Windows 10 is almost upon us – it’s set to roll out July 29, 2015. And we’ve got your need-to-know info right here.
If you’re a Windows 8.1 user like me, you may have noticed a new icon in your system tray. (That’s the very bottom right-hand corner of the screen, by the date and time.) It looks, unsurprisingly, like a tiny window. Click on it, and this is what you see:
Wait, is Microsoft giving Windows away for free?
Sure thing. Come July 29, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1 users can get a shiny new operating system. Here’s what you need to know.
Free for how long?
You have a year to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10. So, as long as you upgrade before July 28, 2016, you should be good.
Will My Laptop/Desktop/Tablet/Phone Be Able to Run Windows 10?
The short answer is – it depends. For laptops and desktops, July 29 is the rollout date; for mobile devices, the date is yet to be announced. And not every Windows phone will be compatible. In other words, stay tuned for that one.
Back to the world of desktops and laptops, which is where Windows holds its dominance anyway. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, you’ll need to meet these pretty basic specs:
1 Ghz processing speed
1 GB RAM (for 32-bit systems); 2 GB RAM (64-bit systems)
16 GB hard drive space (32 bit); 20 GB (64 bit)
1024x600 screen resolution
According to this, my aged netbook, currently languishing in the bottom of my closet, would run Windows 10 if I cared to pay $119 to upgrade from XP. (Sorry, XP users; Microsoft hasn’t said you get the upgrade for free.)
If you’re not sure about your computer’s specs, clicking that little window icon will launch a program called the Get Windows 10 app. This will check for the specs mentioned above, as well as for a few other things, like what version of DirectX you have installed.
The good news is that most computers that aren’t completely Paleolithic will meet these specs. The bad news is that, even if your six-year-old netbook meets the specs, it might still be too slow to work well after all.But what about the changes that Window 10 will bring – beyond the much-heralded return of the Start Menu? And what familiar programs will be lost to the annals of time? Tune in to TechSperts Talk next week, and we’ll answer those questions for you.