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Windows 10 has been out for a few months now and is starting to settle down. Despite a somewhat rocky launch, we’ve seen plenty of reasons to love Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More and we think it’s a winning operating system (albeit with room to improve What the MakeUseOf Team Thinks of Windows 10 What the MakeUseOf Team Thinks of Windows 10 The techsphere loves Windows 10, but many users are up in arms over serious issues with the new platform. What does MakeUseOf think? We asked our team for opinions on Windows 10 and here they... Read More ).

But so much has changed and so much is different that people are just plain confused. A lot of rumors and myths are going around and it’s hard to tell between what’s real and what’s not — so let’s debunk these false claims once and for all.

“The Free Upgrade Is Temporary”

People around the world rejoiced when Microsoft first announced that Windows 10 would be available as a free upgrade for users Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything There's a catch to the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft understands its audience all too well; they are more likely to pay for the freedom of control, rather than for extra features. Read More on Windows 7 and 8.1, but once the excitement of that wore off, those same people began to second guess this so-called good news.

In a lot of ways, it was simply too good to be true. After all, Microsoft didn’t become the software giant it is today by giving away their flagship products. So people jumped to a reasonable but incorrect conclusion: Windows 10 would only be free during the “upgrade period” between now and July 2016.

But here’s what the official Windows blog says:

…a free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch.

This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost.

“Windows 10 Requires a Subscription”

Once the free upgrade period comes to a close, users will need to pay to obtain additional licenses for Windows 10.

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To be clear, any PC that already has Windows 10 installed will keep Windows 10 and receive updates for no additional charge, but all other PCs will no longer have the “free upgrade” option come July 2016.

How much will Windows 10 cost then?

Microsoft has released its official operating system prices and confirmed that Windows 10 Pro would sell at $199 and Windows 10 Home would cost $119. … All copies of the operating system will be available in retail stores and online.

That’s pretty straightforward. Yet somehow, thanks to speculative reports like this one, many people are under the impression that Windows 10 will require a subscription to use. It just isn’t true.

Sure, Microsoft will be exploring alternative revenue models Subscribe to Windows 10? Microsoft Evaluates Alternative Payment Models For Their Products Subscribe to Windows 10? Microsoft Evaluates Alternative Payment Models For Their Products In the summer, it was rumored that Windows 10 might be free. Recently, Microsoft's Kevin Turner made comments about monetising Windows differently and that services would be involved. Microsoft is changing its business model. Read More over the next few years, but rest assured: Windows 10 is safe.

“Pre-Installed Apps Can’t Be Removed”

Windows 10 comes with pre-installed bloatware. Honestly, this isn’t surprising at all — bloatware is a common practice, unfortunately — but it’s nonetheless annoying. Bloatware doesn’t show up in the Apps list, so some people assume bloatware can’t be removed.

Oh, but it can!

windows-10-myths-bloatware-removal

There are two ways to remove Windows 10 bloatware How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with several pre-installed apps that take up space on your device and aren't easy to remove. Sounds like bloatware, doesn't it? We show you how to remove these apps. Read More . The “tradtional” method involves right-clicking on relevant apps in the Start Menu and selecting Uninstall. It’s easy, painless, but somewhat time-consuming if you want to uninstall a lot of bloatware at once.

The other method involves a series of clever PowerShell commands 3 Clever PowerShell Functions After Upgrading to Windows 10 3 Clever PowerShell Functions After Upgrading to Windows 10 Windows 10 brings us a new PowerShell, essentially Command Prompt on steroids. This article shows you how to do the otherwise impossible with PowerShell. And it's easier than you think! Read More to quickly remove a list of known pre-installed apps. We haven’t seen any issue with this method so far, but do so at your own risk.

“You’re Stuck With 32-bit / 64-bit”

For one reason or another, a lot of people with 64-bit-capable machines used 32-bit versions of Windows 7 and 8.1. Maybe you’re one of them. In the past, it was impossible to switch between 32-bit and 64-bit versions without completely wiping and reinstalling.

Many users simply assume that Windows 10 has the same limitation, but it doesn’t. It’s not as easy as clicking a button, of course, but it’s certainly safer and easier to do it now than it was before — and you won’t lose any data in the process.

