Windows 10 Anniversary Update Ends as a Tale of Two Computers

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2016-08-03 Print this article Print
Windows Update

There are other important changes. Microsoft Edge now gets browser extensions, which will make the new browser dramatically more usable. In addition, Edge now will pause Flash displays on webpages where they're not integral to the page itself, which means you can turn off those annoying Flash ads.

The Windows Action Center, which lived in the lower right corner of your screen but which wasn't very useful, is now useful. Notices include more information, and the Action Center icon now includes a number telling you how many items are new, so you know when to take a look.

The calendar right next to the Action Center includes more information as well. One big change is that it includes appointments and other calendar items when you open it; in the past, all you saw was a calendar page. The information on your appointments comes from your Windows Calendar application and, in my case, it comes from the Outlook Calendar function as well. This is handy when you don't want to open Outlook just for a quick look.

There are other improvements. Cortana is now a lot smarter. There are some new themes to change how Windows looks. You have more control over notifications, and you can tell Windows when not to perform updates.

But as I said at the beginning, this is a tale of two computers. Everything worked well on one of the two computers that I tried to update. But the updated failed on my second computer, a 3-year-old Lenovo ThinkPad. The Windows installer reported that the display wasn't compatible with Windows 10. This was on a computer already running the original release of Windows 10. Despite long hours with Microsoft tech support, there's no solution in sight.

But it's not just me. Already I've begun hearing horror stories of failed upgrades. In a couple of cases computers wouldn't run at all after it was installed. In other cases, after hours of work trying to install the upgrade, it simply removed itself. Considering the upgrade process takes at least two hours, it's important to know the potential pitfalls for planning.

The potential for problems, even with computers that have been running Windows 10 smoothly, means that you must take precautions when you start your first test installs. Make sure you have a backup of your machine's current storage disk image so that you can restore it if the install totally tanks. Also, test the update with updates to a limited number of machines. And make sure your critical applications will run and are completely functional. Don't do a large-scale upgrade without testing.

But once you've done your testing and verification, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is worth the trouble. The new features are nice and the improvements in security are much-needed. Just make sure you remember the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, and "Trust, but verify."


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