Microsoft is venturing into new territory with their upcoming release of Windows 10. The new operating system is set to compete with the likes of Apple and Android as they aspire to create a viable Windows-based ecosystem while offering this major upgrade for free for one year. A reservation is required to download Windows 10 on the official release date July 29.
Windows 10 comes in Home and Professional versions, so you will automatically receive the corresponding version to your current OS. If you are running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, or Windows 8.1 you will upgrade to Windows 10 Home. All Pro and Ultimate systems will receive Windows 10 Professional.
Windows Media Center and Internet Explorer will both be replaced with new software. An updated version of the Start button will make its return. New generation features will be introduced, such as Windows Hello for facial and fingerprint recognition.
Other changes include the removal of desktop gadgets; updated versions of Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts; and new functionality for secure login by close proximity of trusted devices or by using Hello’s recognition capabilities.
Upgrading is easy!
Microsoft has taken steps to simplify the upgrade experience. Before you begin, you must confirm you are running the latest versions of Windows 7 or 8.1 and that your hardware will support the new upgrade. You can refer to Microsoft’s Windows 10 Specifications page for a complete list of requirements.
Microsoft’s online diagnostic tool is available to check your operating system version. If your OS is not current you can download the latest here:
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1
- Windows 8.1
Next you need to make a reservation for Windows 10 by clicking on the small Windows icon in the lower-right corner of your screen. Here you can use the Check My PC function to confirm your drivers and firmware are supported and applications are compatible. When you finish, some background files will download to expedite the upgrade process.
Tips & Useful Info
- Before upgrading, confirm all of your files are backed up using an external drive or OneDrive.
- Windows 10 will uninstall then reinstall your antivirus software during the upgrade process. If your subscription is not current, Windows Defender will be activated in its place.
- The upgrade requires about 20 minutes for newer PCs and an hour for older models.
- Windows Hello requires a depth camera like Kinect for Windows or Intel’s RealSense; a standard PC camera will not work.
Windows 10 will be available for purchase from Microsoft for those not eligible for the free upgrade.
- Windows 10 Home: $119
- Windows 10 Professional: $199
- Windows 10 Pro Pack: $99 – transition from Windows 10 Home to Professional