“You Must Use a Microsoft Account”

People went berserk when Microsoft introduced the “sign in with a Microsoft Account” feature in Windows 8. It felt like Google and Google Plus all over again — a company trying to force an unrelated login system on the user.

And at first glance, a lot of people assumed that Windows 10 continued the need to have a Microsoft Account in order to login. Just check this screenshot and see what your first impression is:

windows-10-myths-microsoft-account-1

“Don’t have an account? Then you’ll have to create one.” That’s what it looks like, right? But if you click on the Create a New Account link, you’re actually given the option of signing in without a Microsoft Account:

windows-10-myths-microsoft-account-2

“Automatic Updates Can Be Disabled”

One of the more divisive changes in Windows 10 is the fact that Windows Update is now forced and automatic Windows 10 Maintenance: What Has Changed & What You Need to Consider Windows 10 Maintenance: What Has Changed & What You Need to Consider In Windows 10, Microsoft seriously overhauled maintenance features. Especially Windows Update is causing some headache. We provide you with an overview of new settings and show you which third party tools you still need. Read More . Previous versions of Windows allowed users to disable Windows Updates, but doing so often left them vulnerable to security holes.

windows-10-myths-automatic-updates

With the exception of retroactively hiding troublesome driver updatesautomatic updates cannot be disabled in Windows 10 Home. New features and security patches are forced upon users. It’s unclear whether or not Microsoft will rescind this policy in the future, but for now, it is what it is. (For what it’s worth, forced updates are both good and bad Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More .)

That said, Windows 10 Pro can turn off automatic updates How To Turn Off Automatic App Updates In Windows 10 How To Turn Off Automatic App Updates In Windows 10 Deactivating system updates isn't advised. But if need be, here's how you do it on Windows 10. Read More , but upgrading from Home to Pro costs $100. So, to be fair, this myth is more of a half-truth since most users will be using Home.

“Wi-Fi Sense Gives Away Passwords”

Many of the security and privacy myths Everything You Need to Know About Windows 10's Privacy Issues Everything You Need to Know About Windows 10's Privacy Issues While Windows 10 has some issues that users need to be aware of, many claims have been blown out of proportion. Here's our guide to everything you need to know about Windows 10's privacy issues. Read More regarding Windows 10 deal with some new Internet-related changes in the operating system. Peer-to-peer updates is a problem, but Wi-Fi Sense is the big elephant worth addressing.

windows-10-myths-wifi-sense

Wi-Fi Sense lets your friends connect to your Wi-Fi network without needing to know the actual Wi-Fi password. Does that sound incredibly insecure to you? Rest assured, you’ll be fine.

At the end of the day, Wi-Fi Sense just isn’t a big security risk Does Windows 10's WiFi Sense Feature Represent a Security Risk? Does Windows 10's WiFi Sense Feature Represent a Security Risk? Read More . It uses tokens rather than passwords for access, and access is limited to Internet only — no access to files or devices on the network — so there’s really nothing an intruder could do even if one broke in. The controversy is greatly exaggerated.

How Do You Feel About Windows 10?

This isn’t to say that Windows 10 is the pinnacle of all operating systems. Microsoft has a lot of work to do before Windows 10 can get anywhere close to claiming that, but all of these myths and misconceptions are wrong and overblown.

Personally, I think it’s worth upgrading to Windows 10 Should You Upgrade to Windows 10? Should You Upgrade to Windows 10? Windows 10 is coming, but should you upgrade? Like almost every change it's mostly good, but also comes with drawbacks. We've summarized them for you, so you can make up your own mind. Read More for the performance improvements and new features, but only if you’re willing to endure inconveniences like automatic updates.

Are you using Windows 10 yet? How do you feel about it? Did Microsoft do well or did they fall short? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Image Credits: Laptop on Couch by Syda Productions via Shutterstock

  1. Alex Dethier
    November 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    still waiting for my upgrade...

  2. alpend
    November 4, 2015 at 3:56 am

    I still use Win7 on my portable and will continue doing so. Had to make a special order a couple of months ago to get 7 instead of 8.

    However I've upgraded my stationary from XP to 7 (a couple of years ago), to 8 (when it was availably) and now to 10. I've also upgraded my husband's portable, that came with 8.

    Quite different experiences updating those two. A lot more that could be changed on the portable, which also took hours and hours to upgrade. The stationary was done in a moment.

