle Windows 10 Technical Preview.

The overlying goal of Windows 10 is to take forward Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to unify the Windows PC, Windows Phone, Windows Embedded and Xbox One product families, as well as new products. Windows 10 also adjusts the user experience for different types of devices, and transitions between different interface behaviours on "convertible" laptops and tablets with keyboard docks. To improve the experience for keyboard and mouse users, Windows 10 adds a new revision of the desktop Start menu and a virtual desktop system, and it allows modern apps to run within Windows on the desktop as well as in full-screen mode.

Features

A major aspect of Windows 10 is a focus on harmonising user experiences and functionality between different classes of devices, along with addressing shortcomings in the Windows user interface that was first introduced in Windows 8. A focus was placed on "universal apps"—Windows Runtime software that can be made to run across multiple platforms and device classes (including PC, smartphone, and tablet), synchronise data between devices, and allow developers to share code between variations of the app for each platform. As an example, during the "Windows 10: The Next Chapter" event, Microsoft presented new Office apps designed for tablets and smartphones that share similar user interfaces and functionality between platforms; they will be bundled with Windows 10 Mobile, but available separately from Windows Store on the PC versions of Windows 10.

Warning

If you do decide to explore Windows 10 you must be wary of the presence activation scams appearing on Internet sites. A phoney offer of a free Windows 10 upgrade is being used by scammers to trick consumers into installing malware and there are other scams enticing users to download a supposed "gamer edition" of Microsoft's operation system (OS), despite the fact no such thing exists.

If you would like to understand more about Windows 10 please contact Maria West on Tel: 01268 494160 or email maria.west@yellowspring.co.uk

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