Microsoft recently announced the launch date for Windows 10, along with details on which editions of the new operating system current Windows users will be able to upgrade to.
[Also read: Windows 10 free upgrade details]
It will be possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free any time during the first year after its release – launch date: 29 July 2015 – if you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
Users of the Home Premium edition of Windows 7 may be frustrated to learn that they only qualify for an upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
Home Premium users will lose at least one feature after the upgrade: the ability to delay updates. Only Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise will let you delay downloading and installing updates.
Upgrading to Windows 10 Home instead of the Pro edition also means you miss out on features such as Hyper-V virtualisation, BitLocker encryption, Remote Desktop server, and the ability to join a Windows domain.
|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, 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|
Although Microsoft may not offer a direct upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Pro, it is possible for users with older versions of Windows (XP, Vista, and 7) to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro.
From Windows 8.1 Pro, you can then upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
Sadly, upgrading to Windows 8.1 Pro is somewhat expensive, with copies of the operating system retailing for R2,000–R3,000.
However, when Windows 8 first launched on 26 October 2012, Microsoft offered Windows XP, Vista, and 7 users discounted upgrades to Windows 8 Pro for between R350 and R700.
If you can get your hands on one of those Windows 8 Pro upgrades – or if you still have an unused one lying around – it is the cheapest way to upgrade Home Premium editions of Windows 7 (and Vista) to Windows 10 Pro.