Now that Windows 10 is about to come out (or has already come out depending on when you found this article) it’s time to cover some last-minute information you may need to make sure you have a good upgrade experience with your Surface tablet and Windows 10.
I have covered a lot of Windows 10 information already and I know other writers have covered a large amount of additional info. However, since it’s scattered around the internet, it can be difficult (or at least inconvenient) to find.
So, I thought it would be helpful to put all together (in one place) for you, BEFORE you upgrade your Surface to Windows 10. If nothing else, having all the links right here will save you some time in searching for it, right?
Let’s get started…
Upgrading Your Surface to Windows 10: Reasons To Do It / Reasons To NOT Do It
In the past few of days, I published two articles entitled “10 Reasons To Upgrade My Surface To Windows 10” and “6 Reasons NOT To Upgrade Your Surface To Windows 10 (At Least Not Yet)“.
If you didn’t see them, these two posts outline reasons you may or may not want to upgrade your Surface to Windows 10. Both are worth a read to make sure you know what you may be getting into with Windows 10.
Upgrading Your Surface to Windows 10: Before You Do The Upgrade
My article titled “Before You Upgrade Surface to Windows 10 – Do These Things!“, posted a couple of weeks ago, outlines some steps you should take before you begin the Windows 10 update procedure. The intention of the article is to make sure you’ve taken what steps you can to help the upgrade process goes smoothly.
In case something goes wrong or if you decide you hate Windows 10 after it’s installed, if you follow the advice in the article, you’ll have the tools you need to gracefully back out of the Windows 10 installation.
Yes you should be able to rollback to Windows 8.1 from within Windows 10 but, when I did so using a Technical Preview version, I had all kinds of weird problems and ended up needing to rebuild my user profile to remedy them.
Upgrading Your Surface to Windows 10: The Upgrade
Regularly, I’ve been asked time and again whether the upgrade will happen automatically (providing you reserved the copy) or whether there will be manual steps you have to take?
The answer is that a notification will pop-up sometime on or after July 29th letting you know the upgrade is ready. The upgrade process itself should be pretty straight-forward. I don’t think there’s any reason for you to be worried about it, just follow the prompts.
I got this answer for this question from Microsoft’s Windows 10 FAQ Page… so if I’m wrong blame them :-). You might want to take a look at this page because there is some other useful information about the upgrade process and support information, as well.
Upgrading Your Surface to Windows 10: Once Windows 10 Is Installed
In addition to the items in the “6 Reasons to NOT Upgrade” article above, there are a few other, less Surface-centric, things (not really “gotchas”) to be aware of:
- Windows 10 will not be much faster than Windows 8.1: With things like the inclusion of DirectX 12, you could be forgiven for thinking Windows 10 would run faster than Windows 8.1 but, it doesn’t. Surface Pro 3. So, if you’re expecting Windows 10 to make your Surface run faster, it might be time to re-calibrate that expectation.
- You’re still going to need Anti-Virus: Windows 10 still comes with Windows Defender pre-installed. Because Defender has not tested well for detecting or cleaning malware, you’re probably still going to want to install a 3rd party anti-virus package on your Surface. I have a few suggestions for you in my Free Antivirus for Surface Pro – 2015 Guide.
- You will need to find things again: While Windows 10 is familiar, it won’t be exactly the same as Windows 8.1. So, you’re going to run into the occasional problem of not being able to find some setting or option you need. Don’t sweat it, just be patient and remember to use the Search function on your Surface.
- Windows 10 won’t play DVD of Blu-Ray discs: This isn’t usually something you need to worry about with Surface tablets (not having a disc drive and all) but the media player in Windows 10 simply no longer offers playback functionality for DVDs or Blu-Ray. So, if you happen to use an external drive to play movies on your Surface, you’ll want to install a 3rd party playback application. If this sounds like something you care about, take a look at VLC.
Upgrading Your Surface to Windows 10: Surface RT & Surface 2 Devices
If you have a Surface RT or Surface 2 tablet, I’m afraid you’re not going to be installing to the full version of Windows 10. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting a Windows update.
This September, Microsoft said it will release Windows RT Update 3. This update probably won’t be a huge overhaul but it’s expected to include an updated Start Menu which is based on an early version of the Technical Preview. Don’t let that lead you to think it will be inferior, a lot of people seem to think it’s actually better than the version of the Start Menu that made it into the final version of Windows 10.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.