Originally uploaded: Jun 21, 2016
If you're irritated by Microsoft waving the free Windows 10 upgrade in your face, you're not alone.
But as repetitive as the "Recommended Update" notification might be, it's got to end one day or another, right? Well, you're right. It's actually set to end right around the end of next month – July 29th to be exact.
So if you're finally thinking of going forward with the upgrade sometime soon, yo'll want to keep these important pointers in mind.
How free is it?
This might be a no-brainer, but some people still think this is a free-fills-no-restriction thing. In reality, if you want the free upgrade, you first need to have a legit/genuine copy of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 that you actually own.
Remember, it's not just a named update, it's a brand-spanking new OS and it will be installed in its full version on your computer. So yeah, it's a complete overhaul of your old system, and if you're eligible, it's completely free. If you’re wondering how to go about it, just wait for that occasional 'nag' notification that pops up every now and then and follow the steps from there.
Possible Compatibility Issues
Software-wise this will most likely be a case-to-case basis. However, Windows 10 has already been out for quite a while. So if you’ve still got technical support from the developers of the software you own, then chances are they've already worked out an update to fix any and all compatibility issues you might have with the new OS.
Needless to say, older, unsupported, and unlicensed software might not have the same privileges. However, for the most part, if it doesn't rely on any critical feature from other previous versions of Windows, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to keep on using your software like usual.
What if my storage is full?
This kind of situation has already been neatly laid out in Microsoft's official installation guide. But if you need a quick few pointers, do take note that for the installation of the OS, you can actually use external storage hardware to save data which might not fit into the storage media you currently have.
This is most likely a non-issue for standard PCs and laptops, so it’ll just be a problem for certain mobile devices (transformables, ultrabooks, tablets, and 2-in-1's, among others), especially units that might only have a few GBs of available disk space.
Can I keep my media network in Windows 10?
If you’ve been using say, Windows 7, to maintain a media network via Windows Media Center, then you are completely out of luck. As of Windows 10, Windows Media Center support will be discontinued. The playback and media software will instead be replaced by a generic DVD playback app that is to be installed as an update right after upgrading to Windows 10.
Yeah, kind of lame we know, but better than nothing at least? There's no official word about a direct successor to the Windows Media Center, so you might want to fully reconsider the upgrade if you've got a network of units or devices that make heavy use of this long-time integrated player suite.
Remember, going back is an option…
Okay, so you went for upgrade and tried Windows 10. However, you realized that you don't really want the upgrade and would rather go back to where you started. Is this a possibility? Absolutely. The update allows users to revert back to the previous version of Windows that they were using prior to the update.
There are a few technical – but not too complex – steps to complete this, all of which are conveniently detailed on Microsoft's official website. If you're using preset hardware though (such as a laptop), be sure to check if this is actually possible first, or you might end up being forced to reset to factory settings in order to revert back. You can also switch back to Windows 10 yet again for free if you happen to change your mind a second time.
So that should clear up some things about the Windows 10 update. There is of course more info on the official website, but you probably won't need it unless you have more specific issues. If you decide you want to upgrade, be sure take advantage of Microsoft’s free offer before time runs out!