We’re coming to the end of the free offer period from Microsoft.
Should you partake of their free offer and get Windows 10 onto your desktop or laptop?
There are many reasons to take the free offer and update to Windows 10 – least of which is the ability to downgrade and keep your free digital entitlement license if you decide you don’t want it after all – as long as you haven’t run disk cleanup and it’s less than a month since the upgrade to Windows 10 (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-10/going-back-to-windows-7-or-windows-81)
Windows 10 is the upgrade that Windows 8 should have been. A proper working Start menu that combines the traditional ‘Desktop’ menu from Windows 7 combined with the ‘Metro Block’ interface from Windows 8 just for tablet users – and a pure tablet mode for those user that liked the ‘Metro’ blocky menu (and there surely aren’t many of those going around!)
The upgrade itself is easy to do. Look next to your clock on your desktop for the white Windows flag icon, click it and follow the instructions – just be sure that your machine (desktop or laptop) is powered up and plugged in, you have at least 8GB of hard disk space free – and that you have anywhere between 1-4 hours of your life to waste waiting on it downloading and installing.
Bear in mind that you’ll only see the flag icon to upgrade if you have a qualifying version of Windows installed:
- Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic and Home premium versions will upgrade to Windows 10 Home
- Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 8.1 Home will upgrade to Windows 10 Home
- Windows 8.1 Pro & Pro for Students will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
- Windows Phone 8.1 will upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile (Check with your provider for upgrade availability)
Windows 10 generally runs a lot more smoothly on most hardware – even with just 4GB of RAM (although 8GB is better). If upgrading an older laptop, I would advise an upgrade to an SSD (Solid State Drive) from your old hard disk.
It has better hardware detection than previous versions of Windows (and indeed, the compatibility tester will tell you of any problems before the upgrade which is nice – thanks Microsoft!)
It’s a much nicer desktop – and will breathe fresh air into your old device
You’ll get the latest software technology for nada!
Networking is (in our tests) generally quicker – if you have a newer laptop (within the last year or so) it seems that throughput in wireless terms is a bit quicker, but this may be due to better driver technology inside Windows 10.
I would say that as long as the compatibility tester gives your device a clean bill of health, there aren’t many.
The only problems can be with older external devices like printers and scanners (although there is a very nice ‘add older hardware’ wizard to help with this process which generally works well).
The sum up
It’s worth getting in on the free upgrade from Microsoft whilst you can if your device is offered one. You can always downgrade again within the month if you feel that you want to. Windows 10 is a very nice OS and will give your device a new lease of life. If you need advice about your upgrade, please leave a comment and we’ll do our best to answer you!
Have fun upgrading, and remember you’ve only got until the 29th July 2016 to get it free before Microsoft starts to charge!
Read More about the upgrade
Microsoft Windows Upgrade Page
Microsoft help with Windows 10 Upgrade Page
Which? Impartial Windows 10 Review