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Windows 10 is not a bad operating system, according to the critics. It's certainly a better user experience than Windows 8, and everybody loves a freebie. Still, longtime Windows users are often reticent to switch to the latest operating system — for every Windows XP, there's a Windows ME, after all. Unfortunately, PC users' days of playing the waiting game are running out.
Microsoft is planning to download the new OS to your computer, whether you want it or not. And if your PC's hardware and applications are not compatible with Windows 10, you could be stuck with a very large, very useless file taking up space in your drive — and that's the best case scenario. Read on to see why you should be more concerned about Windows 10 compatibility.
UPDATE: According to CNET, Microsoft has made good on its earlier promises and shifted the Windows 10 upgrade from "optional" to "recommended." If your system has automatic updates enabled, you're likely to find the new OS downloaded onto your computer soon. However, as we previously mentioned, Windows 10 won't be installed until you initiate the change.
As far back as October, Microsoft said it would switch Windows 10 from an "optional" update to a "recommended" one. If you're not into having 16- to 20GB files downloaded onto your drive, you can turn off automatic updates. Please enjoy the glaring holes in your security when you forget to apply the updates on your own.
It's important to note that Windows 10 will not be automatically installed, even if your system has downloaded it. As long as you keep ignoring those popups (or get rid of the software that's running them), you can still avoid making the switch by sacrificing a little hard drive space.
The biggest problem for upgraders (or potential upgraders) is that your PC may not be ready. The requirements for Windows 10 are fairly barebones, but your hardware or software may be incompatible nevertheless. If you choose to initiate the installation, Windows 10 will run a check on your system, then recommend removing incompatible applications or devices.
Some users may find a nasty surprise in their report, like a recently purchased keyboard or mouse making the list of incompatible devices. And Windows 10 may not install until an offending piece of hardware or software is removed, which means you could find yourself in OS limbo.
The bottom line is, definitely don't buy any new PC components or applications without first checking that they're fully compatible with Windows 10. Because you're definitely upgrading — it's just a matter of time.