After much testing, Windows 10 is here and Microsoft is offering free upgrade
Microsoft has started releasing volume licensing for its newest operating system (OS), Windows 10, from August 2015. Microsoft has said that during its first year, Windows 10 would be made available free to users of genuine eligible editions of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update. Since Microsoft has launched Windows 10 as a ‘service’ and not a product, it is worthwhile to look at the new features and usability of this OS. As per initial feedback, Indian users will not been able to use some advanced features like Cortana, the voice-controlled virtual assistant available only in the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. In addition, several users are complaining that, while upgrading through express setting, Windows 10 changes the default browser to its own Edge instead of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox that you may have been using as default for surfing the Internet.
Unlike the previous releases, this new OS is available for upgrading through the Internet. In normal circumstances and download speed, it would take a minimum three hours to upgrade to Windows 10. However, given the state of our broadband service-providers, the download may go on for the entire night. Windows 10 upgrade is a large file—about 3GB—and you may end up consuming your entire monthly quota. So be prepared for additional bill from your ISP as well, unless you have an unlimited download plan.
While upgrading, make sure to scan for compatibility of third-party applications. Third-party applications software that is not compatible with Windows 10 would be removed from the system before upgrade. You can also use a tool created by Microsoft for installing or uninstalling Windows 10. For this, too, you will need Internet connection, sufficient storage space, a blank USB (universal serial bus) or DVD (digital versatile disc) with at least 4GB space (make sure to use a blank media, as all data would be deleted during the media creation process).
Hardware: For upgrading to Windows 10, your PC should have 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor, 1GB read-only memory (RAM) for 32-bit version or 2GB for 64-bit version, 16GB storage space for 32-bit or 20GB for 64-bit OS, a graphics card with DirectX9, or later with WDDM 1.0 driver and a display of minimum 800x600 pixels (the higher the better).
Should You Go for It?
According to reviews, Windows 10 offers the stability and usability (read mouse+keyboard) of Windows 7 and touch features of Windows 8. Microsoft has tried to make the transition from PC to tablet, and vice versa, a smooth affair. Nate Ralph, from CNET, says, “As always, there are some quibbles and gripes with the end product, but all-in-all—after living with Windows 10 for months—I can say that it’s a winner. It’s flexible, adaptable and customisable. And it’s been battle-tested by an army of beta testers for the better part of a year, making it one of the most robust operating system rollouts in recent memory.”
“Windows 10 delivers a refined, vastly improved vision for the future of computing with an operating system that’s equally at home on tablets and traditional PCs—and it’s a free upgrade for most users,” CNET says in its review for Windows 10.
Woody Leonhard, from Windows Secrets, an online newsletter, has a similar view. “Windows 10 appears to be a qualified success,” he says and adds, “My general advice for Windows 8/8.1 users is to go ahead and install Win10. For Windows 7 users, the recommendation is not so clear-cut. Typically, I tell Win7 users to wait a while. Let us see what Microsoft brings out for the ‘TH2’ update reportedly scheduled for October.”
Windows 10 is more secure, is interesting and useful. However, it depends on you if you want to upgrade from the stable (and only a few issues) Win7 or discard the problematic Win8 for a new one. Since Microsoft offers you a downgrade to your original OS within 30 days after upgrading to Windows 10, go for ‘upgrade’ instead of a clean install and check it out yourself. Also, while upgrading, use the custom setting, instead of express, so that you can make your current, preferred browser as default for surfing the Internet.