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 Post subject: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:54 pm 
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Has anyone received a message from Microsoft that leaves an icon on the System Tray to get Windows 10 for free?

I reserved it and waiting for the DL to be available. I have a couple of concerns.

First, is compatibility. I have Win7 64/32 bit. In the past, I've always recommended that people stay away from OS upgrades because the PC was not specifically designed for the new OS. I've seen nothing but problems when someone does that.

Second, I haven't seen a working version of Win10 and the message I got on my PC only has a brief outline with a few slideshow pics so I have no idea if I will like Win10 or not.

If it is like Win8, I don't want it. I did see some stuff in the slideshow that looks like Win8 so my worry hat is on!


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:42 pm 
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I've been trying out Windows 10 Technical Preview since last December (if memory serves). The first builds were a joke. I mean, seriously a joke. Blank settings pages, app crashes, the lot. The last build was... bad. However, the previous build was abysmal, so I guess that's an improvement.
There's a new browser, called "Edge" (a.k.a. Project Spartan) which crashes even more.
They're trying to push "apps" and even replace "Control Panel" with an "app" version called "Settings". Let's just say, Settings is bad too. Given that it's probably a "browser" "app" as well, it's slow, it crashes and it's unreliable too. And for all 'esoteric' settings, it... throws you back to the relevant Control Panel dialogue.
And... the OS has a propensity -- I could even call it an obsession -- to run irrelevant background processes that absolutely stall the computer, when it's supposed to idle. "Photo Background Service", "Music Background Service", "Security Essentials", even "Search Indexer" is back with a vengeance and the OS will schedule full scans of all the drives on your PC, in order to index photos, songs, God knows what else... and the computer is killing itself.

Having said all that, Windows 10 is not as bad as Windows 8/8.1. The apps *can* actually play nice and be windows on the desktop, the start menu is back and it's not that full-screen abomination of Win8, the start button is back too. All in all, the desktop is the desktop, even though the "apps" make their presence felt, and there's a clear distinction between that touch/tablet crap and desktop programs. There's also a multiple desktops facility which can be useful and better memory management and CPU scheduling than Windows 7 or 8.
So... it's a mixed bag, really. If you're into GUI customisation, I'd say go for it. The look will be adjusted and the feel.. well... assuming Microsoft irons out all the bugs, it'll be fine.

Incidentally...
Windy wrote:
First, is compatibility. I have Win7 64/32 bit. In the past, I've always recommended that people stay away from OS upgrades because the PC was not specifically designed for the new OS. I've seen nothing but problems when someone does that.

I can assure you... there is absolutely NO component or system "specifically designed" for any specific version of Windows. None. Zero.
If we're talking about plain components, they all work on all (recent) versions of Windows. And if they don't, it's not the fault of the component, but of the manufacturer not wanting to release drivers for newer OS versions. But still, most components will work, even with old drivers.
If we're talking about computers as in laptops... well... same thing. The vast majority of builders use third party components all over. All you have to do is go to the component manufacturer and grab the generic drivers.
Don't fall into their trap, not releasing new OS drivers through the "official" website and making you think that, if you use drivers from the manufacturer, it won't work. Trust me, it will.
Besides, absolutely ALL major components (desktop or laptop) WILL work with default drivers anyway. That includes CPU, GPU, chipset, audio, WiFi, LAN, SATA, monitor, mouse/trackpad and keyboard. Also 99.9% of all integrated webcams WILL work out of the box as well. What's left? Well... maybe maaaaaybe some weird Bluetooth receiver or some card reader that won't play nice.
The only caveat is *downgrading* the OS, where... well... again, the main components *will* work, but you may have some slightly increased difficulty with peripheral components, like audio or WiFi. Manufacturers don't really bother making drivers for old OSes for their brand-new components.

So... all in all... it's your choice. From what I've seen so far, no. But we're still in the "Technical Preview" stage, even though the OS is supposed to be released in 50 days' time.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:44 pm 
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skagon wrote:
I can assure you... there is absolutely NO component or system "specifically designed" for any specific version of Windows. None. Zero. If we're talking about plain components, they all work on all (recent) versions of Windows. And if they don't, it's not the fault of the component, but of the manufacturer not wanting to release drivers for newer OS versions. But still, most components will work, even with old drivers.


