Still haven't upgraded your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 device to Microsoft's latest OS? You might want to pull your finger out asap. On July 29, the free upgrade will no longer be offered. We take a look at what you should consider before upgrading.
Despite Microsoft doing everything in its power to get customers to upgrade to Windows 10 (including some nefarious bait-and-switch tactics), some people are still sticking to their old operating systems. If you're among the holdouts, it's worth noting that you only have the rest of today to score the upgrade for free. From July 30, you'll need to fork out a minimum of $179 for the download.
In less than a month, Microsoft will be rolling out Windows 10 Anniversary which ushers in a host of new features and improvements. In other words, anyone stuck on an older version of Windows will soon be left behind even further.
If your machine runs Windows 8.1 smoothly, the new OS should work without a hitch. However, some Windows 7 users with older laptops may experience problems. You need to make sure you meet the minimum system requirements, which are as follows:
- CPU: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Free hard disk space: 16 GB
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- Display: 1024x600
- A Microsoft account and internet access
Microsoft also strongly recommends that you are running the latest version of your current OS (either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update). In addition, some Windows 10 features won't work without special hardware. This includes Windows Hello — which requires an infrared camera or fingerprint reader — and touch gestures which require a multi-touch screen.
You can download the updates here and here, respectively. (For the Luddites that don't know how to check their specs, you can find your system information under Control Panel or use the "Check my PC" function on Microsoft's Windows 10 website.
To update Windows 7, simply click on Windows Update which you can find under System and Security in the Control Panel. For Windows 8/8.1, go to PC Settings, then 'Update and recovery'. Alternatively, you can download the upgrade directly from Microsoft's website.
Of course, just because something is "free" doesn't necessarily mean you need it. While we strongly recommend upgrading, some people might be better off waiting until they buy a new computer. If you're unsure, this in-depth guide can help you to decide whether Windows 10 is for you.