July 29th 2015 is a date for the diary – it’s the date that Microsoft have announced the release of Windows 10.
Many of you will have already noticed the little white icon appearing in your Task Bar asking you to register for the upgrade and if you have a fully licensed copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you can obtain the upgrade free of charge for a 12 month period from the release date.
However, there are a lot of things to be aware of before you make that jump.
Most people will now be aware that Microsoft have announced the availability of Windows 10 from 29th July 2015.
However, being available and choosing to install it are two very different things and there are a number of considerations you should contemplate before taking that final jump.
Firstly, reserving your copy of Windows 10 does nothing to your PC other than to ensure that your copy is reserved and will be automatically downloaded for you at some time AFTER 29th July. It will most likely NOT arrive on 29th as the distribution is being staggered with Beta-testers getting the first look. Windows 10 WILL NOT be automatically installed but will be available for YOU to choose if and when it is.
Secondly, you should be aware that the automatic download will ONLY download the same variant of Windows 10 as the copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you already have installed, i.e. a 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 will only upgrade to a 32-bit version of Windows 10 and similarly a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Pro will upgrade to a 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro.
A very important feature deleted from Windows 10 is the Microsoft Media Center. This was a standard feature of Windows 7 and an optional feature of Windows 8.1 but it is NOT included with Windows 10 and will not be offered as an upgrade. This means that facilities such as live TV and TV recording will not be possible with Windows 10 although a basic DVD replay facility WILL be included as standard.
Lastly, installing Windows 10 will be a clean install, i.e. all programs will be removed and whilst programs purchased from the Windows Store will be automatically re-installed, other programs installed via downloads or CD/DVD will not. It’s likely that your data files will be retained but you should be careful to make a full backup of those files before attempting the upgrade just in case any problems occur.
Microsoft have recently made it clear that the upgrade WILL retain MOST programs and all of your user files although it’s likely that third party anti-virus programs may require re-installation. A clean install will NOT be possible with the upgrade until after the upgrade is completed when it will be possible to create a bootable DVD or USB.
If you have not seen the white Windows logo on your Task Bar at the bottom of your screen it’s likely that your system is not considered a candidate for the upgrade. You should be aware that Windows 8 – compared to Windows 8.1 – is NOT upgradeable to Windows 10. You must upgrade to Windows 8.1 before the Windows 10 upgrade is offered.
The upgrade is to be offered free of charge for 1 year from 29th July 2015 for all qualifying machines and can be installed at any time within that year so there is no rush to install it on the first day it becomes available.
There is a helpful FAQ published by Microsoft which can be seen here.
If you have any worries about installing Windows 10 please don’t hesitate to call us on 01908 695361.