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July 29 was the cut-off date for getting a free copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft. Did you make the cut, or did you choose not to get the upgrade? A lot of people I have talked to have been on the fence, wondering why Microsoft is being so generous in the first place. There is a lot of suspicion out there.
Microsoft stated the reason it is pushing people to go 10 is to try and stop the fragmentation in the market that the company created in the first place. It is worried about users experience security problems. While you might think it’s crazy for it to give up on all of the revenue it could get from Windows 10 sales, it sees it as saving money for it not having to support older versions of the software.
The system requirements for Windows 10 are pretty modest. Even computers that are 10 years old could likely run it without issue so it’s not like it’s forcing people to upgrade older hardware. It seems genuinely concerned about its users, while looking out for No. 1 at the same time.
We, the users, have put Microsoft in a place where it can forgo some revenue to get everyone onto the Windows 10 platform. Its goal is to have a billion devices running Windows 10 within two or three years. A lofty goal, for sure, but certainly attainable. That is, if everyone is “compliant.” You may have heard about forced upgrades on certain systems. Microsoft seems to be pulling out all of the stops to get people there.
So is this July 29 push date just a scare tactic? Time will tell. Microsoft has already stated that there will be exceptions. Users who require accessibility devices, for example, will be exempt – with instructions on how to continue to a free upgrade to be announced shortly.
So why the push back from users? Microsoft has admitted that the free upgrades have slowed down since after its first announcement which, in itself, isn’t really surprising. What is surprising is how many people out there seem to want to avoid the new release like the plague. For me, I’ve upgraded all of my equipment where plausible. (I do run the Personal Computer Museum so, obviously, I won’t be upgrading our most revered technical gems.) I’ve come to the conclusion Microsoft gets it “right” about every other time. Windows XP was a great product, while Windows Vista left something to be desired. Windows 7 had it right will Windows 8 is a “pass.” Since there isn’t a “Windows 9,” that makes Windows 10 on target for a decent release and all signs point to yes so far.
People have invested money into peripherals, such as printers, scanners, cameras and so on, they are worried about losing to Windows 10. The good news is that most of those devices will continue to operate in the new environment. It’s not a universal guarantee but you would be surprised what this latest operating system can still operate. Sure, if you’re still running a parallel printer on Windows XP (which was, in itself, probably supporting something from the Windows 95 era) then you might be out of luck. I like to remind people, however, that running your old operating environments on newer computers is actually quite easy.
A product called DOSBOX allows you to run older programs on newer computers. It emulates older machines and allows you to run DOS and earlier Windows programs, and various builds even support printers so you can often getting printing with older DOS programs on Windows 10! So it’s likely time to move on and embrace the new. If you missed the deadline from Microsoft, I’m sure there will be some sort of other offer coming soon if it hasn’t been announced already. Or maybe it’s the time to switch to Mac or Linux. There is never a shortage of options in the world of technology.