Thursday, September 03, 2015

Windows 10 - some initial considerations

Windows 10?!

Should I Upgrade?

Not surprisingly I'm starting to be asked, "should I upgrade to Windows 10?". My advice is, "not yet".  And be aware that the free upgrade offer is valid until the end of July 2016, so there's no rush!

The problem with any new operating system is that there will be teething troubles (at best).

Recently I've seen one system which has been upgraded to Windows 10 - and it shouldn't have been. It was running Windows 7 very nicely but the graphics card isn't totally compatible with Win10 which means that every time you unplug the power lead, it gives an error message. It can be lived with and quite possibly it'll never be solved.

Just because you've been 'given' an icon allowing you to install the Windows 10 upgrade doesn't mean that your computer is suitable for it!

Generally what I'm advising is that if you're on Windows 8, wait 2 or 3 months to let things settle down and the next major update be released before upgrading. To be fair, in my view Win10 is a vast improvement on Win8.

If you're on Win7 then I'd say leave it even longer - you can get the free upgrade for a year from the Win10 release date (end of July) and I don't see that Win10 offers much for a Win7 user.

Of course, there is a lot of my personal preference in this; I think Win7 is an excellent system and I dislike Win8. There are things in Win10 that I also hate - like the fact that Microsoft forces you to accept all their updates. This has already caused a problem with some installations where it tries the update, fails, takes it out and then tries again, fails, takes it out, then tries again... and gets into an endless loop!

To my mind, if you rely on your computer you should never upgrade to a new system for at least three months.

Windows 10 security settings...

So you've finally managed to get your windows 10 download and are about to install it but there are a number of security issues you should consider when doing so...

Windows 10 would love you to share all your information but maybe there are things your rather not divulge!

So firstly when running setup, choose the custom installation method. Express Settings looks tempting but it configures the system to share speech, typing, contacts and calendar, as well as location data and advertising ID to Microsoft and partners.

Cortana looks like a sexy bit of software allowing you to ask it questions. It uses machine-learning techniques to serve you, but it taps deep into your private information to do so. If you don’t want this digital assistant going through your emails, contacts and other data, turn it off when the installation is complete.

Windows 10 sends crash reports to vendors. These contain memory dumps that could reference personal data. Unfortunately there is no way to completely prevent the system from sending diagnostic and usage information, but you can adjust the setting to Basic in order to minimise the amount of data sent to the vendor.

With Windows 10 users are prompted to sign in with a Microsoft account. This synchronises some of your profile data with the Microsoft cloud. Better is to start with a Local Account. When you are prompted to create a Microsoft account, unplug the internet cable or turn off your Wi-Fi and click the Next button.

Windows 10 lets applications share some of your private data, such as account picture, name and other account information with third-party applications. If you think this is excessive, you can turn this setting off via Start -> Settings -> Privacy -> Account Info.

Maybe you think this is all a bit paranoid; that's your choice, but remember that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not all out to get you!  ;-)

Windows 10 - beware!

There is a very nasty potential problem waiting to catch out those trying to upgrade to the new shiny (?) Windows 10.

If you're trying to do this you may have been placed in a queue and it could be some time before you get your download.

This nasty appears in the form of an email claiming to let you jump the queue by loading their software. Sadly the software you load is their attack which then encrypts all your files and demands money for you to get them back!

This sort of encryption attack is nothing new but the method of luring folk into it by promising windows 10 more easily will doubtless lure many more users!

Be aware and be alert!

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