Upgrade to Windows 10: Because 7 ate 9

Today is July 29 and it is the day the public finally gets their hands on Windows 10. People all over the globe are already downloading and installing this new big bang release of Windows. The upgrade is provided for free, courtesy of Microsoft. Every user of the operating system gets this free download. No matter from where you downloaded your copy—as long as it is Windows 7, 8 or 8.1—you get the free upgrade. Just remember to download the latest updates to your current OS and then reserve a copy of Windows 10.

One of the frequent complaints about Windows 8, 8.1 was the lack of start menu. It was replaced with a startup screen that took the entire on-screen space. While it was possible to log into the desktop directly with some settings changed, people got confused. There is software like Classic Shell which added the start menu back.

Windows 10 Desktop With Start Menu

But now in Windows 10, the beloved start menu is back again. It is not exactly like the old glorious start menu. It is much more advanced. You can access your installed desktop programs as well as the Win 10 apps from the start menu. It’s sort of like a combination of Windows 7 and 8.

The Upgrade Procedure

If you had reserved your copy of the upgrade then it downloads automatically. Not everyone gets the update at once. I got it sooner than I expected. You can check it in the task bar. It downloads like one of those Windows security updates. After a 4 GB download into a hidden folder $Windows.~BT in your C: drive, the computer prepares for the procedure.

Once you give the go, it restarts the computer. The installer begins the process of copying files, installing features and drivers, and configuring settings. It takes around an hour to go from 0% to 100%. The computer restarts a couple of times. There’s no formatting, no partitioning or anything advanced of that nature.

Upgrading to Windows 10

After installation, the basic setup stage begins. Just configure and hit next. Finally, you get to log into your shiny new desktop. All your programs and files are left intact. They are in the same folder. So, don’t worry about losing your user files inside Documents or the programs inside Program Files. You’ll find that your old Windows folder will be there but it has been taken over and renamed as Windows.old. I have tried a lot of previously installed programs and all of them seem to work perfectly. All and all, it went smoothly.

What’s New?

There are a lot of things that are new in this exciting version of Windows. While the functionality is more or less the same, there are a lot of changes that you notice as you use it.
Here are a few major changes that I noticed:

  1. As mentioned before, the start menu replaces the startup screen.
  2. The interface got a facelift. You’ll find that icons, folders, buttons etc. has been changed. For example: click on the time and it displays a huge calendar. There are also animations while switching, minimizing, maximizing etc.
  3. The OS comes pre-packed with a couple of apps and the most notable one is Microsoft’s new browser Edge. It looks much prettier and scrolls smoothly. It seems to go hand-in-hand with the new age websites that we see these days.
  4. Cortana is here for desktops. The virtual assistant can now be used to search and get information.
  5. Apps now run in separate windows. Notifications pop up in the bottom right part of the screen. The app store is not as powerful as the Play Store or iTunes Store but it seems to be growing.

Visit this official page if you want to know more about the features.

Final Words

Windows 10 is an interesting upgrade. The new interface, styles and colors are definitely more fun for the eyes. It’s good to have the start menu back. If you have a touch screen then it becomes much more interesting. It is said that newer features will be introduced to the OS with minor updates. Until things change a lot, there won’t be a big all-at-once upgrade. The best part of this update has to be the fact that it’s free for everyone. Thanks to it, millions of users will now own a legit copy of Windows. So get your copy before the offer expires which is after a year.

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