I'm sure that if someone builds their own PC that is true because they are making a custom setup. Kind of like building a high performance vehicle that uses parts from different manufacturers to get the ultimate performance. However, to my knowledge, when one buys a PC from a store, internet etc., the company that sells those PC's tweaks them for different levels of performance. For example, they will have different processors, video cards, RAM and other components that will hamper the performance depending on how much you pay. The newer the components are, the more likely they will perform better than the older PC that used less RAM, power, and lesser need of processing speed i.e. XP vs. Win7 and to my knowledge, the newer OS use more processing power, RAM etc. than the previous ones.

Every single person I know, and a myriad of others that I've read about, had major problems when they upgraded their OS. Microsoft assured them that upgrading from XP to Vista would be no problem. They said the same thing about Vista to Win7 and Win7 to Win8, and of course, we all know that wasn't so. It didn't appear to me that it was solely a driver issue.

I guess it would be akin to comparing a Porsche 914 to a 928. :lol: Here in the states, they had a famous bumper sticker that owners of 914's would actually place on their cars that read: “My Other Car Is a Porsche”! The 914's were at least in part made by Volkswagen, and were not well-liked because of lack of performance.

My worries are that it would be like swapping the engine from a 928 to a 914 that won't work out so well! It simply wasn't designed to work with that vehicle. My analogy of upgrading the OS.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:04 pm 
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Windy wrote:
I'm sure that if someone builds their own PC that is true because they are making a custom setup. Kind of like building a high performance vehicle that uses parts from different manufacturers to get the ultimate performance. However, to my knowledge, when one buys a PC from a store, internet etc., the company that sells those PC's tweaks them for different levels of performance. For example, they will have different processors, video cards, RAM and other components that will hamper the performance depending on how much you pay. The newer the components are, the more likely they will perform better than the older PC that used less RAM, power, and lesser need of processing speed i.e. XP vs. Win7 and to my knowledge, the newer OS use more processing power, RAM etc. than the previous ones.

Every single person I know, and a myriad of others that I've read about, had major problems when they upgraded their OS. Microsoft assured them that upgrading from XP to Vista would be no problem. They said the same thing about Vista to Win7 and Win7 to Win8, and of course, we all know that wasn't so. It didn't appear to me that it was solely a driver issue.

I guess it would be akin to comparing a Porsche 914 to a 928. :lol: Here in the states, they had a famous bumper sticker that owners of 914's would actually place on their cars that read: “My Other Car Is a Porsche”! The 914's were at least in part made by Volkswagen, and were not well-liked because of lack of performance.

My worries are that it would be like swapping the engine from a 928 to a 914 that won't work out so well! It simply wasn't designed to work with that vehicle. My analogy of upgrading the OS.


It's up to you whether you want to believe me or not, of course, but you're simply wrong.

Of course, there are always special cases and exceptions, but... no, you're wrong.

First off, let's differentiate "manufacturers" from "assemblers".
The former is an outfit that actually 'manufactures' stuff. Again, here we have two (unofficial) sub-categories: designers and utilisers. The 'designers' club is quite exclusive and as hardware gets more exotic, the fewer the outfits. For example, there are only 2 (and a half) CPU manufacturers: AMD and Intel (and Cyrix). That's quite a private club and it takes a LOT of money and resources to design and manufacture something like that. Same goes with GPU designers, where we have AMD and nVidia, but here there are some others as well, like ARM, Qualcomm and a few others, but their products only come embedded inside mobile CPUs. Then you have WiFi, audio, LAN, RAID, SATA, all sorts of controllers. ALL of these guys design and manufacture chips and then send them off with a reference design, and here is where the 'utilisers' category comes in. These guys (mostly) get the reference designs from the former guys and just... manufacture them. For instance, most graphics cards are just using the AMD or nVidia reference design. There are very few manufacturers who have the people to actually *design* a card, and even they use the reference design as a base and just improve on the power distribution circuitry or the cooling. Even motherboard designers get the reference designs from all the components they want to integrate in a given motherboard and then just try to squeeze all the circuits in. Basically, there are VERY VERY few manufacturers that will actually invest and use third-party chips to create something unique with its own firmware and ROMs. That's why drivers from the designers/chip manufacturers almost always works. It's because the chips are used in accordance with the reference designs and the firmware they use is the firmware that the designer provided. It would indeed take enormous expenditure in both manpower, talent and support crew to create something really unique *and* write special drivers for it *and* keep supporting it for, say, five years.
The latter (assemblers) is pretty straightforward. These just get components and put them together, doing little more than just connecting cables and screwing screws and *maybe* getting someone to make them bespoke cases and boxes. Goes without saying that they change absolutely *nothing* from reference designs.