    A very irritating thing is - as I haven't configured Windows Update to automatic updates, I always have to start the Win10 upgrade and then deny it, to be able to install the other updates, which is most annoying. It doesn't matter that I've made it as a hidden update. It sucks!

    The Microsoft Company is very stubborn, but I'm worse! :-)

  3. Zhong Jiang
    October 31, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Doesn't Windows 10 recovery systems works much better than its predecessors, where you can recover directly when you're experiencing bootup issues.

    • Joel Lee
      November 8, 2015 at 4:14 am

      Yes, W10 has much better recovery than previous versions of Windows. Some people have still had trouble, but on the whole, it's much improved.

  4. Leah C
    October 31, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Windows 10 is better than Windows 8 so I'm glad I updated. Compared to other versions, I don't know, but I'm satisfied.

    • Joel Lee
      November 8, 2015 at 4:13 am

      Definitely agree with you there! I'm quite satisfied with it, too. :)

  5. James Howde
    October 31, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I was put off upgrading by the privacy and updating issues with windows 10, but decided to upgrade the laptop as a trial.

    Windows 10 is good enough that I'm not going to bother reverting the laptop but not so good I'm going to put aside those fears and upgrade my main computer.

    Specifically Windows 10 just seems a step too far along the path of the OS being something that MicroSoft will allow me to access when it's not too busy doing its own stuff - rather than software that lets ME use MY computer.

    • Jonen560ti
      October 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      I agree, there`s nothing really wrong with Windows 10 in terms of quality, but it does seem to be the OS Microsoft wants people to use more than the OS the users wanted. i could live with the privacy controversy, i dont they`re much worse than anyone else and updates arent an issue for me as i got W10 PRO.

      but the news that the control panel was gonna be phased out as well as Microsoft`s desperate attempts at getting people to upgrade was the final straw that got me to try and step away from Windows as my daily driver, been wanting to use Linux more anyway. not really sure what il do, ive been tinkering with virtual machines and device pass-through in Unraid recently and considering using solely virtual machines. that might sound crazy but with GPU and USB pass-through it works pretty well actually

    • Joel Lee
      November 8, 2015 at 4:13 am

      "Good enough but not great" is a fair assessment of Windows 10, I'd say. There are a lot of false rumors floating around, but even so, Windows 10 isn't a perfect OS!

      @Jonen: "the OS Microsoft wants people to use more than the OS the users wanted" is awesome, nicely put. The more I use W10, the more I feel this is true.

  6. fcd76218
    October 30, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Another false claim - Win 10 is free.
    Only partially true. It is only free to Win 7 and 8.x owners. All others pay full price.

    • Peter Buyze
      October 31, 2015 at 4:40 am

      It has never been said that Win 10 was free for all, it has always been said it is free for Win 7 & 8.1 users.

      • fcd76218
        October 31, 2015 at 10:42 pm

        I suggest that you reread MUO articles about Win 10. FREE is always mentioned. Rarely does the Win 7/8.x per-requisite get mentioned. The same goes for other publications and blogs.

        • Peter Buyze
          November 1, 2015 at 5:10 am

          MUO got it wrong because no other publication I read mentions a free for all deal. besides, if you think about it, it does not even make sense because Windows is an important source of income for MS, so they would not drop that cold turkey.

    • Howard Blair
      November 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Actually, it isn't available to Windows 8 owners. You have to upgrade to 8.1 first in order to see the free Windows 10 update.

  7. John Berger
    October 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Look, you can say what you want about Wi-FI Sense but the fact is that somewhere your Wi-Fi password HAS TO BE CONVERTED TO PLAIN TEXT; otherwise, it will not be able to authenticate against your router. I don't care if it's encrypted or whatever, but it has to get stored somewhere and at some point it has to be converted to plain text in order to make the final connection with your network. This is by no means a secure methodology because of that very weak link in the chain.

    You can drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid all that you want; but the simple fact is that because a plain-text conversion will eventually be necessary to establish a connection, I will not allow anyone with Wi-Fi Sense activated to gain my network credentials.

