Upgrading to Windows 10 – For Free – Part 1

Windows10 fixedIn this and the accompanying weeks  we’re going to get you up to speed on the next version of Microsoft Windows…Windows 10. Yes I know the last was 8; go figure. What we’re not going to do is review the product for the following two reasons

  1. Every man and is dog is on that bandwagon
  2. It can be summed up simply by the following: It has more bells and whistles, the start menu is back, it’s more secure (until the hackers get it) supposedly faster, looks cooler and still can’t make the coffee.

Along with the obvious lack of a naming continuity, stranger still is the fact the Microsoft is giving it away, free!  Yes you heard right; that delightful four letter word…FREE.  Now I’m as suspicious as the next guy and this unprecedented benevolence from Microsoft kinda makes me look twice, but it appears to be legit. Microsoft seem to have finally got what the rest of us have felt for the last 10 years; that we’re not all going to just blindly shell out for a new operating system every time Redmond figures we should. Hence for a limited time beginning July 29 2015 Microsoft are offering it as a free upgrade for 12 months (for qualified Windows 7 and 8.1 devices). Microsoft are offering it to ‘qualified devices’; what that means is that not everyone will have the privilege.  A Windows 7 machine needs to have service pack 1 installed. A Windows 8 machine should be upgraded first to 8.1.  Microsoft want you to register to receive notification and qualify to upgrade; so how do you go about that?

windows10 screenshotThe first thing you need to do is ensure you have the latest updates for 7 or 8.1. If you’ve turned off automatic updates for whatever reason, now is a good time to turn it back on, at least in the interim.  I tend to keep automatic updates off and only allow updates from Friday through Monday. Microsoft normally releases updates on a Tuesday and have in times past released buggy updates that trashed PCs the world over until Thursday or Friday when they could release a fix for the fix.  (I just prefer not to get caught up in any future dramas of that kind.)

The Get Windows 10 app

The Get Windows 10 app

Next you should see a Windows icon down in the notification area. Microsoft have made an app called the ‘Get Windows 10′ app. When installed; you’re supposed to see a little Windows icon over near the clock in the task bar. The idea is you’re supposed to click this and register for the update. If you don’t see it once all updates are installed then you’re on you own. According the Microsoft it’ll be due to one or more of 4 reasons.

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

So basically they’re saying it’s your fault if you can’t see it.  But there is another reason Microsoft gives which is hidden away in the body of text and it’s this: “PCs that we determine cannot run Windows 10 will not see the Get Windows 10 app before July 29, 2015. After July 2015 we’ll enable the icon in the system tray…” So to translate; we’ve disabled it because your system is a dinosaur and/or we don’t like it.  That said on the 4 systems I tested for this post, 2 being Windows 7 with SP1 installed and 2 being Windows 8.1 (all with the latest updates and all legal) I have yet to see the said Windows icon. I can only assume that either Microsoft doesn’t like me (which I can hardly blame them) or for some technical reason the icon won’t be displayed until after July 29.

Anyway assuming you’ve actually got the elusive icon click it to open, register to receive Windows 10 and then wait. If you don’t have the icon, you’ll have to wait also. Hopefully the icon will miraculously appear some day in the near future and you’ll be able to register. Don’t like waiting. Well there’s a way you can get Windows 10 now for free. It’s kind of hands on and you’ll need to download a few things first but I’ll step you through it next week.


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