Microsoft’s all-new Windows 10 operating system will be released on Weds 29th July with free upgrades for some users. Find out more about the new features and why we recommend that you seek professional advice before upgrading.

Windows 10 to be released 29th July - Air IT support

About Windows 10

Windows 10 has been developed to run with the broadest range of devices ever. This includes Windows PCs, tablets, phones, Windows for the Internet of Things, Microsoft Surface Hub, Xbox One and Microsoft HoloLens – all working together seamlessly.

It’s faster than ever before, with quick startup and resume speeds. It also provides the most secure platform ever with free malware protection through Windows Defender and offers free ongoing security updates for the supported lifetime of each device.

Windows 10 on a laptop - Air IT support

Key features at a glance

Windows 10 has been designed to help you be more productive and have more fun, with a range of innovations and all new features including:

  • Cortana – a personal digital assistant across all devices
  • Microsoft Edge – an all new web browser experience
  • Office on Windows – Office 2016 suite with universal apps for Word, Powerpoint and Excel
  • Xbox – integrated App and Xbox live for gaming
  • New Apps – for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People, Mail & Calendar
  • Windows Continuum – transform devices from one form to another e.g. phone to tablet
  • Windows Hello – logon with biometric recognition for face, iris or finger
  • Windows Store – purchase apps, games, music, movies and TV programmes

To learn more about Windows 10 – the main highlights and features – please watch our videos below.

FREE Windows 10 upgrades available

Microsoft are offering free upgrades to all qualified, new or existing Windows 7 and 8.1 users that take up the offer within the first year (some exclusions apply see small print on Windows Offer Details).

Users running any version prior to Windows 7 will require a paid upgrade but can easily upgrade to Windows 8.1 now and satisfy the free offer come July 29th.

Should you upgrade?

Although the offer of a free upgrade is very tempting, an element of caution should be considered, since there are nearly always teething problems with any new operating system.

Additionally, there may be compatibility issues that will affect your desktop applications, connected devices, or PC components and settings. This means they may no longer work or function correctly when you upgrade resulting in reduced performance and downtime.

Incompatibilities may include:

Software / application incompatibilities

  • Your critical business software such as your accountancy, CRM or bespoke systems may no longer work correctly or even fail to work at all causing you downtime and loss of business.

Device incompatibilities

  • Connected devices such as printers or other peripherals may not work correctly due to lack of driver support resulting in complete failure of the device or a degraded experience.

PC settings

  • Your current PC configuration and network settings could prevent installation which may result in a clean installation meaning only your personal files will be kept after the upgrade process.

Seek professional advice before upgrading

We strongly advise that you don’t upgrade straight away and seek professional advice to avoid any potential problems and incompatibilities .

If you’re an existing Air-IT client that would like to upgrade or are eligible, we recommend that you contact our Service Desk team to discuss available options and do not take any direct action yourselves.

We’re experienced and accredited Microsoft Partners and will conduct an in-depth audit of your systems to make sure that upgrading to windows 10 is a viable option.

We’ll help carefully manage your upgrade process ensuring that it’s as seamless and trouble-free as possible and doesn’t affect your productivity.

Find out if you qualify for an upgrade

If you’re running Windows 7 or 8.1 you’ll be eligible for a free upgrade and should automatically see a small Windows 10 icon appear in your system tray. This will allow you to reserve your copy for download when the software is available from July 29th.

Windows 10 upgrade icon - Air IT support

If you don’t see the icon you can also check which version of  Windows you’re currently running by following these 3 simple steps:

  1. Go to the Start Menu.
  2. Type winver in the internal search bar and press Enter.
  3. This will open a new Window which will display version, build and service pack information.

Window displaying Windows version - Air IT support

Alternatively, you can also automatically find out which operating system you’re using by visiting the Microsoft site below:

Which operating system am I running?

Windows 10 and the Future…

The free upgrade marks a new direction for Microsoft in their quest to drive what they are calling “Windows as a Service.”

What happened to Windows 9?

But, there’s still one question preceding Windows 10 – what happened to version 9?

There’s been speculation that the move to Windows 10 was designed to distance Microsoft’s newest development as far as possible from its predecessors’. Following a suggested lack of adoption and low user enthusiasm for the last version of Windows – version 8.1 – this could seem possible.

But in May 2015, at the company’s Ignite Conference in Chicago, Microsoft development executive Jerry Nixon, shed some light on this when he stated that Windows 10 would be the “last version” of the popular Microsoft series.
Cortana on Windows 10 laptop - Air IT support

Windows as a service

Rather than producing new successive versions of the operating system, Windows 10 will be updated in an “ongoing manner”, bringing us back to the concept of Windows as a Service…

We can therefore safely assume that there will be no Windows 11 and users can look forward to a new generation of computing where Microsoft operating systems will be improved through regular updates and improvements across all devices – PCs, tablets and mobiles.

Microsoft are dubbing this as “the first step to an era of more personal computing.” For more information read Terry Myerson’s summary account of the Windows 10 vision.

Speak to Air-IT your Microsoft experts

If you’re wondering whether or not you should upgrade to Windows 10, Air-IT can help. We’re accredited Microsoft Partners and will audit your systems to best advise on your available options and most suitable route of action.

To find out more about Windows 10 and to discuss upgrades, please contact us today or call 0115 880 0044 and speak to one of our technology experts.