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Here's what you need to know about Windows 10 before it arrives*

*Don’t worry, you have almost two months to prepare.

AFTER ANNOUNCING THAT the latest version of Windows will be arriving on 29th July, Microsoft looks set to address the many problems that plagued Windows 8.

While you have almost two months to prepare for its arrival, there may be a few details that need clarifying. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.

So what’s arriving on Windows 10?

For this update, Microsoft is going back to the classic Windows style while incorporating some elements from Windows 8.

For one, the layout problems that plagued Windows 8 and 8.1, mainly how disjointed tablet and desktop modes were, are removed. The format will resemble Windows 7 more, the major difference is the return of the classic start button, which brings you into an app-like interface when clicked.

While there always going to be changes between the current developer preview and the final product, the interface is already a big improvement on Windows 8 and ultimately less frustrating to use.

1 Source: Microsoft

There are other features introduced like Continuum. This mainly deals with 2-in-1 devices, allowing the transition from desktop to tablet and vice versa to be smooth, but also allows you to connect a Windows phone to a monitor and turn it into a PC.

There will also be the opportunity to log in using biometric authentication. Provided your device supports it, you use your face, iris or finger to log in.

Other features like Microsoft Edge, Windows’s successor to Internet Explorer, will be included and all traditional Microsoft apps have been redesigned for both desktop and tablet mode.

Source: Windows/YouTube

What features are going to be cut?

For one, some programmes like Internet Explorer and Windows Media Centre will be given the chop (people weren’t using the latter) while games like Minesweeper, Hearts and Solitaire will make way for Candy Crush Saga.

Also, Cortana, Windows’s personal assistant, won’t be arriving here anytime soon as only six countries – the US, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain – will get it on launch.

The other bigger change is you won’t have any control over updates if you’re using Home edition, according to The Verge.

While both the Pro and Enterprise versions allow you to defer updates, updates will be downloaded and installed automatically as soon as they’re available.

The reason is likely because Microsoft want to avoid a similar situation where Windows XP was still being used by a large number of people despite its last update happening in 2008.

What are the system requirements?

As Windows 10 is designed to run on tablets as well as desktops, the specs required to run it are pretty accessible.

A 1GHz processor, 1GB or RAM (2GB for 64-bit devices) 16GB of hard disk space (20GB for 64-bit devices) and a display of 1024×600 are required for you to run the update.

For those who aren’t familiar with that, if your computer or tablet is good enough to run Windows 7 or 8. then you won’t have much to worry about. The specs are a little higher for desktop but still manageable for most PCs.

The bigger question is whether the release will be stable across the board. Since Windows 10 covers a wide variety of devices, it’s likely that there will be some niggling bugs here and there, things that will become more apparent as it’s opened up to a larger audience.

This is always the case with the first version of any major release, but at the very least, you should expect an update to follow quickly once these become apparent.

I’ve no idea what the above means. Is there an easier way to check?

If you see a Windows icon at the bottom left-hand corner of your activity tray, you can click on it and find a ‘test your PC’ option to see if it’s compatible.

If you’re not seeing it, it’s either because you don’t have the up-to-date version of Windows 7 or 8.1, Windows Update is turned off, or worst case scenario, you’re running a pirated version of Windows.

Alternatively, you can either check your desktop’s specs in Control Panel > System.

Windows 10 get windows Source: Windows Blog

If you’re eligible for an upgrade, you will be able to reserve a copy of it over the coming weeks. While it’s not essential to get it the day it arrives, reserving a copy will mean you’ll get to download it sooner (and schedule the update) compared to those who haven’t.

Since it’s free and is being released in 190 countries simultaneously, it’s likely that Microsoft is expecting a large volume of downloads come 29th July. But as mentioned earlier, the download is free for the first year.

Ok, when Microsoft say ‘free’, does it really mean free?

Provided you’re happy to use the Home edition, yes. If you have Windows 7 or 8.1, you have a year to download it so there’s no panic if you don’t get it asap. However, if you have an older version or you miss the one year window, you will have to pay for it.

We’re waiting on Microsoft Ireland to clarify prices for the other versions but it’s expected it will cost the same as Windows 8.1 (€119).

The cost of upgrading to different versions of Windows 10 like Pro, Education, and Enterprise isn’t clear yet, but if we’re going by prices for similar versions, it will cost €199 to get the Pro version direct or €99 if you’re upgrading from Home to Pro.

Read: Google is hoping a privacy hub will make you feel more comfortable about data collection >

Read: Using your devices at night? Here’s how you can reduce the strain on your eyes >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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