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Should I upgrade to Windows 10 now it’s free?

Since its official release on July 29th, all eligible operating systems – Win 7, Win8/8.1, can upgrade to Windows 10 within one year – there are some exceptions which are explained on the Microsoft web site. It’s straight forward and easy to do. The usual caveat at this point is before your even run the upgrade, make sure all your data is backed up!

The easiest way is to go to – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 and download either the 32Bit (if your system has 4Gb or less of ram) or the 64Bit version (if you have 4GB or over). Check your current version before choosing.

Once you download the tool from Microsoft, it will look at your Windows version installed, and if valid will allow you to download the upgrade (up to 3GB approx). You can then upgrade in situ, or create an ISO image for installing later. If clean installing you will require your current valid Microsoft operating system license.

The upgrade itself can be straight forward even if choosing the option to keep all you data and current user profiles. I have run a few of these including on systems attached to domains and have not had any issues (famous last words). Time and performance of your system need to be taken into account. An upgrade can be anywhere from 2 to 3 hours or longer including downloading the upgrade on an up to 20mbps ADSL. There are as usual a few horror stories of systems being stuck in loops, or still upgrading after 24 hours, but more exceptions than the rule.

The cleanest ways to upgrade is to backup all you data, run a factory restore of your system to its original operating system, then download the Microsoft upgrade tool. Re-install your applications and data.

So is Windows 10 worth the bother? On balance I would say yes as it gives you the best of both worlds. That familiarity of Win 7 with a fresh interface, some real-world improved performance and some really nice features which make it so much easier to use. If you have Win8 then it’s a no-brainer to upgrade, and for Win 7 users? Well I think this is the time to move on.

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