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When you see the Get Windows 10 icon in your system tray, you can now reserve your Windows 10 upgrade. It’s not a virus. It’s Microsoft’s official upgrade note prior to the official release of Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015.
Can You Upgrade to Windows 10?
For the free upgrade to Windows 10, you must be running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1. Below are the Windows 10 hardware requirements:
Processor: 1 GHz or faster; to run Windows 10 64-bit, it must support CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF capabilities
RAM: 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Free hard disk space to install: 16 GB (32-bit), 20 GB (64-bit)
Free hard disk space to upgrade: 3 GB to download the installation files
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display: 1024 x 600 pixels
The required hardware specs are very similar to Windows 7 and 8.1, which is why upgrading to Windows 10 shouldn’t be an issue. Note that you will also need a Microsoft account and some Windows 10 features, such as Windows Hello or Cortana will require additional hardware or won’t be available in all locations.
Beyond hardware, there might be other compatibility issues. To that end, Microsoft has included an upgrade advisor in its Get Windows 10 app. To see whether Windows 10 is compatible with your Windows setup, click the Get Windows 10 system tray icon to open the app. Expand the menu by clicking the hamburger menu in the top left, then select Check your PC, and see which programs or devices might be incompatible with Windows 10, if any.
Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible to download a separate Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor.
Which Windows 10 Version Will You Get?
Along with all other Windows 10 specifications, Microsoft also posted which edition of Windows 10 you will get when you upgrade. Please see the screenshot below for the full list.
Will You Lose Anything?
Maybe. Your data and installed programs will be mainained, at least for the most part. Microsoft recently posted the overview of what you can keep when you upgrade to Windows 10 below.
“Most apps” is the keyword here. When you upgrade to Windows 10, you might lose some apps and features that are being deprecated. Here is a brief list:
- Windows Media Center will be removed
- DVDs can only be played back using third party software
- Windows 7 desktop apps are note supported and will be removed
- classic Solitaire, Hearts, and Minesweeper, although Windows apps replace them
- USB floppy drives won’t be supported out of the box; get drivers from the manufacturer
- the OneDrive app will be replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive, if you’re running Windows (Live) Essentials
- your antivirus might get disabled
Most notably, if you use the free upgrade route, all future Windows 10 updates will be automatically installed on your system with no option to defer or reject them.
Why Should You Reserve Your Windows 10 Upgrade?
You don’t have to reserve your Windows 10 upgrade now to be able to upgrade on July 29th. You will have time to upgrade to Windows 10 for free until July 28th 2016. The reason Microsoft is offering a reservation is because they’re expecting a significant number of people will want to upgrade; Windows Insiders alone make up around 4 million potential upgraders.
When you make a reservation, the Windows 10 installation files will be pre-downloaded to your system prior to its official release. Trickle-downloading the files over a number of days will reduce the load on Microsoft’s servers and ensure that everyone who is eager to upgrade will be able to do so immediately on launch day. The download will start on the RTM (release to manufacturing) date, which hasn’t been announced, yet.
Windows 10 reservations also give Microsoft an idea about how many people are interested in upgrading. Microsoft’s Windows 10 marketing so far has been very strategic and as Paul Thurrott noted on Windows Weekly, this information could be used for promoting Windows 10. Many people might be more interested in upgrading, if they heard that one out of five Windows 7 users had signed up to upgrade to Windows 10 on July 29th.
Will You Have to Upgrade If You Opt In Now?
No. While the files will be downloaded to your computer some time prior to July 29th, you won’t have to upgrade to Windows 10 on launch day. Windows will, however, remind and try to convince you to initiate the installation. We don’t yet know how you’ll be able to stop these reminders.
Don’t See the Get Windows 10 Notification?
Still can’t see the system tray icon? You can also access the Get Windows 10 app through the Control Panel. In Windows 7, press Windows Key + C, in Windows 8.1 right-click on the Start button and select Control Panel. Find the Windows 10 is coming soon announcement and click Reserve to launch the app.
If you’re a Windows Insider dual booting the Windows 10 Technical Preview and hardly ever logging into Windows 7 or 8.1, you might not see any of these, despite having all updates installed.
Don’t Want to Upgrade?
If you already made a reservation, you can cancel it anytime. Simply right-click on the Get Windows 10 icon in your system tray, go to Check your upgrade status, and select Cancel reservation.
To get rid of the system tray icon, you can either hide the icon or uninstall and hide the optional update KB3035583.
To hide the icon, right-click the Taskbar, under the Taskbar tab click the Customize… button next to Notification area, find the Get Windows 10 icon, and select Hide icon and notifications or Only show notifications.
Will You Get Windows 10?
In less than two months we’ll know for sure how many people were convinced to upgrade to Windows 10. If you don’t currently run a version of Windows that is eligible to upgrade for free, you could get a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license now.
Will you be among the first to upgrade to Windows 10 or will you wait it out? What makes you enthusiastic or skeptical? Please share your point of view with us!
Image credit: Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor and Windows 10 Is Coming via SuperSite for Windows