Q: I’m getting the “Get Windows 10” alert on my computer in the bottom right-hand corner. Should I download it?
What you’re actually seeing is an invitation to reserve a copy of the Windows 10 upgrade when it becomes available, which isn’t until July 29. Microsoft is taking a completely different approach with Windows 10; they want to encourage people to upgrade by making it free for the first year. Windows 8 was so poorly received that they needed to do whatever they could to keep users upgrading to their newer platform. The overall goal is to create a unified interface so everything looks and works the same on your computer, smartphone, tablet and laptop. Unless you only own Windows-based mobile devices (which most of you don’t), this benefit won’t mean much, but there are lots of other reasons to consider upgrading to Windows 10.
There are a lot of new features that will allow you to use your computer much like you do your smartphone — things like Cortana (Microsoft’s version of Siri), universal apps, finger or stylus annotations (if you have a touch screen display) and a return to a Start button-based interface will likely improve the overall experience. As with all Windows upgrades, it’s generally a matter of time before you’re forced to upgrade, but Windows 10 may be one of those rare versions that people actually want to install.
When the time comes, the most convenient way to upgrade is through an in-place upgrade, meaning you install it over the top of your existing version of Windows. This keeps all your programs, data and system settings in place after the upgrade.
For this reason, you’ll want to make sure your computer is in good working condition before you attempt the upgrade.