Everything You Need to Know Before Installing or Upgrading to Windows 10

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This is a recap post that covers everything you need to know before you dive into the Windows 10 world. It’s not a post that covers a complete features that come with Windows 10, nor tells why you should use it. Rather, it gets you a bit more prepared before heading into the next version of Windows.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR FREE UPGRADE?

Here is a simple chart that should clear things up for you.

Who gets free Windows 10 flowchart

If you ended up in the green rectangular spot, you should reserve your free copy now.

Can I install a free Windows 10 copy on a new computer?

Well, surprisingly, the answer is yes. And here is how you can do it.

Microsoft officially confirmed this, and here are the steps you can take to make it eligible.

  1. Sign up for the Windows Insider Program to become an insider, if you haven’t already.
  2. Sign up a Microsoft Account, if you haven’t already.
  3. Download Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO.
  4. Fresh install Windows 10 Insider Preview on your new computer.
  5. Continue as a Windows Insider, do not opt out.

How many editions available?

According to Microsoft,

For desktop/tablet:

  • Home
  • Pro
  • Enterprise
  • Education

For mobile

  • Mobile
  • Mobile Enterprise

What Edition to choose then?

Microsoft did a pretty job making a nice, easy-to-follow edition comparison chart to help people make right decision what to choose. But I can simplify a bit more to help you here as well.

  • If you are a home user
    • who don’t need BitLocker to encrypt your hard drive, Home is your choice.
    • otherwise, go with Pro.
  • If you are a small-medium business user
    • go with Pro.
    • unless you don’t have an Active Directory Domain in place.
  • If you are in a large network
    • go with Pro.
    • or go with Enterprise if you need
      • AppLocker
      • BranchCache
      • Direct Access
      • StartScreen control via Group Policy, or
      • Volume agreement with Microsoft
Windows%2010%20Compare%20Editions.pdf ‎- Microsoft Edge - 2015-07-08 11_23_56

Windows 10 Edition Comparison

Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

What’s the hardware requirements to run Windows 10?

In short, here is what you need in least:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

But check out this post “Can My PC Run Windows 10” for more details.

Feature-wise, here are a few things that are good to know

  • Start button and menu are back.
  • Start screen is now part of the Start menu.
  • No more charm bar. Instead, you get new Action Center.
  • Everything is back to Window-based, no more full-screen apps.
  • Microsoft Edge is your default browser for almost everything.
  • Cortana is the enhanced version of Siri on Windows.

That should cover pretty much it.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/14/2015

Posted in: Windows 10
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