Everything You Need to Know About the Windows 10 Free Update

September 2016

Windows 10 has been released on 29 July 2015 and since then, it has been reported that over 20 millions copies of the new OS have been downloaded. But before upgrading to Windows 10 there are some things you need to know: What are the new features of Windows 10? What are the minimum system requirements? How to upgrade to Windows 8? This article aims to give you some useful information about Microsoft's new operating system.

What are the minimum system requirements?

The Windows 10 update will be available for compatible PCs, tablets (Surface Pro) and also for the latest gaming console from Microsoft, the Xbox One.

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz).
RAM: 1GB for 32-bit and 2GB for the 64-bit version.
Free hard disk space (for the installation): 16 GB
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with the WDDM driver.
A Microsoft account.

If your PC is already running Windows 8.1 smoothly, then there won't be any compatibility issues with Windows 10. It should also be noted that before the installation, Windows 10 will run test to check if your system meets the minimum requirements!

Why you should upgrade to Windows 10

There are many reasons to switch to Windows 10, first and foremost Windows 8 will be available as a free upgrade (for the first year) for the millions users running genuine copies of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8, with the exception of the RT and Enterprise versions. You can upgrade to Windows 10 while keeping your personal files, system settings and most of the installed apps.

Windows 10 has a familiar look and is really easy to use. Just like Windows 8, it features both a Start screen and a Desktop Mode, but this time major improvements has been brought to the UI. The Start Menu makes a comeback in Windows 10 and besides the classic features, it will also gives you access to your app tiles.

Below is a list of the new features and performance upgrades available in Windows 10:

Better security: Windows 10 will provide the necessary features to protect you against the latest threats. Many security issues and vulnerabilities inherent to previous version of Windows have been fixed on the new OS.

New performance upgrades: Windows 10 promises faster boot times and better power management to extend the period on which your device can run on battery power.

New apps: Windows 10 includes wide range of built-in apps to enhance your experience, namely with Cortana the personal digital assistant app, Xbox Live for your games and Microsoft Edge the successor of Internet Explorer.

New multitasking capabilities - Windows 10 will allow you to organize your applications over several virtual desktops.

How to reserve your free update?

If your are eligible for the Windows 10 free update, then it is most likely that you have received an invitation to get the new OS. It takes the form of a Get Windows 10 icon which will be added to your taskbar:

Simply click on this icon and then on Reserve your free upgrade. Once the update is available, it will be automatically downloaded to your device. If you didn't receive the invitation yet, then make sure that the KB3035583 update is already installed on your PC. You have until July 2016 to enjoy this free offer, after this one year period you will have to pay $119 for Windows 10 Home and $199 for Windows 10 Pro.

How long it will take to get the update?

Unless you part of the Insider program, you won't probably get the update to Windows 10 until the middle of August 2015, as Microsoft has decided to distribute its new OS in waves.

View the download progress

The Windows 10 update is indeed a large file and depending on your internet connection speed, it may take up to several days to get the update. To view the download progress of Windows 10, simply click on the Get Windows 10 taskbar icon > View download progress:

My version of Windows 7 / 8.1 is illegal; I can still get the update?

Yes and no. While Microsoft allows you to perform the update, Windows 10 will remain without a license. To enjoy all the features of Windows 10, there's no other choice than purchasing a license (no free upgrade).

Will I keep my data and my software?

Yes of course, this is only an update. So you will keep all your personal data, software and settings. But it should be noted that incompatible software such as the Windows Media Center (discontinued in Windows 10) will be removed.

Can I reinstall Windows 10 without going through Windows 7 / 8.1?

Even if Microsoft remains rather vague on this subject, it is most likely that you will be able to perform a "Clean Install" of Windows 10 whenever you are required to.

There will be a new browser: Edge. But will Internet Explorer 11 still be there?

Yes, on the PC version only. IE will be hidden in the Accessory menu. It is primarily intended for professionals who wish to view an old website or access a particular web service (DVR).

Windows 10 Mobile for your Smartphones and tablets

Microsoft is also bringing Windows 10 to your mobile devices, but nlike the PC version, Windows 10 Mobile Edition is bound to be released later, around September 2015. The UI is close to the PC version and you will be able to synchronize everything between your different Windows 10 devices: Contacts, Mail, Settings, Cortana. Apps for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile can be downloaded from a unified appstore.

Your smartphone should be running Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones (v 8.10.14219.341 or earlier) and equipped with a display resolution of at least 480 x 800 px, 512MB of RAM and 4 to 8 GB of free storage.

The list of compatible devices is available on this LINK.

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