The next (and possibly last) version of Windows is all set to launch this summer, on July 29. Currently available as an Insider Preview, Windows 10 will bring a host of new features to desktops and laptops, with the mobile version coming out in a couple of months. Windows 10 will be the first and only operating system that works towards unifying full size computer systems and mobile devices. Everything from desktops to mobile phones to the Xbox One will eventually run on Windows 10, which is rumored to be moving into a continual update model. From now onwards, Windows 10 will simply receive periodic updates, and not have new versions released every two years or so. Microsoft has been pushing to make Windows a service, and the OS unification combined with this model are their first steps into this new future. Much to everyone’s surprise, it was also announced that Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for legitimate users if they upgrade within one year of release. Here’s everything you need to know about Windows 10’s release date and free upgrade!
Windows 10 Launch and Free Upgrade Details
Okay so let’s clear it right off the bat, no, you won’t get a free copy of Windows 10 if you’re running a pirated version of Windows. You can get the upgrade, but it will simply update the OS, and your copy of Windows will still remain unlicensed. However, you can purchase an upgrade license and get rid of the limitations directly. So instead of completely reinstalling the OS, even pirates can get the upgrade, but their copy will still remain illegal. Legitimate users will get an upgrade to the new operating system if they’re running Windows 7 or 8.1, and the upgrade path differs based on the edition you’re currently running. Here’s the upgrade paths:
- Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 8.1 With Bing, Windows 8.1 —-> Windows 10
- Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro —-> Windows 10 Pro
What this means, is that once you’re on the Windows bandwagon, you’ll receive updates and upgrades for life, without needing to purchase any new licenses or versions. This critical move will allow Microsoft to put the latest version of their operating system on computers and devices worldwide, without having to go through multiple upgrade cycles. Basically, users will have no reason to run older and more vulnerable versions of Windows, simply because updates will be installed automatically. This would directly address the fragmentation problem and allow Microsoft to give all users a unified experience.
Note that the July 29 release date is only for the free upgrade, and not the boxed copies. They’re supposedly supposed to be available a month or so later, at $119 for Windows 10 Home and $199 for Windows 10 Pro. If you happen to Speaking of upgrades, you should be able to reserve yours starting today. You might notice a Windows icon on your taskbar, which will let you get in line for the upgrade by one click. This mini app also includes some information about what’s new in Windows 10. Finally, you can also check if your PC meets the minimum requirements to run Windows 10. The minimum requirements are extremely modest, and even computers from years ago should be able to run Windows 10, no problem. You can run Windows 10 if your computer has at least the following hardware:
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster processor or SoC (system on a chip). 64-bit versions of Windows 10 require a processor that supports CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF capabilities.
- RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
- Graphics: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display Resolution: 1024 x 600
Pretty much anything from the past few years will run Windows 10, so most users should be covered. So will you be upgrading this summer? Do let us know what you think of the new Windows via the comments below!