Have a computer running Windows 7 or later? You can upgrade it to Windows 10 free of charge if you do it by the end of the day on July 29th. After that you’ll have to pay full price fro a Windows 10 license if you want to upgrade.
Not sure if you want to upgrade? You might want to do it by the end of Friday anyway… because that way you get a Windows 10 license for free even if you decide to roll back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
Here’s the deal: if you upgrade from an earlier version of Windows, Microsoft gives you 30 days to kick the tires and make sure everything works and that you’re satisfied with the operating system. During that time, all of the files associated with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 are saved on your PC, which means you can return to the earlier operating system.
But once you’ve upgraded your PC to Windows 10, Microsoft will associate a license with that computer so you can choose to upgrade later on without paying… assuming you don’t make big enough changes to your computer’s hardware for Microsoft’s software to decide that you’re not actually using the same PC anymore.
There are a lot of nice features in Windows 10. If you’ve got a 2-in-1 tablet, Continuum lets you switch from a tablet to desktop user interface when a keyboard is detected, or vice versa. I don’t personally find much value in the Cortana digital assistant, but it works reasonably well as a desktop search tool even if you disable some of the nosier aspects. And most apps I was able to run in Windows 7 work just fine on Windows 10.
Whether you upgrade for free or buy Windows 10, you should get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for free when it rolls out on August 2nd.
But not everyone’s going to want to upgrade.
There’s no Windows Media Center in Windows 10. Some folks are concerned that Microsoft collects too much data from users.
And if you’re using really old software that hasn’t been updated in ages, you might find it doesn’t work as well with Windows 10 as it did on earlier versions of the operating system (I first starting using BeyondTV’s DVR software on my PCs over a decade ago, but it hasn’t been updated in years and while I don’t use it to record TV shows anymore, I still have a backlog of hundreds of recordings to watch… so it’s kind of annoying that BeyondTV seems more crash-prone on my home theater PC since I upgraded to Windows 10).
If you are going to update, it’s probably a good idea to backup your important files to an external drive or cloud storage first in case anything goes wrong.
Just for giggles, I decided to check Google Analytics for this site, and over the past 30 days it looks like more visitors to Liliputing are using Windows 10 than any other operating system, with Windows 7 coming in a close second.
I suspect that means a lot of people who had been using Windows 8.1 opted for the free upgrade, while many of those running Windows 7 have decided to stay put.
Windows continues to be OS of choice for most of the folks reading Liliputing, followed by Android and then iOS, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS… although I suspect these results might be skewed a bit by visitors using plugins that block ads and other scripts (such as Google Analytics).