Windows 10 is out in the wild. If you haven’t already seen, Microsoft has been advertising it to Windows 7 and 8.1 users using a system tray pop-up. This is a free upgrade, and will probably be a good one for Windows 7 and 8 users alike. Microsoft wants to get all recent Windows machines on the same operating system, providing a standardized Windows platform and pushing the “universal apps” offered by the Windows Store. After the mess of Windows 8, Microsoft appears to have come to their senses and Windows 10 is looking pretty solid.
It’s FREE! (Well… for most people)
Windows 10 is a free upgrade, assuming your computer runs Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. As long as you upgrade to Windows 10 within the first year, you won’t have to pay a cent. Despite some confusion online, it is a full copy with “lifetime support for the device” and you don’t have to pay anything. If you have an older computer running Windows Vista or a previous version of Windows, you won’t get a free upgrade. You may want to buy a new computer if you have such an old computer, anyway. If you have to pay for a copy you are looking at $110 for Windows 10 Home or $199 for Windows 10 Pro.
How to Upgrade
You can get it with a upgrade via Windows Update. Microsoft rolled out a “Get Windows 10″ application that prompts you to “reserve” your copy of Windows 10, and you should already be seeing those notifications in your system tray on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 computers. Yes, that Windows 10 pop-up in your system tray is real, legitimate, and from Microsoft. “Reserve” your copy of Windows 10 and your Windows computer will automatically download Windows 10. When Windows 10 is good to go, you won’t have to download a massive installer from Microsoft. It’s a bit like preloading a game or movie. While the upgrade process shouldn’t erase your personal files, it’s always important to have backups anyway. If you have hardware or programs that won’t work with Windows 10, the upgrade application will inform you of any possible problems you might experience. Check HERE for more information on upgrading your system.
What’s New – Why Jump
Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be a worthy upgrade to both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. It builds on Windows 8’s base, offering its desktop improvements and security features. The charms bar is gone. The pop-up Start menu is back— it has live tiles on it by default, but you can remove those if you like. That “modern” or “Metro” interface is now confined only to a special tablet mode, and all applications run in windows on the desktop on normal PCs. If you’re using Windows 8 on a non-touch device, this is a huge improvement. The desktop interface makes sense again. If you’ve been using Windows 7, you get access to all the improvements found in Windows 8 with an interface that makes more sense.
Windows 10 includes other useful features, including “Task View” virtual desktops and enhancements to the Command Prompt. Last year was the death of Internet Explorer and Microsoft’s new “Edge” browser will have a better user experience without all the fuss. Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant is integrated, this is essentially Microsoft’s Siri. One major nod to Windows 10 is device integration; PC, tablets, smartphones, and your Xbox One will all work together very nicely. Windows 10 is packed with other useful improvements, and — unlike some of the more annoying features found in Windows 8 — they can be disabled if you don’t want to use them.