“Good thing, too” you may say, “who wants it?”

Windows 10 - yet another logoMicrosoft’s offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 for existing Windows 7 and 8 users is due to end on July 29th – just three months away.

So what will happen after that? Well, there appear to be only three possibilities:

The offer will be ended

In view of the aggression that Microsoft have shown in getting qualifying systems owners to upgrade, it might seem a bit odd if they were to just give up now – “that’s it, you’ve had your chance. You wanted to stay with Windows 7/8 so have it your way. Stick with your old, reliable version. See if we care”. That seems a bit unlikely.

The offer will be extended

This would seem to be the easiest thing for them to do. It would mean that their Windows 10 juggernaut could continue rolling across the globe without any special effort on their part. I can already imagine the rather lame PR language “… so many of you have praised Windows 10 as the best thing since sliced bread that we’ve decided to extend the opportunity to get it free of charge for another three months”.

A different offer will be made

They could turn the screws on people who haven’t yet upgraded by continuing their present aggressive tactics, coupled with the stark decision that people will have to pay for it (maybe £100?) if they don’t act upon a new offer. The only problem I can see with this approach is that they would, eventually, have to end any offer or risk losing all credibility.

So, should you upgrade now and get it over and done with, or wait and see what they come up with?

But for two important facts, I might suggest that you bite the bullet and go for the upgrade while you know it is free. Those two important facts are two big problems that some people have encountered in Windows 10. I’m not suggesting that these are the ONLY problems with Windows 10 and I’m not suggesting that everyone encounters them, but they are worrying because Microsoft doesn’t seem to know what is causing them and there is no foolproof fix that works in all cases. These problems are:

1) Start menu problems

Start Menu - Critical Error Message

Some users have been faced with variations of the following error message when clicking on the Start menu button – “ Critical Error – Your Start menu isn’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in”.

Suggestions for a fix to this problem include:

  • booting into safe mode and then re-booting into normal mode
  • creating a new administrator account
  • uninstalling and then reinstalling your antivirus program

All of this is very hit-and-miss and no-one (Microsoft included) seems to know what the problem is. If you would like to get some idea as to the scale of this problem, just take a look at this Microsoft discussion page on the Windows 10 Start Menu critical error problem.

2) Network connection issues

Some users can’t connect to the internet, and some can’t connect to other computers on the same local network. There are lots and lots of suggestions out there as to what to try. See this Microsoft page on connection issues, for example.

I spent hours recently on this problem on a client’s machine that we had just “upgraded” (huh!) to Windows 10. Eventually I managed to resolve the problem by repairing the Windows installation (using the inbuilt repair process). The problem with this process is that, although it keeps all the user data intact, all programs have to be reinstalled, reconfigured etc. As I say, in this instance the repair worked, but what if it hadn’t? Goodness knows. Once again, Microsoft do not appear to know what is causing the problem.

Man thinking

“Hmm, stick with Windows 7, upgrade to Windows 10, or go and live in a cave?”

Windows 10 has now been “on general release” for nine months. It’s very worrying that problems such as these are still present – without apparent cause and without failsafe repair methods. Because of such problems, my advice at the moment is NOT to upgrade to Windows 10 if you have a reasonably functional Windows 7 or Windows 8 system. Who knows? Maybe these unresolved problems will be resolved before the current offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 expires on July 29th (the first anniversary of the release date).

My advice on what to do as we get nearer to the end of the free upgrade period will depend on what Microsoft say will happen after July 29th and on whether or not resolutions are found to problems in the existing version.

Not a very satisfactory situation, is it?

© 2011-2018 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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