By now you’ve probably heard so freakin‘ much about Windows 10 that you’re sick of hearing about it. As with all major new releases of things, some of the hype is true, some not. There are also a few misconceptions about Windows 10 that never appeared before, because Microsoft has seriously changed their business model of how they’re deploying Windows 10. Here are a few important things to get straight about this new version.
- You may have heard that Windows 10 is free. The truth is, that depends. If you own a computer that already has a genuine installation of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, and you upgrade before July 29, 2016 (That’s next year!), then yes, Windows 10 is a free upgrade. To do this, look for an icon by the clock that looks like the Windows logo. If you have this, clicking on it will allow you to “reserve” your free upgrade. It will download in the background and you’ll be informed when it’s ready to install. If you don’t have the icon, it may just not have installed, or it’s possible your system won’t support Windows 10. It can be downloaded manually from Microsoft, as well, by going here. More information on installing can be found here. You will not get the free upgrade if you do a “clean” install, so be sure to install the upgrade from within Windows.
- If your computer has Windows XP or Vista, you’re out of luck in the free upgrade department. You can, of course, buy a copy of Windows 10 for around $120, but if your computer is that old, it’s probably not worth it unless the machine was very high-end to start with.
- If you have a mission-critical computer, wait a few months before you upgrade, to allow some of the major issues to be worked out. Remember, you have a whole year.
- Remember that this is a huge download (around 3-4 Gigabytes). If you’re on a limited-bandwidth connection, you may incur substantial overage charges.
- Microsoft currently has no plans to make Windows 10 a “subscription.” Rumors have been flying about that Windows 10 is “Free for the first year, then you’ll have to pay for it!” This is not true. You must upgrade to 10 within the first year after it’s release, but after that, it’s free on that device forever.
- After upgrading a Windows 7 or 8.1 PC to 10, you have 30 days to revert back to your previous version of Windows. After that, you’re stuck with 10. There is a possibility that the original serial number will be inactivated after those 30 days. We’ll have to wait and see about that.
- I think (after a brief tour) that Windows 10 is a worthy Operating System. There are a few things about it I don’t like, mainly the start menu. It’s much better than Windows 8.1, but still can stand some improvement. If you use the start menu a lot, consider installing Classic Shell. It’s a free utility that will tame your start menu, allowing you to get rid of those pesky “Live Tiles” if you’re not interested in using them. It also offers lots of improvements for browsing your folders.
- It’s probable that most of your peripherals (Printers and the like) will work fine with Windows 10, but as always, there will be hiccups. If you upgrade, test to be sure all your stuff works within the first 30 days while you still have a chance to roll back the upgrade.
For even more empowering technology info, read my new book, “Deciphering the 21st Century,” Available now!
I’d love to hear your comments!