Ten of the Best Places to Learn About Window 10


With the release of Windows 10 to the general public, there has been a flood of articles about the new operating system. I have sifted through dozens of these and come up with a list of ten that I think are particularly helpful in explaining what’s in Windows 10, whether you want it, and how to configure and use it.

Windows 10

General review and description

1. Windows 10 superguide: Everything you need to know
   Extensive guide from PC World

2. Important Windows 10 Questions and Answers
   Answers from Martin Brinkmann at gHacks

3. Microsoft Windows 10 review
   Nate Ralph review at CNET

4. Windows 10 tour: The good, the bad, and the missing
   Analysis by Windows expert Woody Leonhard

5. Windows 10 Review: Microsoft Takes a Step Back to Move Forward
   A summary from consumer technology journalist Walt Mossberg

Installation and setup

6. The SuperSite Windows 10 How To Collection: From set-up to productivity
   Slideshow with details of how to get Windows 10 up and running from Paul Thurrott

7. How to do a clean install of Windows 10 (from Windows 7 and 8)
   If you prefer a clean install instead of a straight upgrade, here's how from Ars Technica

Tips and tricks

8. Windows 10: The best tricks, tips, and tweaks
   Collection of tips from PC World

Security and privacy

9. 30 Ways Your Windows 10 Computer Phones Home to Microsoft
    The How-To Geek explains the many ways that Windows 10 can collect information about you

10. Privacy and advertising in Windows 10: Both sides of the story
      Woody Leonhard gives his take on privacy issues in Windows 10

And there you have it - articles to help with deciding what to do with Windows 10. A lot of articles  have been written about Windows 10 and, if you have read one that you think is useful, let us know about it.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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I have Windows 7 and Linux Mint installed as dual-boot on my computer, and was not inclined to contemplate Windows 10 especially given its intrusive promotional campaign. But as a long time fan of Gizmo and of anything good that is "free", I was tempted to explore the idea of getting the "free" upgrade from Win7 to Win10.....

Today I made an attempt to get Win10. The Microsoft "media creation tool" seemed to offer a straightforward way of upgrading from Win7 to Win10: basically it uses the product-key of Win7 as a way of authenticating the Win10 install, which can be done directly or via an ISO.

But...... it was a pain in the rear end. The Win10 OS downloaded (took a while). But then the installation hung on "Checking For Updates" before it even got going. Online research suggested this was a common problem (not mentioned by MS) where the Win7 updater somehow interferes with the efforts by the Win10 installer to check and update itself. The workaround involves stopping and restarting the updater services and deleting some files deep in the system. Who needs the hassle?

There was however an even bigger obstacle. Although Microsoft claims that an upgrade to Win10 can retain your apps and personal files, and will update drivers as required, don't believe them. If you have a Samsung computer with the Samsung Recovery Solution software (as I do), Win10 doesn't like it and won't install. In theory, the solution is to uninstall the Samsung Recovery Solution (it isn't vital). Then do the upgrade, and - if you want - reinstall an updated version of the Samsung software. Well, not exactly. The Samsung software is accompanied by (and needs to use) a dedicated partition on the hard drive. Even if you uninstall the software, that partition remains. And Win10 still "sees" it and won't install! Of course a workaround would be to remove the recovery partition. But who needs to get into messing around with partitions when all you want is a simple upgrade of the OS?

I even contemplated (since I do have a spare empty partition on my drive) just doing a clean install of Win10 alongside my Win7 and Linux. But Mr Gates makes that difficult too: you have to upgrade your existing Win7 to get the Win10 authenticated before you then do a clean install on a separate partition. After that you can in theory rollback your upgraded Win10 to its original Win7 configuration (assuming the rollback works, which is a big "if") to give you your original Win7 as dual boot alongside the clean-install Win10. Again, more hassle.

So I concluded that the dubious benefits of Win10 over Win7 were not so great as to justify the effort and the headache involved in making the change. This experience has just reinforced my exasperation with Microsoft and Windows, and strengthened my enthusiasm for Linux. But, as always, YMMV!