I sometimes embrace change and I sometimes run and hide from it like it’s chasing me. Upgrading to Windows 10 from my beloved Windows 7 is one of those changes that had me hiding under my bed.
I don’t really have a good reason for resisting the new operating system other than I like Windows 7 and Windows 10 seemed like a big design shift. 10 also seems like it’s geared towards computers with touchscreens and my four year old Lenovo Thinkpad doesn’t have one of those. But, it doesn’t matter how stuck in my ways I am, because Windows 7 has been given an expiration date. January 14th, 2020 will be End of Life (EOL) for Windows 7 (which is a pretty dark way of putting it).
This means computers running Windows 7 will no longer be supported or receive security updates from Microsoft after January 14th. So like, three weeks from the day this blog post goes up.
I should mention that Windows 8 will still technically be supported until January 10, 2023 for those who are using that OS. I should also mention that if your machine is running Windows 8, you really need to upgrade to Windows 10 immediately.
Back in July of 2015, Microsoft was nice enough to give us a heads up that this was coming. They released Windows 10 and even offered free upgrades for a year to everyone running Windows 7 or 8.
Now, when I started doing research for this blog post, I didn’t plan on upgrading to Windows 10. I just wanted to learn everything up to that point so I could pass the info on to you, dear reader, and then wait until the last minute to upgrade and probably have to pay $139.00 for it but then I found some interesting stories about a “loophole” on Microsoft’s website. They said that if you are currently running an authentic, up-to-date version of Windows 7 or 8, all you have to do is go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10, click the “Download tool now,” button and run the .exe file once it’s downloaded. It will download and install Windows 10 without costing you a penny.
I called shenanigans immediately. No way Microsoft is going to leave a loophole like that open... right? Well, I read several blogs on several legitimate sites and they all agreed that this is real so I decided to try it out for the sake of science and my bank account.
It’s a real thing. I am typing this on my dusty old laptop running a fresh copy of Windows 10 that I didn’t pay a dime for. Didn’t even jeopardize my morals to get it. I got it right from Microsoft’s website and never in the upgrade process was I even asked if I had purchased Windows 10. I feel safe in assuming MS is very aware of this loophole and are just being nice by letting people continue to take advantage of the free upgrade offer even though it expired over three years ago. It’s Microsoft, for crying out loud. They’re pretty smart.
Before you claim your free upgrade though, you’ll want to make sure your computer will run Windows 10. To see your machine’s stats, click “System” in the control panel. Here are the minimum system requirements to run Windows 10:
1. Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
2. Installed memory (RAM): 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
a. System type will determine if your operating system is 32- or 64-bit
3. Hard drive size: 32GB or larger hard disk
a. To determine hard drive size:
i. From the Start menu, click computer
ii. Right-click HDD
iii. Click Properties
iv. Capacity is the size of the hard drive
4. Display: At least 800x600
5. Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
a. To determine graphics card:
i. From the Start menu, open the Run dialog box.
ii. Type dxdiag
iii. Click on the Display tab of the dialog that opens to find graphics card information (DirectX 9 was released in 2002, so if your graphics card isn’t compatible, you’ve probably noticed before now. Driver model is on the right)
6. Internet connection: You'll need internet to download Windows 10 and keep it up to date.
If any of your laptop/PC’s specs don’t fall within these requirements or even if they’re close, you might want to seriously consider a new machine.
Who knows how much longer this loophole will stay open so I recommend jumping on it right away.
Of course, if you run into any questions or issues, you can always give us a call for free at (424) 256-8541.