Microsoft Wants You to Upgrade to Windows 10 (Now)

Those annoying upgrade prompts are about to become a lot less optional for many users. Unfortunately, your PC may not be ready.
Windows upgrade

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.

The OS That Won't Take 'No' For an Answer

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.

Be Careful What You Pay For

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.

Michael Bonebright
Former Senior Blog Editor

Michael added the finishing touches to most of the Blog articles on DealNews. His work has appeared on sites like Lifehacker, the Huffington Post, and MSN Money. See him rant about video games by following him on Twitter @ThatBonebright.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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@twinklynana, it is interesting that Microsoft chose not to include Windows Vista in the free upgrade since, like Win 8, it was not well liked.

We have an older laptop still running Vista and had a really cheap copy of Windows 8 Pro ($38) sitting on the self. Thinking that doing the Win 8 upgrade first will get us the free Win 10 upgrade.
michael bonebright (DealNews)
BlueOak-- Kodi integrates well with PVR backend apps, which can give you access to an EPG. It depends on your needs and setup. In general, I'd say Kodi can do just about anything WMC could, you just might have to go searching for the right app. It's a trade-off :/

FYI, if anyone is looking for simple library management, Plex is also good, and supported on a MUCH wider variety of things.
I'm running 'Vista' on my PC and it said I couldn't update to Windows 10, I sure hope Vista will be supported for awhile longer!
Did the upgrade on our Windows 7 PC, restarted and would only start in Automatic Repair mode. Microsoft CS was useless, luckily a friend was able to reinstall Window 7 for us.
We use a Windows 7 box with our home theater running Microsoft Media Center. It has worked pretty well but it looks like it is time to checkout Kodi.

Is Kodi missing any important features vs Media Center - like the electronic guide?
I do some PC support on the side - I dread inexperienced clients accepting the Windows 10 update and running into problems. Oh wait - it is support opportunity!

Actually, Windows 10 is pretty nice and while there's a bit of a learning curve vs 7, it isn't that difficult for the average user who uses the Internet and Microsoft Office.

BTW, Office 2007 and later is Windows 10 compatible. The challenge: Office 2007 gets desupported (if you believe Microsoft) in a little over a year.
I would e happy to update to W10, and have tried. Unfortunately, HP has installed so much built in security that W10 needs it uninstalled. It is impossible to uninstall and HP has said as much. I would need to install a clean W7 and then upgrade which is more than I want to try on my own. So HP has made the decision for me. Oh well
michael bonebright (DealNews)
Just wanna chime in and agree with datdamonfoo that Kodi is fantastic. I was never a big fan of Windows Media Center, as XBMC was so much better for my household's purposes, and Kodi is a seriously worthy successor to XBMC.
Reluctant not "reticent".
I agree with Crismodin that there's no point to go Win10 when win8.1 or win7 is running the games perfectly. Updating to Win10 is not suitable for all. I have a gigabyte laptop with Win8.1 and after upgrading to Win10, some of the drivers are incompatible. I contacted microsoft for support, and yes they were friendly and trying to resolve, but ultimately I have to find updates and reinstall some drivers. Yes, Win10 bootup on my laptop is quicker, but not much at 25 secs. However, during laptop usage I find that programs was more sluggish and more crashes. Not every program I use is Win10 compatible. I reverted back to Win8.1, using it as win7 shelled with updated drivers. So much smoother and almost no crashes.
Somebody wrote (name withheld) "Microsoft desperately wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 because very soon they will start charging for Windows upgrades. And if you are running Windows 10, Microsoft will be able to force you to pay for these upgrades or lose access to Windows security updates and such".

