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The Microsoft World: Easy steps to making Windows 10 productive

Designing Mobile Friendly Web pagesWithin a relatively short time, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 versions will all disappear – to be replaced by Windows 10. This is a revolution in the history of Operating System development.

The revolution will not be complete. Unfortunately and perversely, Windows XP will persist for quite some time. Banking, the Navy, Government departments and some illegal users are the recalcitrants. But who cares about them?

However the dream of all Windows users having the latest and greatest technology will mostly be achieved. This really will be the greatest single advance in technology – ever.

Love it or hate it. The Metro interface is here to stay. So the question for a Desktop user is: How to live with Windows 10 and make it as productive as possible?

Preparing for the Windows 10 download

Using Windows Update, check that you have all the latest security and Windows updates. For safety, ensure that your anti-virus software is also up-to-date.

If something goes wrong with the update, all the old system folders and files are stored in a Windows.Old folder.

Check the version of Windows are you running, 32 bit or 64 bit. To do so, Click the Start button, enter Computer in the search box, right-click Computer, and then click Properties. If you select the wrong version, you will only be informed after the lengthy download, and will need to download again.

I was annoyed by Internet Explorer for the last time, and did not want to chance the new Edge browser. So I installed Google's Chrome for my browser. The installation and set-up of Chrome was all very easy. I am delighted with the new browser.

The upgrade to Windows 10

When you are ready, click to get the free upgrade Windows 10 Download. The download took 2 hours to download on an ADSL2 connection.

There is the option to save the download to disc. This will avoid the download wait time for successive installations. If you want to save the download for both 32 and 64 bit versions, you will need to be on a 64 bit PC – otherwise the download will be prevented.

The first part of the upgrade was uneventful. When downloaded, there is a check for Windows 10 updates. You are then given the opportunity of a clean start or an upgrade. You get to choose whether to use the Edge Browser. I made sure that I did not create a Microsoft Account.

I experienced only minor problems.

  • The location/time was not set correctly
  • The networked printer would not work – after twiddling with all the printer settings that I could find, the remote printer decided to work
  • The Virtual PCs login was for "Other User"
  • Could not open video files with UAC turned off
  • Could not find a print button on the photo viewer
  • Difficulty in setting the default when "Open with" used

All in all, it was an uneventful experience.

Now to create a productive environment

The anti-virus software (Kaspersky in this case) was removed by the upgrade. I downloaded the latest version of Kaspersky, and the software was intelligent enough to know that the account was up-to-date. Then I turned off Defender and UAC. The Windows Firewall did not need changing – it was somehow under the protection of Kaspersky.

Once the dust has well and truly settled, you should use the Disk Clean utility to delete the Windows.Old folder. Defragmenting the C: disk drive will help performance, unless you are using a fast SSD disc drive.

Windows 10 attempts to bridge the gap between PCs and Tablets. To remove all traces of the Tablet environment, the Start Menu needs to be replaced. Download the latest version of Start10 and install and configure it. For those unaware, Start10 adds a Windows 7 style menu to the Start menu and allows a boot directly to the Windows desktop. You can still use the Tablet mode if you are feeling masochistic.

Back to familiar territory

You will now have a Windows 7 look-a-like, with all the benefits of a new operating system. Without any Apps, Metro interfaces or Live tiles.

And you will be a contented and productive Windows user once more.