To my knowledge, the manufacturers who will get chips from designers and design their own circuits and write their own code and drivers are *zero*. None.
The most they do is have some other outfit (that already does that) design them a motherboard, and then pay the designers to change the firmware, not in the actual code, but just the vendor and device IDs, so that the generic drivers won't detect them and won't install. Then they get the very same drivers that the designer releases, add their specific PID/VID strings and repackage them so that they show their logos instead of the original designer insignia. Of course, they just release new drivers (infrequently), as the original designer releases them, for the first year or so and then stop altogether. In fact, if people knew how, they could get the original generic drivers, add the PID/VID strings themselves and use the newest drivers without any problem at all. But that is not something these bozos advertise -- and if you ask, they'll deny it.


Now, just because you mentioned it... going from XP to Vista was a huge leap. Windows XP were released when there were no 64-bit CPUs, the average RAM was 256MB, GPUs weren't even called GPUs, CPUs had one core and there were no PCs with more than one CPU, hard drives were around 2GB (average) etc. Vista came out six years later and, of course, apart from being a mess to begin with, they naturally needed more. A LOT more. You just can't expect a laptop made for Windows XP, with the requirements of XP in mind, to actually be enough for Vista or 7. Not to mention that the driver architecture changed, and not many manufacturers were interested in bringing up new Vista drivers for old hardware -- besides the "mandatory" drivers they made and gave Microsoft to include in Vista.
However... going from Vista to 7 was a breeze. They used the same driver architecture (mostly), they actually required LESS RAM, LESS CPU power, LESS hard disk space and that's why people use them still.
Again, going from 7 to 8... yes, same story. Windows 8's core is actually *lighter* than 7's. Of course, Windows 8 has the tendency to run background processes like a sonofabitch and it'll happily bring your PC down to its knees, just on the premise of being a bit faster *if* and *in case* you decide to do... something.

All that, however, has nothing to do with drivers or system compatibility and, believe me, designers and manufacturers do NOT design PCs using components that *hamper* performance, like you seem to believe.
Of course, wanting to have models in all price ranges, they will use components of lesser performance and price in budget models, in the same way they'll use mid-range components in their mid-range-price models and they'll put the cream of the crop in the high-end and gaming models. That's not "hampering" performance; it's not like the components themselves *can* perform better but they *somehow* won't let them. It's just cheaper stuff that's not as fast. For example, putting in a Celeron instead of an i5 isn't "hampering" performance. It's just using a cheaper CPU for a cheaper model.

Again, however, the hardware of the last... maybe 7-8 years is more than enough to run *any* operating system. Even if you've got a dual-core i5 from 2009 you can still run Windows 8.1 and the upcoming Windows 10, no questions asked. Same for a graphics card, say a Radeon 5000, is WELL more than enough to run *anything* (not talking about performance in games, of course) OS-wise. RAM speeds have been stagnant for more than that time and 4GB of RAM has been more than enough since I can't remember when and still is. You can get a PC, desktop or laptop, from 2008 and it'll still be good enough to run Windows 10, right now. Hell, I've got my girlfriend's laptop from 2006 or so, "Designed for Vista" supposedly, that's purring along just fine with Windows 7 -- and Windows 10 would be fine too, I'm sure.