This is not true.. It's more paranoid conspiracies.. What MS wants to do is concentrate it's resources on one OS (which is 10) then soon everybody will be raving about win10 but okay, for you tin foil hats, say MS is using us and once everyone has it then they can (and will) do as they please including charging for updates, creating a monthly user fee, etc., etc. now we're screwed? Nada.. Now we'll all know MS isn't to be trusted and Ubunti (a free OS) will suddenly become THE OS for all Americans.. Do you actually think the people at MS are THAT stupid? Tell me, who out there actually owns a bridge in Brooklyn? We're smarter than that and we're not being scammed for MS sake.
Yeah, I'm not sure where people get the notion that Microsoft will be charging for updates, no they won't. I'm still using Windows 7 and I like Windows 7, it works will all my games and programs, my brother on the otherhand is using Windows 10 for his new PC and is finding that some of his new and old games have compatibility issues with it. I'm just going to stick with Windows 7 until there's an issue or Windows 10 gets way better.
I had win 7, Win 8.1 and now win 10 and by far, Win 10 wins hands down. My system boots up much faster, is more stable, Edge is a fast browser and now competes with Chrome and I have had no problem with driver updates or drive issues. This bashing of Microsoft is way overdone.
Also, yes, Media Center no longer works with Windows 10. Microsoft said that barely anyone used Media Center (which is probably true, percentage wise). So for very few people is this a deal breaker (especially with streaming becoming such a huge platform). If you're like me and just want a home media center (and don't use a cable card), Kodi is the way to go.
A lot of FUD in these comments, or at the very least, unique problems. First of all, Microsoft will NOT be charging for updates to its OS. People who spread this rumor base it on no evidence at all. The Windows 10 update itself will cost money (like all previous Windows OS's) after July 29. But there will be no subscription fees, ever.

Second, Windows 10 works fine with external harddrives. I have 8 external drives on just one of my 9 Windows 10 computers, and they all work. And several of them are Seagate Expansion Drives (a 6TB and a couple of 8 TB drives). No random disconnections.

Not sure what Cilvre is talking about with Windows Update changing updates and marking them as incompatible.
My windows 8.1 is probably my last windows machine. I'll start doing everything on my phone. Sick of Microsuck.
I took advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10 but had to go back to Windows 7 because of external hard drives incompatibility. Specifically (2) Seagate 5TB Expansion drives.
They kept disconnecting unexpectedly and one actually failed.
It took me a week of using my windows 8 laptop to restore files from the failed drive and during all that use on Windows 8, there were no disconnect issues.... ding, ding, ding! Upon investigation of the specifications of these drives, I discovered that they didn't say the drives were compatible with Windows 10, but I sorta assumed that they would be. Wouldn't you?
After all, these are some pretty huge drives that were manufactured after the Windows 10 came on the scene.
We currently run both 7 & 10, & are pretty much agnostic -- which ever you prefer is entirely up to you. BUT, if you do upgrade from 7/8 -> 10, do hold onto your old stuff, like keys & image backups etc. Your **Free** license for 10 applies to your hardware as it is when you upgrade. Replace a hard drive because of a drive failure for example, & you could find yourself with a copy of 10 that needs re-activated -- according to reports I've read, whether or not that costs you depends on the rep you get when you call.
@mnealbarrett: What you said goes against everything MS has said about Windows.
I loved windows 7 and then upgraded to windows 8, I regretted it and instantly begged windows 7 to take me back and forgive me for betraying her, she took me back and has taken care of me since. Because of that I was very reluctant to upgrade to windows 10 but I finally did, and I have to say I like some of the features like Cortana, it's very useful. I haven't had any issues with windows 10, I like the UI, booting time is faster in combination with my SSD. not bad. as to mnealbarrett's point of paid upgrades, I don't really see that happening, but who knows?
also be aware that windows update can change items and mark them as incompatible after the fact. I've found that out the hard way for a few different pieces of software that were working fine.
Thank you, mnealbarrett! I completely agree with what you wrote. I'm sticking with Windows 7.
Microsoft desperately wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 because very soon they will start charging for Windows upgrades. And if you are running Windows 10, Microsoft will be able to force you to pay for these upgrades or lose access to Windows security updates and such. If you are running Windows 7 or 8, they can't force these paid updates on you.

I strongly suggest that anyone who is running Windows 7 to stay with it. Windows 10 has no real advantages over 7 on a system with no touchscreen functionality -- desktops or laptops, for example.
Be aware that Windows Media Center will not work with Windows 10. A real deal-breaker for those of us with Cable Card setups.