Notes from West London · Technology

Windows 10 and Never 10

We have a new PC, for general home use. It has Windows 10 and Office 2016 and works fine. I also have a Windows 10 phone and am happy enough with it, though (as I wrote last month, in my Farewell to WhatsApp) it feels like I am currently supporting the underdog. As I wrote at the time Google (with Android) and Apple (with iPhones) are bigger companies and their operating systems are on a load more handsets than Microsoft’s. The new Windows 10 computer usually stays in the living-room and once I had set it up my 9 year old daughter enthusiastically got to work, creating PowerPoint Presentations and finding other 9 year olds singing on YouTube.

Much of my day-to-day computer use is on this Mac Book Pro (three years old), and for portability I still have a Windows 7 netbook (all being well it will celebrate its sixth birthday in September). For many months now the netbook has been offering to upgrade to Windows 10 and I have resisted the offer. Windows 7 is still supported and the netbook still works. That’s good enough for me. This week the Windows 10 upgrade has been in the news, with Michele Hanson in the Guardian writing that the upgrade had ruined her day (and possibly her life). It prompted me to run GRC.com’s Never 10 on the netbook to disable the upgrade. I had been reading about it but not got around to trying it. I figured that at some point I would dig around and adjust whatever Windows Update settings were providing me with my daily Windows 10 messages, but Never 10 has done it for me. It’s made me feel rather lazy.

POSTSCRIPT (Monday 30 May 2016)

Since I drafted this piece Never 10 has come up in the most unexpected place: a conversation with my mother-in-law, who is in her 80s. She had heard of it and is going to ask her usual IT help person (who uses remote assistance to support her with her laptop) to run it for her.

And, based on the comments in that Guardian piece that I linked to above, it looks like Michele Hanson has happily reverted back to Windows 7.

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