7 August, 2015
By Joe Callison
I recently upgraded a Windows 7 laptop that is several years old and has lots of older programs installed on it. Before doing the upgrade I deleted all of the temporary files, ran the anti-virus and anti-malware software, ran check disk to check for and fix any hard drive errors, and then backed up all of my files to an external hard drive. The upgrade went smoothly and when it reached the stage where it was going to do Settings, there is an option to choose Customize Settings instead of just letting Windows install the default settings. I always choose Customize Settings so I can at least see what the installation is going to do, even if I end up not changing anything from the default setting. In reading each of the settings, due to privacy concerns, I decided to turn them all off except for one to let applications ask permission to use my location. Then it listed apps that it wanted to set as the defaults for internet browsing (Edge), Music, Photos, and Movies/TV. Since I wanted to keep Google Chrome as my default browser, iTunes for music, and Adobe Photoshop Elements for photos, I declined the offer to make the new apps the defaults.
So far I have only found one older program that does not work because it lost its activation. I will have to find the software license number to reactivate it. I had made sure I had the software license numbers for all of the important software that we had paid for, but this was software that came with an electronic shape cutting machine that my wife occasionally uses.
I tried using the new Edge browser, and found that it could not find any address I typed in. Apparently because I did not choose it as the default browser, some setting did not get made correctly for it. I have not found a solution yet, but all of the other browsers function normally.
I am somewhat underwhelmed by Windows 10 as an upgrade from Windows 7. The look and feel of the graphic displays is simpler and plainer than in Windows 7. I don’t know if that is for efficiency or if they are just unfinished. I also notice more hesitations after clicking on something, with no visual cue such as an hourglass or spinning circle that anything is happening for a few seconds, which bothers me. So far I have not found any compelling reason that I would want to upgrade from Windows 7 on a home desktop computer or laptop that is used primarily at home.
Another reviewer has similar comments in the following link:
If you do want to upgrade from Windows 7, it would be wise to prepare your computer first. A complete checklist for reference is included in the following link:
I also upgraded a Windows 8.1 installation on a desktop computer to Windows 10. Since I only use this for evaluation and learning the new software, I chose to use all of the default settings so I can learn how all of the new features function. The Edge browser worked on this setup, and it is a more modern looking and very functional browser. The Windows 10 menu system is much better than Windows 8 and a little better than Windows 8.1, but I have seen custom start menus for Windows 8.1 that keep that Windows 7 look which is difficult to give up for long time Windows 7 users.
Windows 10 with the default settings is all about ease of sharing data between devices, whether your own devices or those of your contacts in email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This might please teenagers and young adults who are in to sharing everything already, but it gives me the creeps. I see way too many opportunities for misuse or identity theft. While I can recommend upgrading Windows 8.1 devices to Windows 10, you should get to know the settings that could affect your privacy. A good resource is the following link: