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Should you claim your free upgrade to Windows 10?

Coming 29th July 2015

I’ve been testing the Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview and I’ve enjoyed watching Windows 10 mature over the past months.

I’ll definately be upgrading my Windows 8.1 pc and laptop. Not because I’m unhappy with Windows 8.1, because I actually enjoy it as my main operating system but because I think it is a refinement of Windows that should run better on your hardware than either Windows 7 or 8. You’ll have until 29th July 2016 to accept Microsoft’s offer.

Concerned about upgrading?

Make sure you have a full system backup, so you can restore your old OS.

What version will you get?

Upgrading from Windows 7
From Windows 7To Windows 10 edition
Windows 7 StarterWindows 10 Home
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 ProfessionalWindows 10 Pro
Windows 7 Ultimate
Upgrading from Windows 8
From Windows 8To Windows 10 edition
Windows Phone 8.1Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 8.1Windows 10 Home
Windows 8.1 ProWindows 10 Pro
Windows 8.1 Pro for Students

The various editions of Windows 10 are summarised below.

  • Windows 10 Home is the consumer-focused desktop edition. It offers a familiar and personal experience for PCs, tablets, and 2-in–1s. Windows 10 is also coming to the Xbox, giving games and gamers access to the Xbox Live gaming community, enabling the capture and share of gameplay and giving Xbox One owners the ability to play their Xbox One games from any Windows 10 PC in their home.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is designed to deliver the best user experience on smaller, mobile, touch-centric devices like smartphones and small tablets. It has the same Windows apps that are included in Windows 10 Home, as well as the new touch-optimized version of Office.
  • Windows 10 Pro is a desktop edition for PCs, tablets, and 2-in–1s. It is similar to Windows 10 Home, but offers many extra features to meet the needs of small businesses.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise builds on Windows 10 Pro, adding advanced features designed to meet the demands of medium and large organisations. Active Software Assurance customers in Volume Licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits.
  • Windows 10 Education builds on Windows 10 Enterprise, and is designed to meet the needs of schools – staff, administrators, teachers and students. This edition will be available through academic Volume Licensing, and there will be paths for schools and students using Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro devices to upgrade to Windows 10 Education.
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is designed to deliver the best customer experience to business customers on smartphones and small tablets. It will be available to our Volume Licensing customers.

There will also be versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for industry devices like ATMs, retail points of sale, handheld terminals, industrial robotics, and Windows 10 IoT Core for small footprint, low-cost devices like gateways.

System requirements

To qualify for the upgrade, Microsoft said users must be running the latest versions of Windows 7 (Service Pack 1) and Windows 8 (Windows 8.1 Update).

The system requirements for the pre-released version of Windows 10 are given below, though Microsoft has warned they are subject to change.

Windows 10 preliminary system requirements
Latest OSMake sure you are running the latest version either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
Processor1GHz or faster processor or SoC
RAM1GB for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit
Hard disk space16GB for 32-bit OS, 20GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics cardDirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display1024 x 600

Country-specific editions of Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Single Language edition, and Windows 8.1 with Bing all qualify for the upgrade to Windows 10 Home.

Microsoft said the availability of the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator, and carrier.

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