Upgrades

If you frivolously upgrade hardware or software you are tempting fate. Upgrade only if you are compelled to do so!  Essentially, if it ain't broken don't fix it. Software updates are sometimes worse than the older one. It happens all the time. This is especially true of Microsoft operating systems.  When a new one comes out, wait 12 months and then search online reviews of the operating system to make sure they haven't released another multi-million dollar loser. Same goes for any software. Not all software upgrades are bad, but I now turn Windows Update permanently off on all computers I service. I consider Windows updates to be more of a liability than a necessity.

 
I have a one word review of the new Windows 8 operating system: Stupid.

Restrain yourself.  Don't, d, da, don't believe the hype!

Windows 8 Alert!  Achtung! (Old content left for reference) Avoid Windows 8 as long as you can. It is a big pain in the butt to no advantage. They took Windows 7 and made it look hip and confusing. Why?  Why did they release Windows Vista and Windows ME? Is there anything better about it? NO. (Maybe it makes more sense if it runs your tablet PC.) The operating system seems to be stable, however the interface is a silly, unintuitive mess.

Wondering about the new Windows 8.1?  Stupid 8.1!


Windows 7 - Your friend. Lately people have been asking me, “Hey Computer Guy, what I am gonna do now that Microsoft is ending support of Windows 7?”

If that information was framed as being something you should worry about then consider that source illegitimate. They serve Moloch’s dark army who exist only to sell the next Microsoft product. If you are one of my customers, I turned off your Windows 7 updates completely a year or two ago after realizing that Windows Updates were the only thing causing problems. So you can just keep on enjoying your problem-free computer. Your goal is to use Windows 7 until Chrome or Firefox or any of the other non-Microsoft browsers tell you they are no longer sending security updates to their programs. Windows XP users got those final messages a couple years ago to give you a possible timeline.

I don’t know for sure what the future holds for Windows 7, but I know this. I spend most of my time fixing computers that have been crippled by Windows 10 updates. Here’s a computer truism, if it works don’t change it. Another might be, if Microsoft gives you advice consider doing the opposite. That company is out to lunch.

Windows 10

If you made it to July 29th, 2016 without upgrading to Windows 10, you were one of the lucky ones. For some, Windows 10 just started installing on your computer one day without your consent. Maybe it finished successfully, maybe you had to call me to erase everything and reinstall Windows 7 so you could use your computer again.

If you did upgrade to Windows 10 and everything seems ok, I still suggest you make sure your data is backed up. I am seeing that upgrade go wrong months afterwards. Often it is during an update, sometimes not.

If you have Windows 8, I advise grinning and bearing it until you buy a new computer with a clean install of Windows 10. Is it ok to buy a new computer with Windows 10?  You don’t really have a choice. It is the upgrade of Windows 10 on top of your existing operating system that Microsoft continues to mangle, solely at your expense.

If you still have Windows 7, hooray! You won!

Windows 7 will be “supported” by Microsoft through 2020.  What does supported mean?  It means that finally your computer will no longer be at risk of Microsoft updates. This is why I now permanently turn off Windows Update on most machines I work on.  When Windows XP (the last viable OS) support ended it turned out that you were able to use Windows XP with no tangible issues until about 2016. Firefox and Chrome only recently in 2016 told us they would no longer be updating their browsers on Windows XP computers. That is the point when you should switch operating systems. For Windows 7 I suspect that date is at least 3-5 years away.

Here’s what to do next. Stop using Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge as your browser and switch to Firefox or Chrome or any browser that updates itself independent of Windows Update. Then turn off Windows Update on your Windows 7 or 8 computer for good. Google it. It is very easy. 
However, you can no longer turn off the updates in Windows 10. One of their updates brought you that "enhancement."

Then, just kick back, put the top down, and cruise the internet minutia byways for the next few years with your operating system that seems to work just fine.

You are practicing Microsoft harm reduction.