    • Bobby Edwards
      October 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      John,

      Even if you don't use Wi-Fi Sense, wouldn't your password be going through the exact same process each time it is used? And since this is an OS feature, it might actually be safer as the conversion and OK, could be done from an attached device. Also how do you currently allow users on, the highly secure, here it is on my business card, the I will send it in a text or email, each of these tells the person the password, where with Wi-Fi Sense they never know it.

      Also, since they still need to come to your home or place of business, I don't see why all the panic. Is the whole world so short of access points, that people will line up out side your place just to get online?

      • John Berger
        October 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm

        Okay, I will confess that I was not "sufficiently caffeinated" when I posted. I should have known better.

        The whole idea of sharing Wi-Fi information with a cloud-based group is insane by its very nature as far as I'm concerned. Call me paranoid, fine. I'm okay with that. But saying "these people belong to your group; therefore, they now have your Wi-Fi information -- oh, and, trust us. It's safe." No. No, I will not trust you. Sorry.

        As for my statements about plain text, the system has to convert your encrypted/hash Wi-Fi info into a method that can communicate with the router. In other words, it has to at some point talk to the router with the clear password that you have assigned to it, just as though you typed it in yourself. If that can be converted, you know that malware will be able to figure it out. And now that information is shared with an entire group of people?

        What happens if I give my Wi-Fi info to someone who has Sense turned on? He manually enters the information and forgets that Sense is turned on. Is my Wi-Fi network now shared out to friends by default? Windows has no idea (barring GPS location) of knowing what's personal and what's someone else's.

        Yes, yes, this is whole thing is only marginally different than giving out my information manually in e-mail or whatever. I get that. The way I look at it, Microsoft is pretending to be a solution that can truly only be corrected by coming up with a new way to connect to routers that will also require new routers. Maybe it's the best compromise, but I won't be a part of it.

        Why, yes, that is my tin-foil hat. Why do you ask? :)

    • Joel Lee
      October 30, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Hi John, do you have any sources that confirm that Wi-Fi Sense converts tokens into plain text at any point in the process? This is the first I'm hearing about that, so I'd be interested in reading up! Thanks.

      @Bobby: Good point. The fact that Wi-Fi Sense requires local proximity should alleviate a lot of concern unless living in a crowded city or offering the Wi-Fi publicly.

      • fcd76218
        October 30, 2015 at 11:05 pm

        Define "proximity"
        6 Inches? 6 feet? 6 yards? 6 miles?

      • Bruce Epper
        November 6, 2015 at 8:09 pm

        Joel, at some point, it must. Every home router I have used (dozens) will require the password in order to access the network via WiFi, not some sort of access token.

        Even if you have connected to the network in the past, you can still view the *password* used to make the connection. You are not seeing a token at all but the password that is assigned to that network. I don't currently have access to a Win10 laptop where I can verify the behavior of connections handled by WiFi Sense, but it is likely that the clear-text password will still be available.

        Some business-class routers and access points work differently and may be configured to use unique tokens for each user or device, but that is not something that WiFi Sense is doing.

        • Joel Lee
          November 8, 2015 at 4:12 am

          Thanks Bruce, that's news to me. The availability of plain-text passwords sounds terrifying, hopefully Wi-Fi Sense isn't that bad.

  8. Jason Ansaldo
    October 30, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    To expand a bit on "bloatware", some apps do not have a right-click/uninstall method. These apps can be hidden via the Powershell commands for the current user.

    For the more technically inclined there is a way to remove these apps from all users. The packages still exist but they will not show up if somebody new logs into your PC. Google
    dism.exe /online /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage to get more info, but use at your own risk and do all the research before beginning as I do not know if there is a way to back out of this change.

    In testing I was able to remove everything but Cortana and Edge. OneNote required me to do some extra work to get it removed from explorer.

    • Jason Ansaldo
      October 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      I should note that all of what I said is for Pro. I am not sure if the same applies for Home.

    • Joel Lee
      October 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks Jason! I've never tried that method before but it's nice to know there's another option if necessary.

  9. Peter Buyze
    October 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Since you've only debunked these 7, may we assume all the other complaints/claims/..... are true?

    • Joel Lee
      October 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Hi Peter. Do you have any specific complaints/claims in mind?

      • Peter Buyze
        October 31, 2015 at 4:43 am

        There are so many, but privacy is an obvious one, though not the only one. A lot of it is true, but maybe not all.

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