Windows 10, coming July 29…what you need to know

edgenewtabWindows 10. Microsoft’s apology for Windows 8.  Currently in testing and ‘Insider Preview’ modes, the operating system from Redmond now has a date…and a price.  The date? July 29,2015. The price, err prices? $119 for Home and $199 for Pro for consumers who are purchasing the operating system for a system that does not have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If it has Windows 8, the user will need to update it to Windows 8.1 (a free upgrade) and THEN to Windows 10.  The $119 would be for people who:

  • built a computer
  • got a computer with no operating system
  • has a computer with Linux or Windows XP
  • An Intel Macintosh that does not have either Windows 8.1 or Windows 7
  • Wants to use it in a virtual machine

These same scenarios also work for PRO. 

You CAN upgrade your tablet or PC to Windows 10, in its first year of release, for free IF you are ALREADY running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 

Now that we cleared that up…

Here are some things you will LOSE IF you upgrade from Windows 7 and, in some cases, Windows 8.1:

  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows DVD Movie playback (third party applications are not affected, ONLY Microsoft applications, like Windows Media Player and XBox Video will lose the DVD playback. Gabe Aul of Microsoft says A Microsoft alternative ‘may’ arrive later.)
  • Windows 7 desktop gadgets
  • The ability to hold off updates for Windows Home users (pro and Enterprise will have full control)
  • The Windows LIve OneDrive application
  • Solitaire, Minesweeper and Hearts. These have been replaced by Windows Store versions. You will have to download them.

So, Which version will you get? Well if you have…

  • Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home or Home Premium, you get Windows 10 Home. If you have Windows 7 Ultimate or Pro, you get Windows 10 Pro.
  • Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 with Bing, you get Windows 10 Home. Windows 8.1 Pro and Pro for Students, get Windows 10 Pro.
  • Windows RT…sorry, you get a minor update to RT and that’s it.

How to get the upgrade…

Microsoft has an application that allows you to ‘reserve’ your copy of Windows 10.  You will do so via a dialog box that explains the benefits of the new OS and allows you to enter your email address.  Microsoft will send you an email when the OS becomes available (July 29) and will pre-download the install files for you.  How sweet of them, eh?

This is all great, but will my computer run the new OS?

Yes, if…

  • You are running or capable of running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1
  • A 1 gigahertz or faster processor
  • At least 1 gigabyte of RAM (2 gigabytes for Windows 10 64bit)
  • At least 16 GB HDD Space for 32 bit, 20 GB HDD Space for 64 bit
  • Direct X 9 or higher and WDDM 1.0 graphics driver and video card
  • Graphics card capable of 1024 by 600 minimum

In addition, your configuration and location will have an affect on features that get installed:

  • Cortana is only available in the US, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain at the time of this writing
  • Windows Hello requires special hardware
  • Continuum is for tablets
  • Audio and Video streaming via XBOX Music and Video applications are only available in certain regions
  • Speech recognition will vary by hardware quality
  • Application snapping is resolution dependent
  • A Microsoft account is required for some functionality
  • Secure boot requires UEFI 2.3.1
  • Bitlocker requires TPM 1.2, 2.0 or a USB flash drive
  • Hyper V requires a 64 bit system and an extra 2 GB of RAM
  • Miracast requires a display adapter which supports WDDM 1.3 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi direct
  • and more. See Microsoft. com for a more complete list.

There you have it, important things to know about the forthcoming operating system.  I’ll show you some of the new features in upcoming posts.


The free Sprint iPhone 4: just try to actually get one

iphone4About a year and a half ago, I got my son a Samsung Android phone (the Intercept.) The phone was inexpensive, either $49 or $99, but it turned out to be a real piece of crap. Android notwithstanding, the phone was just junk. It randomly loses connectivity, boots very slowly and runs the battery down very quickly.  He really wanted-and still wants-an iPhone.  Well, he is now eligible for an upgrade, and since Sprint carries the iPhone 4 with a zero to me upfront cost, I thought I would bite the bullet and retract my no Apple stance and get him the phone he wanted. Soooo….

I go to Best Buy to get the phone.  What a mistake. First, the store looks like it is on the verge of closing. The front section, where the checkouts used to be, was sparse. Two counters and some displays. It looks like they are having supply issues and have spread out the stock. It just didn’t feel fully stocked. Not like a normal Best Buy. The mobile area, however, was very busy. We waited, approximately, 10 minutes before someone asked if we needed help.  I said yes and they replied it would be a few more minutes. That was fine, I know phones take too much time. Then, a manager type asked what I was looking for and I explained I wanted the Sprint iPhone 4. He said ‘oh, we are out of stock. The closest store that still has them is in Colonial Heights.’ Well, that store would have been a 45 minute drive by the interstate, which we did not want to do. So, we left.

I thought, surely the Sprint store would have them.  The closest Sprint store was just a few minutes away, so we went there. Upon telling the sales guy what I wanted, he explained that ‘Apple has pulled them all back and you must order them online.’  Well, it seems that is not quite accurate. A check online (I missed this nugget when it happened) reveals that Sprint has discontinued them from the retail stores, but they are still available online.

While having dinner, I decide to try the local Apple store. So, I pull out my HTC Shift and lookup the number.  Finding the number to the local retail store on Apple’s site was an exercise in frustration. They have the retail stuff buried. But, I did find it and called the number. After be quizzed by a male-sounding Siri like automated answering service, I was finally transferred ‘to the right specialist. Only, I was not. A pleasant sounding female voice told me there were five calls ahead of me. After waiting nearly ten minutes, and still having five calls ahead of me, I just hung up. 

I tried calling the Target just across from where we were eating.  Not only do they carry phones for Sprint, they carry the iPhone 4 and 4s. Great! “Oh, you said Sprint!?  Sorry, that one is out of stock and I don’t think we are getting any more.”  Well, damn.

Another call to the Apple store ended in frustration as well.  With seven calls ahead of me for another ten minutes, I just hung up.

Now, I was resigned to the fact that I would have to order the bloody thing online.  Sprint is making a big deal about carrying iPhone but only the ones that cost any real money.  I know they have sunk nearly five billion dollars into this phone and they do need to recoup some of that cost upfront, but, seriously, I might have been open to upgrading to the 4S, but not now. I am determined to stick with the 4 just because of the hassle.

And, Apple, if you want me to visit your stores, make them more available on your website and on the damned phone.  Oh, and why the hell can’t I find out, online, if a product is available in my local Apple store? Seriously, Wal-Mart does it. Target does it. Certainly, your developers can cobble something together. Right? Oh, yeah…maps…maybe they are busily fixing the maps. Yeah, that must be it.