Windows 10 is almost here

Microsoft’s new baby is almost here and they are offering it as a free upgrade for qualifying hardware running genuine Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. You have until July 29 to reserve your upgrade via a Get Windows 10 app. If you don’t see a notification to get the app it means either:

  • Your device isn’t up-to-date with at least Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
  • Windows Update is turned off or is not set to received updates automatically.
  • You’ve blocked or uninstalled the necessary Windows Update functionality.
  • Your device is not running genuine Windows.

You only have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this offer. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.You have one year from the time Windows 10 is available to take advantage of this offer.

Between reservation and when your upgrade is ready, the files you need for the upgrade will be downloaded to your PC to make the final installation go more quickly. Then, when your upgrade is ready after July 29, 2015, you get a notification that lets you get started with your upgrade.

What are the qualifications

The only requirements are that:

  1. your device is compatible
  2. you’re running genuine Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows 8.1 (Update)
  3. your hardware can support Windows 10.

Here are the bare minimum requirements:

  • Latest OS: Make sure you are running the latest version either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800×600

Plan for about an hour for the installation. Newer devices may only take 20 minutes, and older devices may take more than an hour. If you pre ordered and installed the app, the files will be downloaded for you prior and you will be notified once it is ready to install. I think that was pretty cool of Microsoft.

The Get Windows 10 app icon

Get Windows 10 app

How do I get a confirmation that I’ve reserved my upgrade?

  • Just click reserve in the Get Windows 10 app and then enter your email address at the confirmation screen.
  • You can also check your reservation status here:
    • Right click on the Get Windows 10 app or Windows icon located at the right end of the taskbar.
    • Select Check your upgrade status

What version of Windows 10 will I get

When you upgrade, you’ll stay on like-to-like editions of Windows. For example

Windows 72

From Edition To Edition
Windows 7 Starter Windows 10 Home
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional Windows 10 Pro
Windows 7 Ultimate

Windows 83

From Edition To Edition
Windows Phone 8.15 Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 8.14 Windows 10 Home
Windows 8.1 Pro Windows 10 Pro
Windows 8.1 Pro for Students
  • “N” and “KN” editions follow the upgrade path of the parent edition (e.g., Windows 7 Professional N upgrades to Windows 10 Pro N).
  • Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.

Can I get my free Windows 10 upgrade even if I didn’t reserve?

Yes. The easiest way to get the free upgrade is to reserve, but you can upgrade even if you don’t reserve.

Once Windows 10 is available, we’ll begin notifying devices that their free upgrade is available. Just open the Get Windows 10 app to schedule your upgrade. Note: Some notifications will go out as soon as Windows 10 is available; others may go out in the weeks or months following.

What if I have more than one Windows device—can I upgrade them all?

Yes, you can get a free upgrade for each of your eligible Windows devices. All you need to do is make a separate reservation for each device you want to upgrade.

Can I reserve even if I didn’t get a notification?

Yes. You can reserve your upgrade at any time on any compatible PC by clicking on the Get Windows 10 app or the Windows Update control panel.

Do Windows Phone devices qualify for this free upgrade

Yes, Microsoft is working with Windows Phone 8.1 partners to make the Windows 10 upgrade available to most phones later this year.

What about Windows RT?

If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10, but we will have an update for you around the time of Windows 10 release.

Will I get all of the features of Windows 10 once I upgrade?

Some Windows 10 features will require advanced hardware and not all features and services are available on every device, nor in every market. For instance, Cortana is not available in all markets.

See the Specifications page (for more details).

Will my devices and apps work with Windows 10?

Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the vast majority of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices — so your device is most likely compatible.

For details on your specific device and apps, you can use the Get Windows 10 app to do a compatibility check. Click the menu in the upper left of the app, and select Check your PC or Your PC is good to go. This displays any compatibility issues we find and recommends a resolution; while we don’t have info on every app or device in existence, it provides a comprehensive list of all known potential compatibility issues.

Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading?

Yes. Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You won’t need to purchase Windows 10 or go back to your prior version of Windows and upgrade again.

You’ll also be able to create your own installation media like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after you’ve upgraded.

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