Software info: Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10 and free tools
Windows 10 – standard Home and pro versions – was released on 29 July 2015 – was free to owners of licenses for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 for a year until 29 July 2016. Now Windows 10 Home and Pro editions have to be paid for unless you obtained a ‘digital entitlement’ to Windows 10 while it was free.
Visit the Windows 10 Home and Pro Editions section of this website for more information on Win10.
The following post deals with the ‘digital entitlement’ to Win10.
The only way to get Windows 10 free any time after the July 29 2016 deadline –
Windows 8 was made available worldwide on 26 October 2012, Windows 8.1 on October 17, 2013. There is currently a Windows 8.1 Update 1 available (April 2014).
Most of the software and tools that run on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8.1/10.
The run up to the release of Windows 8 was several years long and the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8, which can be used on a tablet or on a PC equipped with a touchscreen, is very marked, so there is no shortage of free and paid-for, in-depth, written guides and videos available on how to use it. For that reason, I will only be putting pages on this website that provide the news, essential how-to-use and upgrading information and deal with the methods of repair/recovery and problems with Windows 7/8.1/10.
Having used Windows since version 3.1, I adapted quickly to Windows 8.1 and later to Windows 10 and was able to find the information I needed fairly easily. It seems to me that if you can use previous versions of Windows you should be able to find your way around Win8 fairly easily and if you can’t find something, the web has the information that covers every possible aspect. Unfortunately, people don’t like marked changes in the way that anything works and, in my opinion, a negative attitude to Win8 proves this.
In April 2014, Windows Vista was being used by a very small percentage of Windows users, but its extended support by Microsoft, which ended for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, only ends on April 11, 2017 . Here are its support dates:
Windows Vista – Service Pack 2 – End of mainstream support – April 10, 2012 – End of extended support – April 11, 2017.
Windows 7 is the official name for the successors to the versions of Windows Vista.
You can use the Upgrade version to upgrade Windows Vista to a version of Windows 7, but if you intend to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, you need to know the information in the following article. It has to be clean-installed. An in-place upgrade installation is not possible. The following article tells you how to upgrade to Win7 and migrate your data and software applications as easily as possible.
How to Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 –
You can use the Upgrade version to upgrade Windows Vista
Free tools that improve Windows
The following free tool improves Windows Explorer in Windows [Windows All (32 & 64 bit) 9x/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8].
The use of the Windows screen magnifiers – ZoomIt and Magnifier –
For your information, the other free Sysinternals tools made available from that page are well worth investigating. They come under the following headings:
File and Disk Utilities
System Information Utilities
xplorer2 Free Lite –
Only available as a 32-bit version, but it works just fine in 64-bit Windows 7 and 8. It can be used instead of File Explorer, the new name for Windows Explorer in Windows 8. The Professional version costs $29.95. The Ultimate version costs $49.95. You can try it for a limited time before making a purchase. Note that the free version installs software that you probably don’t want unless you disable its installation.
Better Explorer – Free – For Windows 7 and 8. Provides both a Ribbon user interface and tabs for multiple folders –
Autoruns for Windows v11.70 – Client: Windows XP and higher –
The supreme startup monitor (manages startup programs) that stands on the shoulders of the standard Windows msconfig start-up-program utility.
“TeraCopy is designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed.” If you want better copy controls than the mediocre ones offered by Windows Vista, 7 and 8, here is a good tool, which is free for personal use:
TeraCopy – http://codesector.com/teracopy
Take care not to click the download button that appears in an ad in the middle of the page – the real download button is at the bottom of the page. This useful free tool skips bad files and you can pause copying and it doesn’t keep interrupting transfers with messages, as Windows does, asking for permission to continue. The Pro version with more features costs $20.
AnVir Task Manager Free – replaces the Task Manager in Windows 7 and adds many of the features of the magnificent Task Manager provided by Windows 8. The Pro version with additional features costs $49.95. –