Windows 10 Release Day: Everything You Need to Know

Tina Sieber 13-07-2015

The final version of Windows The Latest Windows 10 Version Won't Be the Last One What is the latest Windows 10 version? How long is it supported? And why did Microsoft switch to a service model? Answers within! Read More will be released on July 29th, but not everyone will be able to upgrade on launch day.


Not only is the free Windows 10 upgrade restricted to a subset of existing users, Microsoft also won’t be able to upgrade all eligible devices simultaneously. Should you be eligible, you might also wonder which version of Windows 10 you will be upgraded to and what that means.

We have compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions around Windows 10 and its release.

Why Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows 10 is a state-of-the-art operating system Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More with innovative features, improved security, and a fresh look. Those of you eager to try Cortana 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 , make the best use of a touch interface, or universal Windows apps that run on the desktop should probably give Windows 10 a try 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 .

Windows 10 Build 10074 Desktop

Never fix a running system! If you’re prefectly happy with your current setup, if you use the Windows Media Center 5 Alternatives to Windows Media Center for Windows 10 Windows 10 will offer many new features, but some old favorites will be deprecated. The Windows Media Center will no longer be supported. Here are alternative media center application compatible with Windows 10 to take... Read More , or if you can’t help weighing the pros and cons of 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 , you probably shouldn’t upgrade, at least not right away. Windows 10 isn’t all that free 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 , but unless you want to switch to OS X or Linux Hey Windows User, Should You Switch To Linux or Mac? Did you ever consider switching from Windows to Linux or Mac? The quick answer: if you're on Windows, stay on Windows—and don't worry about upgrading just yet. Here's why. Read More , you won’t be able to avoid it in the long term. Meanwhile, you have until July 2016 to change your mind about Windows 10 and take the plunge.


Can I Upgrade to Windows 10?

The free upgrade is restricted to non-enterprise users of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1. Your hardware should not be a limiting factor, as the requirements are similar to Windows 7. In other words, if you run Windows 7 or up, your computer should be compatible with Windows 10 Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Windows 10 is coming, possibly as soon as July. Are you eager to upgrade and will your system be eligible? In short, if your computer runs Windows 8, it should also run Windows 10. But... Read More .

What Edition of Windows 10 Will I Upgrade To?

Windows 10 editions are similar to Windows 7 and 8 and you will upgrade to what’s equivalent to your current Windows edition. The upgrade matrix below reveals details. If you can upgrade directly, you will be able to keep your Windows settings, personal files, and most apps.

Windows 10 Upgrade Matrix

Microsoft also released a set of checklists that will help you choose which Windows edition is right for you. Note a single of the listed features is missing in any of the editions. Looks like the take home message is that each and every Windows edition will contain the same major features.


Windows 10 Editions

Of course that’s not the entire truth. The Home edition will lack Domain join, Group Policy, BitLocker, Remote Desktop, and several other business-related features.

The main difference between editions is the way how Windows Update will work. Home users won’t have any choice–all updates will be installed automatically. Pro users can delay updates, but they cannot be selective and they can’t defer them. Finally, Education and Enterprise users on the Long Term Servicing Branch will be able to install updates selectively.

Note that Windows Insiders can receive updates before anyone else.


What Will Windows 10 Cost?

In case you’re eligible, upgrading to Windows 10 will be free for the supported lifetime of the device you’re upgrading on. The term “supported lifetime” has received some critique. ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft’s definition is two to four years and it’s unclear what will happen after that time. You might have to pay for upgrades after that; we don’t know at this point.

If you’d rather buy a full Windows 10 license and be done with it, Newegg accidentally leaked that Windows 10 will cost between $100 and $150, depending on what edition you’re buying. Maybe a free upgrade isn’t that after all, right?

Newegg Windows 10 Leak 1

Note that if you don’t have a system that qualifies for a free upgrade, you can always get a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license How to Get a Cheap Windows 7 or 8 License Now to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free Worried about the future of your old or pirated Windows copy? Now is the time to snatch a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license to secure yourself that free upgrade to Windows 10. We show... Read More to upgrade from.


How Does The Upgrade Work?

If you’re eager to upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible, we recommend you register for the upgrade using the Get Windows 10 app Get Windows 10: It's Not a Virus! The Get Windows 10 icon in your system tray is not a virus. It's Microsoft's official upgrade note prior to the official release of Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015. Read More , which you should see in your system tray on eligible versions of Windows 7 and 8.1. If you think you should be able to uprade for free, but don’t see the app, follow our troubleshooting guide on how to activate the Get Windows 10 notification Can't See the Windows 10 Upgrade Notification? Here's How to Enable It. Are you also not seeing the Get Windows app on your Windows 7 or 8.1 devices? Let us show you how to enable the upgrade notification or cancel the upgrade in case you changed your... Read More .

Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor

The app will download the installation files to your computer prior to July 29th. Windows 10 will not be installed automatically! Once your system is ready to upgrade, you can activate the installation or–if you choose to–do nothing and wait.

