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Grow Your Business Technology

Windows 10: How to Get Your Upgrade

Windows 10: How to Get Your Upgrade
Credit: Microsoft

On July 29, 2015, Microsoft first introduced Windows 10 to the market. Today it accounts for just 30 percent of the market. Nearly 50 percent of the market is on Windows 7. But just more than 10 percent are now on outdated operating systems Vista and XP.

Here's how to upgrade to Windows 10. [Windows 10: New Features for Business]

Windows 10 was originally rolled out in batches to different sets of users, including Windows Insiders, early-access and beta testers followed by a fully public roll out. Today we're up to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, where Insiders can still take advantage of early roll-outs to updates of the company's operating system. Microsoft now considers Windows 10 to be Windows as a Service. This allows the company to continue to gather feedback on user experiences, release security updates and make improvements on a regular and organized process. 

These days it's harder to buy a machine that doesn't come running Windows 10 Home, Pro or Enterprise out of the box. But for those who are running an older operating system, upgrading to Windows 10 will mean purchasing it from the company. Windows 10 Home, which would only be appropriate for very, very small businesses, goes for $119. And Windows 10 Pro will cost you $199. You'll need to talk to Microsoft about an Enterprise deployment, as the price will depend on the number of users and the level of support your company needs.

The upgrades to Windows 10 were free for all until July 31, 2016, but that gravy train ended. There is still one exception for those who use assistive technology such as screen readers. But even that program is ending as of December 31, 2017. 

Microsoft ended support for its XP in 2014, and on April 11 it ended support for Vista. For those users still on those platforms, it's definitely time to upgrade. Without doing so you risk some serious data breaches. While Windows 7 remains the most popular version of Windows, it's also starting to look a little long in the tooth and could use an upgrade. 

Beyond pure age and security concerns, why else should you upgrade? You'll get better speed performance from a Windows 10 machine. Windows 10 brings back the beloved Start Menu, but adds a helpful Cortana assistant to it. You can access Universal Apps on Windows 10, which means the same apps can run across various types of devices. Windows 10 supports touch and has a helpful Notification Center for getting alerts and virtual desktops.  

Anna Attkisson

After getting infected with the tech bug at Wireless World and Cellular Business magazines as an intern in 1998, Anna Attkisson went on to dabble in all sorts of publications covering everything from children’s fashion to financial planning, cars and travel. During the last 10 years, she’s returned to her roots where she’s been writing and editing for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide, before moving on to Tom’s IT Pro, Business.com and Business News Daily. She has a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas.