A Brief Note on Purchasing a New Windows Computer

I’ve seen this issue with a few clients who needed to replace their computer for various reasons:  they go to Best Buy or Staples and the sales rep asks them how they plan to use their computer.  A typical answer might be some word processing, reading email and browsing the internet.  They are told they can get by with a low cost machine and there are a lot of low cost laptops and desktops on the market.  It seems like a great deal to get a brand new computer for $400 – $500 especially since it will more than meet the minimum requirements to run Windows.

They purchase the computer bring it home and then find that the performance is not so great, especially when accessing the internet.  The primary reason for this is that these machines typically come with old processors – Pentium, Celeron, and even Core i3 – and probably 4 GB of memory.

At the dawn of the internet websites were simple things that had instructions for displaying text and pictures.  This did not require much processing power.  However, now, websites are fully functioning programs.  In fact, many websites contain many programs. There are programs for displaying advertising, tracking your usage, running videos, asking you questions and responding, and so on.  All of this is taking more and more processing power and memory.

Bottom line:  if you are in the market for a new computer please make sure it comes with a Core i5 or Core i7 processor and 8 GB of memory. Not only will you get better performance, your computer will also last you a few more years.


Windows 10 is Coming!

Later this year Microsoft plans on releasing it’s latest and greatest operating system, Windows 10. Yes – that’s right. Ten, not 9.  Windows 9 is a non-entity.  It does not exist just like floor 13 in many New York apartment buildings.  Either they think 9 is bad luck or they feel they are making a bold statement by skipping one whole number.

I downloaded and installed a preview version of Windows 10.  It’s still pretty buggy but overall I was impressed as compared to Windows 8.x. There is no longer the disparity between desktop and tablet views.  They have unified the user interface in a fairly intuitive way.  The weird charms that appear from the right-hand edge in Windows 8 are gone, and most settings and preferences are now available in one location.

If you own and use other Microsoft device like a Surface tablet, Xbox or a Windows phone (anybody?) you will have a consistent interface across all devices.

If you want to learn more, here is an early review with some screen shots.