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What's in a number?

Some of you may have noticed that Windows 7 expired in January 2020; the only option now is to upgrade to Windows 10, if you want to stay on that platform and receive security updates. So what's better or worse about 10?

The Pros:

The cons:

Luckily all the 'cons' above are fixable. I've written in previous articles about how to disable telemetry and improve the look and feel of Windows 10. But there are a lot of other ways to improve the performance, and you can delay updates so that you only get them once they've been more thoroughly tested. The latter is a bit technical and beyond the scope of an article. But if you don't want Windows 10, what are your options? Well if you've got the money, don't need any windows-specific software and you're happy to learn something different, you could buy a Mac. But if you want to stick with your existing computer, and all you do is browse the internet, check your email and send the occasional photo someone's way, cross-grading to Linux isn't a bad option. Linux doesn't have the cons listed above and is very stable, but it might take some getting used to. If you need specific software such as Microsoft Office, the Linux-based equivalents may or may not meet your needs, and it's also possible that some of your hardware and printers may not be supported.

How do you know what version of Windows you have? Have a look in the bottom left corner of the screen and compare with the following table:

win10 start Windows 10 (you're fine)
win8 start Windows 8 (expires 2023)
win7 start Windows 7 (expired 2020)
vista start Windows Vista (expired 2017)
winxp start Windows XP (expired 2014)

Microsoft, for some reason, skipped a version 9 of Windows. Yes, all this stuff is confusing. But Microsoft, as perplexing as they are, are just trying to make a buck like everyone else. I occasionally wish that it wasn't so often at the consumer's expense, however.

- Matt Bentley, computer expert at Bentley Home PC Support.
Email info@homepcsupport.co.nz or phone 0211348576.

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