We are not sure what will happen after July 29th. You may still be able to use the Get Windows 10 app, or you might see the upgrade option in Windows Update How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update Windows 10 is offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. When you're ready to upgrade, you can use Windows Update and keep all your installed programs and settings intact. Read More , or maybe you can download the Windows 10 installation files using your Windows 7 or 8 product key.

How Can I Cancel the Windows 10 Upgrade?

Have you changed your mind and would now prefer to cancel the Windows 10 upgrade How to Cancel the Windows 10 Upgrade If You Changed Your Mind The Get Windows 10 app made it incredibly easy to sign up for the upgrade. If you no longer want it, you can opt out again. We show you how. Read More you signed up for? No problem! Simply launch the Get Windows 10 app from your system tray, click the hamburger icon, find the View confirmation option, and click Cancel reservation twice. Now Windows 10 won’t auto-download to your computer.

Cancel Windows 10 Reservation

Note that you can also get rid of the upgrade notification How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade. The Windows 7 & 8 popup reminder ensures that even the last person will be aware of this option. Here's how you can remove it. Read More on Windows 7 and 8. You can either hide the icon from the system tray or uninstall the optional Windows Updates that pushed the Get Windows 10 app onto your computer Has Microsoft Installed Adware on Your PC to Promote Windows 10? Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft is going to great lengths to ensure each and every Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 user is fully aware. Is update KB3035583 essentially adware? Read More in the first place. If you don’t want to mess with Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More yourself, you can use a removal tool called I Don’t Want Windows 10.

When Will I Receive Windows 10?

Windows 10 will be released as a rolling upgrade. Consequently, most users who signed up for the upgrade won’t actually receive Windows 10 on launch day, July 29th. Microsoft will upgrade those devices first that have been shown to be compatible with Windows 10. They might also upgrade Home users first because it means they can quickly push updates and fixes out 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 ; Pro, Education, and Enterprise users can delay updates.

This is what Terry Myerson wrote in a recent Microsoft blog post:

Starting on July 29, we will start rolling out Windows 10 to our Windows Insiders. From there, we will start notifying reserved systems in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th. Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users.

If you reserved your copy of Windows 10, we will notify you once our compatibility work confirms you will have a great experience, and Windows 10 has been downloaded on your system. If your system is not ready yet for your upgrade to Windows 10, we will provide more details during the upgrade experience.

How Can I Get Windows 10 on July 29th?

You have two options. Either you buy a new device that comes pre-installed with Windows 10 (although it looks like none will be available on July 29th) or you upgrade from the Windows 10 Insider Preview. If you are eligible for a free upgrade, we recommend the latter. You can install the Windows 10 Insider Preview 3 Easy Ways To Install Windows 10 Technical Preview You can try Windows 10 Technical Preview for free and help Microsoft polish its new flagship operating system. Before you install it, make sure you choose the best method for your needs. Read More as a dual boot.

To download the Windows 10 Insider Preview, you will need a Microsoft account 5 Security Tips to Consider When Using a Microsoft Account You can't use much of the new Windows 8 user interface without a Microsoft account. The account you for logging into into your computer is now an online account. This raises security concerns. Read More to sign up for the Windows Insider program. Make sure you use that same Microsoft account to log into Windows 10, otherwise you won’t be able to upgrade to the final version.


Update: Insider Preview ISO downloads will be taken down on July 14.

Any Questions Left?

Tech media is currently full of Windows 10 coverage. It feels like every single feature, issue, and hypothesis is being discussed. But maybe we’re missing something after all!

Do you feel fully informed about Windows 10 and have you reserved your upgrade? Which of your questions remain unanswered? Let us know how we can help and we’ll give it our best!

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. Anonymous
    July 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Will it be possible to install Windows 10 alongside Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-bit, as dual boot?

  2. Anonymous
    July 14, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Can we upgrade by clean install from ISO? Can the ISO image be downloadable instead of via windows update? Can we reuse windows 7 or 8 keys for Windows 10 or do we get a new key?

    • Tina Sieber
      July 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      It's unclear when Microsoft will make Windows 10 ISO images available again. They just closed the ISO image download for Windows Insiders.

      You will probably need a Windows 7 or 8 key to activate Windows 10 if you don't upgrade via Windows Update. Whether you will receive a new Windows 10 key after that, I don't know.

      • Anonymous
        July 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm

        It would probably make sense to have windows 10 pre-pidded, so no key is needed for installation similar to MSDN server software.

    • Tina Sieber
      July 17, 2015 at 12:12 am

      Apparently no key is needed for setup of Build 10240.

  3. Anonymous
    July 14, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I have a desktop and a laptop running Windows 8.1 and a two desktops with Windows 7. Can I upgrade all of them for free?

    • Anonymous
      July 15, 2015 at 5:34 am


    • Tina Sieber
      July 15, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      As Kyle already said, the short answer is Yes! :)

      Make sure to install SP1 on your Windows 7 systems and Update 1 on your Windows 8.1 computer.

      Once all the latest updates have been installed, you should see the Get Windows 10 upgrade notification. Try this troubleshooter if you don't see it.

      By signing up to getting Windows 10, the installation files are (eventually) downloaded to your computer. The upgrade won't start until you initiate it, though.