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by Ray Carlson

Q. I reserved Windows 10 but have not received it. What should I do or should I bother?

A. Windows 10 was installed on over 14 million computers in the first few days after its release, but the number requesting it was much larger. When it is ready on your computer, a message appears near the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Click the message to start the download, but run a backup first in case something goes wrong. Ignore email messages offering the upgrade - they are usually SPAM AND OFTEN INCLUDE MALWARE. If you want to skip waiting but be safe, go to Microsoft's Download Windows 10 page. Follow the instructions, clicking on the FAQ page if you need additional information.

Should you bother? The consensus of major reviewers is yes. Some bugs appeared, but Microsoft is rapidly repairing them. Many adopters react that 10 is surprisingly easy to use. It starts with a Desktop and Start Menu like Windows 7 but adds subtle improvements. The Start Menu adds a few tiles on the side to show the weather, pictures, etc. without disrupting the regular menu. Programs you use frequently are grouped at the top of the menu and a Settings button to make adjustments and a power button to turn off the computer are obvious. The Search program, called Cortana, combines the features of Apple's Siri and Google Now. Security is improved. On the negative side, some are concerned about possible loss of privacy and control.

It is impossible in a short column to describe all the positives and negatives. The Prescott Computer Society will focus its next few columns on questions we have been asked about Windows 10. We will also use our upcoming meetings to discuss key features and challenges as well as help those on the fence decide whether to adopt 10. The meetings will be in the Founders Suite of the Prescott Library on August 22, 29 and September 12, 1 to 3 PM. These meetings are open to the public.

Published: Courier 8/8/15 - Page 7A