What is this Windows 10 thing



Windows 10 is the next operating system from Microsoft and that pop up is telling you that they are going to let you have it for “Free”.

Here is some info on Windows 10.

Windows 10 is sort of a marriage between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Most people will be happy that the Start Menu is back and it returns with additional features for a new look and functionality. You now have your list back with customizable tiles expanded to the side.

windows 10

Personal Digital Assistant

You now have Cortana (the personal assistant) down in the taskbar ready to search for you. If you have a Windows phone you will already be familiar with Cortana. She can search the PC for files, apps, anything really and the web as well. You can either type or use voice commands to launch apps, schedule appointments as well as dictate emails and send them. The number of commands that she can perform and interact on are numerous and some keyboards will even feature a Cortana key.

New Browser

Windows 10 comes with a new browser Microsoft Edge which will also be Cortana enabled to allow you to interact with the webpage. Edge claims to let you search faster from the address bar and will keep your favorites, downloads and history in a central location known as the “Hub”. You will have the ability to write on webpages if you have a touchscreen or take notes by typing – clip that page and you can then share that page with others via email, OneNote or social media.

Desktop Space

In Windows 10 you can snap up to four apps in place on one desktop and create virtual desktops when you need to open more things and group them together.

Xbox Integration

For gamers Xbox will be part of Windows 10. You can message and interact with your friends online and can stream your console onto your desktop.

Fluid Resizing Across Device Modes

Continuum is a feature that will scale your desktop between tablet and desktop mode for two-in-one convertible devices such as the Surface Pro 3.

Unified Settings

Settings are now no longer scattered throughout the OS as in Windows 8 but in one place, logically organized.

There are many other smaller changes that are too detailed for this document.

Down the Upgrade Path

Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free to existing customers with certain editions and “legal” copies of Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1. Windows 10 does not officially get released until the end of July but people are getting a notice that they can reserve their free copy now. If you have installed a certain patch during patch Tuesday (patch KB 3035583 also being referred to as the nagware patch) you will get a notification that a free upgrade awaits you. This will be a small white Windows logo in your bottom right notification area of the taskbar.

Microsoft has released a Wiki Article on how to reserve your free upgrade and it can be found here

Wiki Windows 10

There is also a Windows 10 faq page that you can find here Windows-10-faq

To take advantage of the free offer you must perform the upgrade within the first one year of availability.  If you decide to reserve a copy you can cancel your reservation at any time. This upgrade is a 3GB download and you must be connected to the internet and have Windows updates turned on. The device must meet the following hardware and OS specifications in order to install.


Operating System Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update
CPU (Processor) 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
RAM 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard Drive Space 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
Video/Graphics Card 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
Display resolution (min) 800×600

The upgrade paths supported for versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 are:

Windows 7

Windows Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium will all upgrade to Windows 10 Home

Windows 7 Ultimate and Professional will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro

Windows 8

Windows Phone 8.1 will upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile if your carrier is participating

Windows 8.1 will upgrade to Windows 10 Home

Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro for Students will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro

Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1 as well as volume licensing customers are not included in this offering. If you are using any upgradable version of Windows that is a Media Center Edition it will be removed.

The Get Windows 10 app will have a “Check my PC” component that will make sure you have the hardware required as outlined above. However here are some other things to watch out for and think about.

During the upgrade Windows will check to see if your Anti-virus/Anti-malware subscription is still current. If all is good Windows will uninstall the application but keep your settings. Once the upgrade is complete, the latest version will be installed using those settings that it kept. If your Anti-virus/Anti-malware subscription is not current you will be supplied with Windows Defender.

Some applications and their settings may not migrate over during the upgrade and some may be removed completely. The “get Windows 10” app will scan for compatibility and will present you with a list of applications that do not play nicely. You will be asked to accept that they will be removed before the upgrade.

The ability to watch DVDs natively is gone it will now require separate playback software.

Windows 10 will remove the Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets.

If you use Windows Live Essentials, the OneDrive application will be removed and replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.

What Should I Do

The question now becomes do I upgrade? The answer is I really don’t know. It is totally personal preference. I do know that I have been playing with the technical releases and I like it. That being said I am playing with it- not using it- on a production PC.

First releases are not always (more like never) 100% ready. You have a year to take advantage of the offer and so there really is no rush. If you have an older PC or laptop doing nothing and you want me to help you put the Windows 10 preview on it so you can play around I will be happy to do so. If you are thinking that you absolutely must have “Windows 10 the upgrade” then I will suggest you make a full backup of your data and make sure you have your discs to do a restore back to your current OS in case you have issues or decide you hate it. I will be happy to help you with that as well.

Windows 7 SP 1 is still supported for the next four years so you do not HAVE to upgrade. Most of you know my mantra that in four or five years you need new hardware anyway so at that time you would be buying a new PC with Windows 10 already loaded.

You can always say yes to “Get Windows 10” and register for the free upgrade and then put it off till a later time. Then use that time to research, talk to others who are using it or to me. I will also be putting out more information as we go along.

As always I am just a phone call, text or email away.