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Windows 10 free update


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Microsoft announced today that it will be launching Windows 10 on July 29th, encouraging Windows 7 and 8.1 users to reserve their free upgrade with a notification in their task bar. However, while the company has been busy highlighting all the shiny new features in the upcoming OS, it's been a bit quieter when it comes to spelling out the limitations — including making updates automatic for Windows 10 Home users.



Firstly there are the software losses. Most of these will only affect a small number of users, but upgrading will mean saying goodbye to Windows Media Center, the card game Hearts, and Windows 7's desktop gadgets. Anyone in the habit of using floppy disks on Windows will also have to install new drivers, and Microsoft warns that watching DVDs will also require "separate playback software." Microsoft manager Gabriel Aul has said on Twitter that a DVD option for Windows 10 is coming "later this year," but early upgraders can always download VLC instead.


In addition to the software losses, there are also a number of limitations for some of Windows 10's most exciting features. Cortana will only be available in the US, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain at launch, while Windows Hello (which offers support for various biometric passwords) will need an infrared camera for facial recognition, or a supported fingerprint reader. The Xbox Music and Xbox Video streaming apps will also be constrained by the usual, complex web of region-based licenses.


More annoyingly, perhaps, Microsoft has also changed how updates will work with Windows 10. Although the Pro and Enterprise editions will both be able to defer updates, Windows 10 Home users will not have the option. Updates will instead be downloaded and installed automatically as soon as they're available. System requirements for the new OS have also been detailed, with PCs and tablets needing to pass a fairly low bar: a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a display resolution of at least 1,024 x 600 are required. These specs are a bit higher for the 64-bit version of Windows 10 but for these details and more, you can check out Microsoft's full specs page.







Can I upgrade my OEM copy?

I’m currently running an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. Would this be eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10 too? Andrew


In theory, yes, but Microsoft has not said what it plans to do about OEM versions that were intended for small PC makers but have been purchased by consumers. It seems that most people would like their OEM version upgraded to a retail version of Windows 10, as explained on Microsoft’s User Voice website (a sort of suggestion box). This may not happen.


Microsoft hasn’t announced an Ultimate version of Windows 10, so you probably won’t get the usual like-for-like upgrade. However, Windows 10 Pro would presumably be acceptable.


Personally if I was on W7 I wouldn't bother, especially if you have an OEM install (ie you don't own a retail version of Windows, it came pre-installed) since there's no gurantee you'll get the same upgrade as a full user,


If you are on W8 or 8.1 then I'd say it's a 50/50 call. 8 is a shit O/S but I've not seen 10 in action and at the moment a lot of people are saying it's not really ready (as the above article explains a lot of core drivers simply do not exist). You have a year from the release of 10 to choose so I'd probably go with waiting until it's properly released and maybe even for the first SP if it's released in time.

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  • 9 months later...

Small bump here since it's been a nearly a year now and I still get the notifications. Has anyone made the transition yet, is it worth it?


I've got Windows 8, possibly 8.1, what do I know. All I do is use the Internet and store all my music and a few videos on it, so I wouldn't use all these flashy features Windows 10 has to offer. Should I go ahead with the free upgrade?

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Likewise my Dad made the jump from 8 to 10 and I hated it, then again I hated 8.


On my own PC I have stuck, like Omega, with Windows 7. This service pack 2 version is up there with XP and the SP2 of Vista as the best operating systems they have produced. 10 I would say is akin to Windows ME, half baked.

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I got a new computer in January, so went from using Windows Vista to Windows 10 (never really used Windows 7 or 8). I've not had any issues whatsoever. Although I imagine the chances of things going wrong will be higher with a upgrade rather than a new machine like mine.
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The current verdict is basically if you don't value your privacy (no vpn, google for search, no adblockers etc) and you're a sucker for shiny bollocks that doesn't make anything better, then go for it.


If, on the other hand, you'd really rather not have Microsoft collecting literally every keystroke you make, then hold off. I use W7, W8 and W8.1 daily, and Windows 10 is no better. In fact, search is way, way worse.

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