Last month, Microsoft released their newest operating system, Windows 10, as a free upgrade to computers and devices using Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1. This free upgrade is available until July 29, 2016, so you have until next year to decide whether to take advantage of it.
While the prospect of adopting the newest Windows operating system is exciting, especially at no cost, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Before committing to the upgrade, thoroughly research if it’s a sound choice for you and your church. Windows 10 is new and will undergo many changes, so you must determine if this is a suitable time to upgrade.
Though Microsoft states that a majority of programs you use with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are compatible with Windows 10, this doesn’t mean all programs are. You should check if your current software is compatible, or if there are updates that make your software compatible.
Also, determine if your printer and other peripherals are compatible with Windows 10. The device’s manufacturer can confirm compatibility and provide the newest drivers if needed.
Ensure that your computer meets the basic specifications before upgrading. The Windows 10 free upgrade requires:
- The latest version of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1. You can check which version of Window you have by clicking this link.
- A 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor.
- At least 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM for the 32-bit version, or 2 GB of RAM for the 64-bit version.
- At least 16 GB of hard drive space for the 32-bit version, or 20 GB of hard drive space for the 64-bit version.
- A graphics card that supports DirectX 9 or higher with Windows Display Driver (WDDM) 1.0 or higher drivers.
- A monitor that can display at least 800×600 resolution.
If you’re uncertain about your computer’s specifications, you can find your system information using these instructions:
If you need more information about your graphics card’s specifications, run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. On the System tab, check your DirectX Version. On any Display tab, check the Driver Model for driver information.
To run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool:
Not all features available in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are included in Windows 10. If you use any of the following features, you may need to install substitute software or additional drivers.
- Windows 10 does not include Windows Media Center.
- Playing DVDs requires additional media software.
- Windows 10 does not include Windows 7 desktop gadgets.
- Windows 7 Games such as Solitaire, Minesweeper and Hearts are not a part of Windows 10.
- If you use a USB floppy drive, you must download new drivers from Windows Updates or the manufacturer’s website.
- If you use Windows Live Essentials, the OneDrive app is replaced with an inbox version of OneDrive.
Also, Internet Explorer is replaced by Microsoft Edge as the default browser for Windows 10. Internet Explorer is still included in the Windows 10 installation, but you must locate it in Windows Accessories and make it your default browser.
There are also several versions of Windows 10. Your current operating system determines which version of Windows 10 you get.
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, you can do this through the Get Windows 10 app. This app is a Windows icon on your computer’s task bar that you click to schedule the upgrade.
If you are running genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, and you don’t see the Get Windows 10 app on your taskbar, ensure your operating system is fully updated to the newest version.
To update your operating system:
To learn more about Windows 10’s features and decide if the upgrade is right for your church, visit the Microsoft Windows 10 website.