CAN YOU BELIEVE it’s been a year already since Windows 10 launched? We were all so innocent then. But to everything there is a season, and to every promotional period there is an abrupt end. Upgrade Windows 10 today, because tomorrow it’ll cost you dozens of dollars.
Or don’t! No pressure. But tonight (or very early tomorrow morning, depending on your time zone), jumping from Windows Old to Windows 10 will no longer be complimentary. Instead, the Home version will cost you $120, while Windows 10 Pro will set you back $200. Sincefree is generally preferable to not free, most people should take the jump. In case you still have questions, though, here are a few answers.
Can I Upgrade?
This is the big one. First of all, make sure you’re even eligible; the free upgrade offer applies to tablets and PCs running Windows 7 or newer. If you’re still on Vista, you’re out of luck, in so many ways. Furthermore, current Home users can only upgrade to Home for free, while existing Premium accounts can jump to Premium. There’s no upgrading upgrades here. Your device also has to meet certain system requirements, but they’re not all that intensive. Check out Microsoft’s requirements if you’re worried.
Should I Upgrade?
The short answer: Yes. The slightly longer answer: Definitely yes. It’s refreshingly familiar for Windows 7 users, and plain old refreshing for anyone still trapped in the not-quite-future of Windows 8.1 and its live-tile takeover. It’s not flashy (a plus, for an operating system), but it still adds useful features like Cortana, Microsoft’s capable virtual assistant, Microsoft Edge, a new browser that puts anguished Internet Explorer memories far in the rear view, and a smörgåsbord of smaller features that liven up the Windows experience.
If you’re actively looking for a reason not to upgrade, the best I’ve got for you is that Windows Media Center doesn’t exist in Windows 10. But! If it’s really that important to you, there are ways to make it work anyway.
When Exactly Is the Deadline?
Last call for free Windows 10 actually bleeds into the weekend here in the US; specifically, Saturday morning at 5:59am EDT/2:59am PDT. After that, you’ll have to bust out the credit card.
How Do I Upgrade?
It is very, very easy, if you haven’t already figured out from the barrage of upgrade prompts Microsoft threw at you last year.
First: Back up your system. It’s not mandatory, but it’s good upgrade hygiene. Next, head to this handy Windows 10download page. Double-click the Windows 10 download client, click OK when it asks if you’ll allow it to make changes, and settle in while your PC guides you from there.
How Should I Spend All That Money I Saved?
On the one hand, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. On the other hand, $120 can score you a whole lotta Dave & Busters air hockey.