Monday, July 18, 2016

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Ends July 29; What Should You Do? Our Shortlist of Pros and Cons

With the clock running out on Microsoft's "free upgrade" offer July 29th, we compiled a shortlist of pros and cons to help clients or friends still on the Windows 10 fence decide what to do.  Here goes...


  • Improved security features and automatic "patching" going forward to keep the OS more secure; (this is perhaps the most important advantage to Windows 10 in our view)
  • More efficient, faster; (it uses fewer system resources than Windows 8.1)
  • IMHO it's more user friendly (i.e. it looks/works like Windows 7 rather than 8.1)
  • The early "bugs" (which 10 certainly had) have been worked through with interim updates including a big one last November 12, and several more since then
  • Microsoft Edge browser: (you shouldn't be using Internet Explorer at this point; it has big security problems, doesn't render many websites properly and is slow!)
  • Cortana provides search and voice controls for many functions
  • Task View lets you "simulate" having two monitors on one screen  
  • Anniversary Update is coming August 2 for Windows 10 with a slug of improvements to the Start screen, Taskbar, Action Center, and new features for Cortana, Edge and more
  • Your upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 is free until July 29; after that you'll have to buy it; (free is a very good price)
  • If you don't like it, you can roll back to your current OS within 31 days 


  • If you're using proprietary (or very old) software it may not be compatible with Windows 10 
  • Some people have "lost" (or had difficulty finding) certain files after they upgrade 
  • If you're still using Windows XP or Vista, not only will you have to pay for Windows 10, but you have to do a fresh install; (it's not just a simple upgrade from XP or Vista) 

For most of our clients, we're recommending they take advantage of Microsoft's largess and get the Windows 10 upgrade before the July 29 deadline, but with the caveat that they back up any important files first, just in case. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions; glad to help. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Personal Service Takes Spotlight in Latest Website Project

In the increasingly impersonal world of phone trees and autoresponders, our latest website project focused on the extraordinary personal service our client provides for her promotional product customers. (Not only does she answer the phone, she brings samples to your office!)

Of course every business claims to provide great customer service and talk (on this subject) is notably cheap. We understood our challenge as web designers was to clearly make this case for our client in a believable way, without having her sound like a braggart. (That would be way out of character; she's actually very humble.)

Our answer: Feature just one well-worded, credible, customer testimonial, from a real person, at a real organization, up front, on the home page. Here's our solution:

But beyond credibility, the new website also improved the website's security, enhanced its SEO capacity, while adding a responsive mobile design that works on all kinds of devices. (No small feat given all the different types and sizes of devices out there.)

Here's a link to the launch press release with more on Pam and her Specialty Connection.

P.S. If you haven't yet upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft's free upgrade offer expires July 29th. If you have any questions about the upgrade and whether or not it's advisable, just send us a note; glad to help.