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What is Windows 10?

Microsoft announced a new operating system, Windows 10, to be released on July 29, 2015.  This has been advertised as a “free” upgrade, but not for everyone.

Windows 10 is a new operating system, following up on the release of Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows 8 was released in 2012, and to be charitable, was not really well-received. Windows 8 introduced a new “tile” interface, specifically designed for touch and small form factor devices like tablets and phones. 8.1 was released in late 2013 as an update to Windows 8, and included some usability improvements.

You may have seen notifications on your systems suggesting you reserve a copy of Windows 10.  Microsoft is making the “free” upgrade option available only to current licensed uses of Windows 7 and 8.1 Home and Pro. Note that “Enterprise” is excluded, as will likely be counterfeit (pirated) copies. Also note that Windows “8” users must first upgrade to version 8.1 (in fact, most recent updates have been withheld from “8”). The “free” upgrade to Windows 10 is only available for one year after the release, so if you eventually want to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, do so before July 29, 2016.  Windows XP and Vista users are out of luck as far as free upgrades to Windows 10 go.

For an interesting take on Windows 10, see this Forbes article .

For Microsoft’s own statement on the Windows 10 release scheduled for July 29, see http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features .

Microsoft is planning to provide “updates for the lifetime of the device” under Windows 10, at no additional charge.  See the Microsoft web site for details and limitations.

Our opinion? If you are using Windows PCs in your office, don’t be the first to upgrade to Windows 10. See how the new OS works in the world before upgrading.  As with most new operating systems, there will likely be some important updates released as a result of customer feedback.  And, make sure that all the system suppliers (especially imaging) are compatible with Windows 10 before considering an upgrade.