Windows 10 free upgrade details

Microsoft has announced which editions of Windows 10 existing customers will be allowed to upgrade to when it launches on 29 July 2015.

[Also read: Windows 10 launch date confirmed]

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users can upgrade to Windows 10 for free any time within the first year (by 28 July 2016) of the launch of new operating system.

As with previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 will come in a number of editions.

The edition of Windows 10 you get to upgrade to depends on the version of Windows you are currently running.

Microsoft outlined the upgrades as follows:

Upgrading from Windows 7
From Windows 7 To Windows 10 edition
Windows 7 Starter Windows 10 Home
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional Windows 10 Pro
Windows 7 Ultimate
Upgrading from Windows 8
From Windows 8 To Windows 10 edition
Windows Phone 8.1 Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 8.1 Windows 10 Home
Windows 8.1 Pro Windows 10 Pro
Windows 8.1 Pro for Students

The various editions of Windows 10 are summarised below.

  • Windows 10 Home is the consumer-focused desktop edition. It offers a familiar and personal experience for PCs, tablets, and 2-in–1s. Windows 10 is also coming to the Xbox, giving games and gamers access to the Xbox Live gaming community, enabling the capture and share of gameplay and giving Xbox One owners the ability to play their Xbox One games from any Windows 10 PC in their home.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is designed to deliver the best user experience on smaller, mobile, touch-centric devices like smartphones and small tablets. It has the same Windows apps that are included in Windows 10 Home, as well as the new touch-optimized version of Office.
  • Windows 10 Pro is a desktop edition for PCs, tablets, and 2-in–1s. It is similar to Windows 10 Home, but offers many extra features to meet the needs of small businesses.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise builds on Windows 10 Pro, adding advanced features designed to meet the demands of medium and large organisations. Active Software Assurance customers in Volume Licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits.
  • Windows 10 Education builds on Windows 10 Enterprise, and is designed to meet the needs of schools – staff, administrators, teachers and students. This edition will be available through academic Volume Licensing, and there will be paths for schools and students using Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro devices to upgrade to Windows 10 Education.
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is designed to deliver the best customer experience to business customers on smartphones and small tablets. It will be available to our Volume Licensing customers.

There will also be versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for industry devices like ATMs, retail points of sale, handheld terminals, industrial robotics, and Windows 10 IoT Core for small footprint, low-cost devices like gateways.

System requirements

To qualify for the upgrade, Microsoft said users must be running the latest versions of Windows 7 (Service Pack 1) and Windows 8 (Windows 8.1 Update).

The system requirements for the pre-released version of Windows 10 are given below, though Microsoft has warned they are subject to change.

Windows 10 preliminary system requirements
Latest OS Make sure you are running the latest version either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
Processor 1GHz or faster processor or SoC
RAM 1GB for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit
Hard disk space 16GB for 32-bit OS, 20GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display 1024 x 600

Country-specific editions of Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Single Language edition, and Windows 8.1 with Bing all qualify for the upgrade to Windows 10 Home.

Microsoft said the availability of the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator, and carrier.

Deprecated features

While Windows 10 will add a number of new features, there are also some features that are being removed. These are:

  • Windows Media centre will be removed. Upgrading from Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center will remove the Windows Media Center app.
  • No DVD playback. Watching DVDs requires separate playback software.
  • Windows 7 desktop gadgets removed. Installing Windows 10 will remove Windows 7’s desktop gadgets.
  • Windows 10 Home users can’t defer updates. Only Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the ability to defer updates.
  • Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts games removed, replaced. Games that came pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed as part of installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released new versions of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” and “Microsoft Minesweeper.”
  • USB floppy/stiffy drives require new drivers. You will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the manufacturer’s website.
  • Windows Live Essentials OneDrive removed. Replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.

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Windows 10 free upgrade details