Are you wondering when the free Windows 10 download will end? Microsoft reports that the final day to get the Windows 10 download is July 29. After that, the currently free software will set users back $119. The final free day for Windows 10 coincides with the one-year anniversary of the date the operating system was first made available to the public.
Users of Windows 7 and 8 may upgrade with the free Windows 10 download available from Microsoft.
Tens of millions of computer owners had downloaded the program in the first few days it was available in summer, 2015. By March, 2016, over 300 million computers were running Windows 10, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Users of older machines running Windows XP and Vista are not eligible to download the free Windows 10 upgrade, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. It has been noted that computers running XP and Vista are probably not powerful enough to run Windows 10, and that owners of older machines may be better served simply buying a new computer, with Windows 10 already installed. Windows XP users may be putting their data at risk, as Microsoft no longer provides support or updates; a good reason to consider a new machine.
Despite the fact that Windows 10 is probably not suitable for most machines running XP or Vista, reviewers have consistently described the OS as “fast.” Most computers upgraded from version 7 or 8 will probably not experience any noticeable slowdown, a rarity for any upgraded program, especially an OS.
Some computers may even run faster after the Windows 10 download is installed; included with the new OS is Windows Defender, Microsoft’s leading antivirus program that provides complete protection against malware, spyware, and other common viruses. Simply upgrading to Windows 10 and running Defender may catch previously unknown scumware on Windows 7 and 8 systems, offering the chance for a real performance boost.
As of May, 2016, 10 months after the Windows 10 download was first available, the new Microsoft OS had captured 17.4 percent of the desktop OS market, as reported by Net Market Share. Despite this popularity, close to 70 percent of the desktop market was still using earlier versions of Windows, leaving over 1 billion machines potentially eligible to upgrade for free before July 29.
Users of the Microsoft Media Center have expressed disappointment that it was one of the few programs not available for Windows 10. While not officially supported by Microsoft, How To Geek has put together a guide that is reported to allow Microsoft Media Center to run in Windows 10, which may be useful for those who need both.
A new addition to Windows 10 is the incorporation of DirectX 12 graphics technology, which is reported to increase the performance of some equipment by up to 50 percent, as reported by PC World. DirectX 12 is definitely of interest to gamers and others who use graphics-intensive programs.
Also new in the Windows 10 download is the Edge browser, Microsoft’s latest, and its replacement for Internet Explorer. Like the OS itself, Edge runs fast and has been well-received by users, with one notable exception, the browser’s lack of ability to work with extensions; a feature that is expected in the future. In the meantime, those who use extensions with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will find that these programs run perfectly in Windows 10.
Windows 10 is the home of Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant and competitor to Apple’s Siri. Like the Edge browser, Cortana has been well received by the public. Since first being made available, it is reported that Cortana has responded to six billion user questions. Unlike Siri, Cortana can also be used across iOS- and Android-powered devices.
“Cortana works a lot like Google now,” YouTube user Austin Evans reports on Cortana and whether users should upgrade with the Windows 10 download. “You can search using voice and the results are pretty impressive. They can’t quite match the natural language searches of Google, but it’s totally usable.”
Have you upgraded? If you have, would you recommend the Windows 10 download to others? If you haven’t, do you plan on upgrading before July 29, the final day Windows 10 is free? Tell us why or why not and about your experience in the comments below.
[Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images]