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After several (beta) builds, available to all the Windows 10 Insider people, Microsoft Windows 10 it’s finally available to all (in 190 countries) and also for the upgrade. Yes because Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to people using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 for qualified devices and OS version (for more information see the Windows10Upgrade page).

There are already a lot of information on all the features of this new OS, and several landing pages with presentations and comments. But the best and simple way is just try it: if you are using Windows 8.1 you can appreciate Windows 10 that become more usable both for tablet and ALSO (finally) “legacy” desktop users. If you are using Windows 7 you can have some doubts and concerns, but honestly it’s a big improvement and has the same (maybe also better, depending by the point of view) usability.

The Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications. Applications compatibility seems good and same for the hardware compability (I’ve tested on an old Dell Latitude that has only drivers for Windows 7: it works well without any external drivers, except for the GSM/UMTS integrated card that works well with Windows 7 utilities). But the new web browser (Edge, previosly named Spartan) will bring some possibile incompatibilities.

You can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade through a simple reservation process. Look for this icon in your system tray at the bottom of your screen, simply click on the icon, and then complete the reservation process. You can find more details on how this works at Windows.com.

Reserve your Windows 10 upgrade

You can upgrade for free your Windows OS until July, 29th 2016, so one year of time to test your applications and devices.

For home and personal usage I don’t see why don’t upgrade (remember that mainstream support for Windows 7 has gone and the extended support will expire on January 14, 2020). For professional and enterprise usage probably you have to plan the upgrade well, but note that the Windows 10 upgrade notification icon will not show up if:

  • The device is not running at least Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
  • Windows Update is turned off or is not set to receive updates automatically.
  • Windows Update functionality is blocked or uninstalled.
  • The device is not running genuine Windows.
  • The device is part of Enterprise licensing (SKU).
  • The device is domain-joined.
  • The device is MDM-managed.

This choice is to avoid automatically upgrade in enterprise environments. Just because you have first to validate all your applications (and don’t forget also the web applications) and devices!

Note that you can block the icon from showing and disable notifications. Using the Windows registry editor:

  1. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx
  2. Create a new REG_DWORD registry value called: DisableGwx
  3. Give it a value of: 1
Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2904 Posts)

Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-18. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-18. Nutanix NTC 2014-18. PernixPro 2014-16. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.


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