Once again... it's up to you if you want to believe me or not. Don't have a clue about Porsches but I do believe I know a bit about computers.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:14 pm 
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skagon wrote:
All that, however, has nothing to do with drivers or system compatibility and, believe me, designers and manufacturers do NOT design PCs using components that *hamper* performance, like you seem to believe.
Of course, wanting to have models in all price ranges, they will use components of lesser performance and price in budget models, in the same way they'll use mid-range components in their mid-range-price models and they'll put the cream of the crop in the high-end and gaming models. That's not "hampering" performance; it's not like the components themselves *can* perform better but they *somehow* won't let them. It's just cheaper stuff that's not as fast. For example, putting in a Celeron instead of an i5 isn't "hampering" performance. It's just using a cheaper CPU for a cheaper model.


I should have said limit instead of hamper.

I'm still not sure if I'm going to upgrade to Win10 for several reasons-some of which I just posted in the General Discussion section of this site. My post can be seen here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9596

Skagon, if I do upgrade, can I revert back with no loss of data and no problems in case I don't like it? That is my biggest concern.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:57 pm 
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I have no idea what the "upgrade" process of the finished product will be. So far, we're at the "Technical Preview" stage and, while you *can* revert to the previous builds, Microsoft recommended a clean install which is what I did, so I have no idea what happens if you install the preview on top of an existing, say Windows 7, installation.
I would *assume* (don't hold me responsible if it happens differently though) that there will be a way back for people that don't like Windows 10.

On your concerns now... as with everything, it's a matter of taste. Windows 8 was completely unpalatable to me, 8.1, albeit a bit better, still left plenty of sour and bitter aftertastes. Windows Vista was... well... weird, perhaps like sticking a 9V battery on your tongue; it'll leave you salivating but after a while your tongue starts to hurt. Windows 7 was more like an old, proven recipe made with a sprinkle of new stuff... maybe like Christmas pudding with extra chocolate chips. I'd say Windows 10 is something between Vista and 7, so far -- and assuming all those half-botched shit will be fixed in the final product. It's got the *whee* of the 9V but it doesn't hurt as bad after prolonged exposure, and on top of that you also get some chocolate chips. There's still the numbness and a bit of the pain, but we're still at "preview" so I'm hopeful.
All in all... the core is lean and fast, the UI is ok, but there's still shit that piss me off and make the PC slow (background processes and pre-fetch crap).

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:23 pm 
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Well, I have a year to decide if I want to change to Win10. Like almost everything, the first few iterations of a product especially computer related stuff has bugs.

By then, most bugs should be worked out and hopefully I will run across someone that has it. I will then be able to physically see, feel and use it for a while to see if I can live with all of those features they removed, and the speed, user-friendliness, graphics etc is to my liking.

Keep us posted on progress they made or something that is a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:59 am 
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skagon wrote:
I would *assume* (don't hold me responsible if it happens differently though) that there will be a way back for people that don't like Windows 10.


Knowing first hand how Microsoft is now determined to screw customers and developers alike in its effort to shove Metro/Universal/Windows Apps down our throats (so they can get a 30% cut through the Windows Store out of each copy of software ever sold even though they had nothing to do with its development), I would doubt that very much.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:01 am 
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Skagon wrote:
I would *assume* (don't hold me responsible if it happens differently though) that there will be a way back for people that don't like Windows 10.


Yeah, It's called "Clone your hard drive first!"
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:49 am 
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Even so, there's nothing that guarantees that your old Windows 7 licence key will still be considered valid by Microsoft's authentication system, once you've used the option to upgrade to Windows 10.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:18 pm 
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The noose is tightening. ;-)

I also got the offer on the system tray (I guess everyone did?) to upgrade to Windows 10 for free when the time comes... I clicked on it to see what would happen and...

... and now the thing will be downloaded automatically without any user intervention once the official release is out. Clever, MS, very clever, all I can do now is decide WHEN to install it, not WHEN and IF to download it.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:47 pm 
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One fine day, you'll reboot your computer and come face to face with Windows 10... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:03 pm 
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And when that day comes: :)

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:06 pm 
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Been using windows, since win3.1, and currently trying out the latest win10 beta releases. Personally I hate the latest screens, so I change the look, to be like win7. If you want to see lots of reviews and info, check out http://www.beyondwindows9.com/ site been going for years, and has bags of info.

Will I be upgrading my machine to Win10? YES


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 10 For Free? Should I Get It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:41 pm 
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Why would you upgrade to 10 and make it look like 7? Didn't you learn your lesson after 8?


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