Microsoft has spent the past year trying to convince its customers that they really do want to upgrade their Windows 7 or Windows 8 computers to Windows 10. Now that the free upgrade is no longer available, it’s time to look back at what you learned from using it and see if you really need to install it on your computer. Here are 10 important things you need to know about upgrading to Windows 10, based on my experience with the operating system. (Note: This list does not cover everything about Windows 10.) 9 Things You Need to Know This Morning About Windows 10

What you need to know about Windows updates

Microsoft is releasing a new major update for its Windows operating system, Windows 10. If you’re one of those people who don’t like getting software updates automatically (aka if you want more control over your computer) or worry about how these updates are handled by big companies such as Microsoft, then it can be quite difficult and confusing to deal with them.

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What do you get when you upgrade?

There’s a lot that’s new and improved in Windows 10, so let’s dive into what you get when you upgrade. If you currently run an earlier version of Windows, like XP or 7, then there are plenty of reasons for upgrading; for starters, it’s free. And not only does it add some nice functionality that your current operating system might be missing (like Cortana), but it brings a more modern look and feel as well.

What will it cost?

Microsoft announced pricing for Windows 10. It will be available for free, with some restrictions, for current users of Windows 7 or 8.1. The new operating system is scheduled to launch in 190 countries starting July 29th. Here’s what you need to know about how it will work: How it works: As with prior versions of Windows, there are different versions of Windows 10 (see chart below). While most home users will get a version called Windows 10 Home—with all updates and upgrades provided for free—businesses can pay extra for an Enterprise Edition that allows them more control over which features are activated on their computers.

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Will I lose data?

One of your biggest fears when installing a new operating system is that all your data files will be wiped out, but don’t worry—that isn’t an issue. Everything you have on your computer right now—documents, music, videos—will remain. The one thing you will lose is any software that isn’t compatible with Windows 10. Anything already purchased through Microsoft will automatically be downloaded onto your PC once it has been upgraded.

How does the free offer work?

Downloading and installing Windows 10 from Microsoft’s servers is free, but there are a few caveats. If you want to activate your device (to get support and updates), then you will need an existing license for one of these operating systems: Windows 8/8.1, Pro or Enterprise edition; or Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise edition.

Why is Microsoft doing this?

Part of what makes Microsoft’s move so fascinating is that it’s entering a market where Apple, Google, and Amazon have already spent time and money. Apple has had a hit with its operating system on Mac computers, while Google has Chrome OS for laptops and Chromebooks that are gaining popularity in schools. Amazon doesn’t have a desktop or laptop operating system yet, but it does have a successful line of tablets called Kindle Fire.

9 Things You Need to Know This Morning About Windows 10
9 Things You Need to Know This Morning About Windows 10

Where can I get help if I have problems?

Setting up Windows 10 is simple, but sometimes things can go wrong. The new version of Microsoft’s operating system uses Wi-Fi connections more frequently than its predecessor, so check with your network administrator if you’re having trouble accessing your home network and want to know how to change it on a computer running Windows 8.1. For some users, their taskbar isn’t showing apps after installing Windows 8.1.

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Other questions answered by Microsoft

– Will my apps work on Windows 10? – Can I get a free upgrade? – What if I don’t want an upgrade at all? – How do I reserve my copy of Windows 10? – Will my files transfer when I upgrade? What’s the ‘Windows Insider’ program? – How can I prepare for upgrading to Windows 10? – When will it be available?

What’s hot on ZDNet

As I write this, 9 of the top 10 stories on ZDNet right now are about Microsoft. And yet… it’s not that kind of post. Okay? So with that out of my system, let’s get back on track. First up is a story from The Next Web about Windows 10 possibly launching before July 29, 2015. Quoting

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