Joan writes, “I’m running Windows 7 on my laptop, and for the past five months I’ve had a request pending to get the upgrade to Windows 10. Am I supposed to just keep waiting patiently, or is there something else I’m supposed to do?”
Congratulations, Joan, on being way more patient than we are! We’re about to lose our minds just waiting for the next season of “Sherlock” to air. You should be able to download and upgrade to Windows 10 right now for free, if you’re currently using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1
Most Windows users have been receiving little notifications about the update since July 2015. If you clicked on that notification and followed the directions, it should have upgraded your system as soon as Windows 10 became available.
If you’re not getting those notifications, or that option just didn’t work for some reason, you can go to Microsoft’s website and click the Windows 10 link to manually start the download and installation.
But why would you want to upgrade to Windows 10? Well, it depends on which operating system you’re currently using.
Windows 10 is a much smaller installation than Windows 7. It runs a lot faster, and you’ll see a big performance boost by upgrading, even without changing any of the hardware in your computer.
For those readers currently running Windows 8, you absolutely have to upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible. Microsoft dropped support for Windows 8 in early 2016, which means there won’t be any more security updates, software patches or bug fixes.
There aren’t as many differences between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, but we still suggest upgrading anyway. You’ll get the latest version that should be supported for longer, and you’ll get some cool new features like Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant that is sort of like Siri for your home PC.
Another new feature we really like are virtual desktops, which let you set up multiple virtual workspaces on one computer and switch back and forth between them. It’s like having multiple screens without having extra monitors.
So, Joan, go ahead and upgrade, and see if you like it!