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Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. July 29 is on the horizon When Does Windows 10 Come Out, How Can You Get It & What Happens to the Technical Preview? When Does Windows 10 Come Out, How Can You Get It & What Happens to the Technical Preview? Windows 10 is coming soon. Still confused about how the upgrade will work and wondering about the timeline? We have some answers, although more questions remain. Read More ; the final countdown has begun. Windows 10 information Windows 10 Release Day: Everything You Need to Know Windows 10 Release Day: Everything You Need to Know The final version of Windows will be released on July 29th, but a lot of things remain nebulous. We have compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions around Windows 10 and its release. Read More  is flying around in abundance: some golden, some a mish-mash of hearsay and mayhaps. I’ve spent a little time accumulating the best of the golden information as it has come to light, and now is the time, dear reader, to share my wares with you.

Read on for a wealth of Windows 10 information to guide you through the upgrade 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 onto calmer shores.

Microsoft Licensing Information

Much has been made of Windows as a Service This Is How Microsoft Can Monetize Windows 10 This Is How Microsoft Can Monetize Windows 10 Nothing in life is free, not even Windows 10. Many millions of users will indeed have a free Windows 10 upgrade. But how are we going to pay for Windows 10 in the long run? Read More . It’s a term we’ve encountered countless times since October 2014, when Windows 10 entered our lives. But until very recently, this was a misnomer. It stood for the things we thought Windows 10 could be; it could’ve been ever so bad.

As Microsoft updated the Windows licensing agreement, many were worried they were about to fall victim to a massive bait’n’switch. Redmond was gearing up to make a billion of us look like fools. Of course, that isn’t the case, and it would be one way to irrevocably damage customer relations, but Microsoft isn’t like that anymore.

The new licensing agreement certainly reflects Windows 10 change in emphasis from a straight-up Operating System to an ‘As a Service’ model, but there are no nasties lurking in the small print. Here are some of the biggest changes you might have glossed over:

  • Automatic Updates: Primarily affecting consumers and small businesses. Windows 10 delivers automatic updates 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 with no options for delay or reduction. This can be somewhat mitigated in Windows 10 Pro, but only slightly. Business owners will have more control over company-wide IT updates with the choice to move “mission-critical” devices to a Long Term Servicing Branch, receiving only security updates and patches, rather than full feature updates.
  • Activation and Licensing from a Non-Genuine copy of Windows: There was a brief public flirtation with a controversial idea: pirates would also be upgraded to Windows 10 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 , receiving a free version. It was too difficult to moderate the pirates, so just get them all on board. We now know that isn’t true. Yes, they’ll be offered the upgrade. No it won’t be legit. They’ll still be pirates, only Microsoft will be more aware. The new agreement features this clause: “Updating or upgrading from non-genuine software with software from Microsoft or authorized sources does not make your original version or the updated/upgraded version genuine, and in that situation, you do not have a license to use the software.”
  • Downgrade Rights: The terminology has been slightly changed. You can downgrade your operating system to either of the two earlier versions, so long as Microsoft still actively supports that version. This means 2020 for Windows 7, and 2023 for Windows 8. Downgrading is covered by the license, and is your right, so do it if you want. This includes all OEM purchases, too.

The rest is as to be expected and reflects the licensing agreements of yore. Nothing crazy, nothing to trip us up later on.

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Exploring Windows 10

This official Microsoft guide offers a sweeping overview of everything Windows 10: new Start menu A Guide to the Windows 10 Start Menu A Guide to the Windows 10 Start Menu Windows 10 fixes the Start Menu dilemma! Getting to grips with the new Start Menu will supercharge your Windows 10 experience. With this handy guide, you'll be an expert in no time. Read More , Cortana How to Set Up Cortana & Remove Her in Windows 10 How to Set Up Cortana & Remove Her in Windows 10 Cortana is Microsoft's greatest productivity tool since Office. We'll show you how to get started with Windows 10's digital assistant or how to turn Cortana off for improved privacy. Read More , Microsoft Edge How to Set Up Microsoft Edge, the Default Browser in Windows 10 How to Set Up Microsoft Edge, the Default Browser in Windows 10 Microsoft's new Internet browser Edge made its first appearance in Windows 10 Insider Preview. It's still rough around the edges, but sleek and fast. We show you how to migrate and set it up. Read More , Task View, Virtual Desktops, and a whole lot more.

Official Windows 10 Guide

While Windows 10 isn’t a sea-change from Windows 8, there are numerous little features to become accustomed to. Microsoft has wisely issued this document ahead of time to allow users to acclimatize to the new operating system while having a handy guide on call. Certainly worth a read through for anyone new to Windows 10.

Lenovo: Starting to use Windows 10

Lenovo has released a 17 page Windows 10 help guide detailing a number of user-friendly tidbits of information. As an OEM, and a company striving to make amends following an infamous tech-blunder–see Superfish- Superfish Hasn't Been Caught Yet: SSL Hijacking Explained Superfish Hasn't Been Caught Yet: SSL Hijacking Explained Lenovo's Superfish malware caused a stir, but the story's not over. Even if you removed the adware from your computer, the same vulnerabilty exists in other online applications. Read More -it is refreshing to see the company reaching out to its end-users with this document.

Lenovo Windows 10 Guide

Preinstalled, Lenovo offers an out-of-of-box experience to end-users: when you switch your new computer on, you follow a predesigned list of actions. The Lenovo guide advises its users on this process, but the rest of the guide features some handy information for first time Windows 10 encounters, including espousing the benefits of a Microsoft account. A guide it isn’t. Handholding basic, it is.

Introducing Windows 10 for IT Professionals

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has written a pretty comprehensive preview for Windows 10, designed to educate IT Professionals who are unsure of when to make the big switch.

Windows 10 IT Professional Preview

Less hints, tricks, and tips, more details of new features with emphasis on topics of importance for IT professionals across the board. Ed Bott is a well-respected voice within the Microsoft community, and his being asked to compile this document reflects this. Equally, his experience with Microsoft is reflected in the writing on offer. Any IT Professional should give this a read before July 29, though it is likely to be updated and extended in the near future.

Preparing Your Enterprise for Windows 10 as a Service

Ever useful Microsoft Virtual Academy strikes again! These live virtual sessions are aimed at IT Professionals and Enterprise owners looking to get a little post-Windows 10 release information about what Windows as a Service actually means to your organization, and whether the new operating system can offer the IT mobility you require.

You have the choice of two courses: one for The Americas, and one for Europe and Asia, and both will be hosted by Microsoft Tech Evangelist Simon May.

YouTube: Windows 10 Previews

YouTube is full of Windows 10 preview videos. A downside to the highly successful Insider Program is the sheer volume of videos curated with outdated preview builds. Many of the most popular videos come from the early 9xxx builds. Same operating system, but the latest 10xxx builds really are streets ahead.

One video I want to share with you is a handy guide to preparing for the upgrade, how to reserve your copy Have You Reserved Your Free Windows 10 Upgrade Yet? [MakeUseOf Poll] Have You Reserved Your Free Windows 10 Upgrade Yet? [MakeUseOf Poll] Anyone running genuine copies of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can now reserve their free upgrade to Windows 10. "Can" being the operative word. So, have you pulled the trigger on Windows 10 yet? Read More , and how to check your system specs. It finishes with a nice overview of Windows 10 Buld 10158/10159 including some use of Tablet Mode, so worth the 12 minutes of your time.

MakeUseOf Windows Section

I’m proudly tooting the MakeUseOf trumpet, but I think we can be regarded as a good source of Windows 10 information. We’ve been covering Windows 10 since it was only Windows 9 Windows 9 Leaked Screens Revealing Known Unknowns Windows 9 Leaked Screens Revealing Known Unknowns Windows 9 is dropping its veil. Recently leaked screenshots give an unprecedented insight into what we might expect from the latest iteration of Windows. Read More , and most of us have Windows 10 installed, or have at least had a solid play-around with a preview build.

MUO Windows Section

Each of our Windows authors are passionate about Microsoft and the operating system, so feel free to contact us with any questions! You can also chat to some of us in the Windows 10 channel of the Grouvi App. Come and say hi!

Roundup

We’ve focused on the best free material available, and between these guides and the MakeUseOf Windows section, most, if not all of your questions, should be covered. Windows 10 draws ever nearer, and I for one am looking forward to moving from an Insider Preview Build to the real-deal.

Do you have any Windows 10 questions I can help with? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll answer as well as I can.

  1. kr
    July 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Thinking of buying an upgrade of Win 8.1 home to Pro. Is it too late? Will I get the correct Win 10 upgrade? Thanks

    • Brian Lawrence
      July 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Yes you can still buy a Windows 8.1 Pro copy and upgrade. A legal copy is a legal copy.

  2. Knox Siwash
    July 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    "One of the best videos I’ve watched covers all the basics, shows you a couple of useful tricks, and doesn’t come with the pomp and dramatics you run into with some YouTubers."
    That's great. WHICH ONE IS IT?

    • Tina Sieber
      August 20, 2015 at 1:51 am

      Unfortunately, that video was no longer available and had to be removed from the article. Apparently, I failed to take out the respective paragraph. Done now. Sorry for the confusion!

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