What to do about Windows 10

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On June 1, 2015 – about a week ago – you might have noticed something new on your computer. You would have seen this if you are using Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. It’s the Windows 10 notification, encouraging you to “reserve” your free upgrade to Windows 10.

Windows 10 icon

 

That morning, I started getting questions from lots of my clients who noticed it and wondered what to do about it, if anything. So I sent out a “special edition” email newsletter to advise this: You can ignore it for now. In fact, if you want to, you can remove it from your screen (I’ll show you how to do that later in this post).

The full release of Windows 10 is not out yet. The current planned release date is July 29, or roughly 2 months from now. So why is Microsoft sending out this notification already? They’re planning ahead, since on July 29 their servers will be slammed with people trying to get the upgrade on that day. It’s about a 3 gb download, which is significant even on a high-speed connection.

With this notification that popped up on your screen, you can choose to “reserve” your upgrade. That means that the installation file will download in the background AHEAD of the July 29 release date, and then once that date has passed you can choose to install it whenever you wish to.

My current recommendation: wait.

If you’re currently running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 the upgrade to Windows 10 will be free for an entire year – from July 29, 2015 to July 28, 2016. You can upgrade anytime during that year at no cost. It’s not yet known what the cost will be to upgrade after the free year.

It’s common knowledge that a new piece of software – particularly one as complicated as an operating system is – will have some bugs.

windows 10

 

When Microsoft releases a new OS, let other people be the pioneers. Let their computers get the bugs, the crashes, the freeze-ups, and the subsequent updates to fix those problems. Then, after the dust has settled, maybe 6 months later, go ahead and get the Windows 10 upgrade if you want. Anyone that reads this blog, listens to my podcast, or gets my Monday email newsletter will know when I have begun to officially recommend getting the upgrade to Windows 10.

I’ve been checking out a “preview” version of Windows 10, and the early indications is that it will be very good. So most likely, at some point, I will be recommending the upgrade during that first year. But right now, we know Windows 7 works fine and is fast and stable. Even if you’re using the cumbersome and unpopular Windows 8 or 8.1, I really can’t recommend doing the upgrade right away. Let Microsoft get the kinks out of the system first.

In the meantime, what can you do with that little Windows 10 icon at the bottom of your screen?

  1. Ignore it
  2. Explore it
  3. Remove it

Ignore it: Really, that icon sitting there doesn’t hurt anything. So you can leave it there if you just don’t want to mess with it right now.

Explore it: If you do one left-click on the icon, it brings up a new window. In that window you can click to reserve your upgrade (not recommended yet) or you can click on the “advance slide” link on the right to scroll through Microsoft’s little sales pitch on how great Windows 10 is going to be:

windows 10

 

When you close that window, you will still see the icon sitting down there at the bottom of your screen. So you can click it anytime to reserve your upgrade, if you want to.

Remove it: if you just don’t want to have it there for whatever reason, you can just get rid of it. This doesn’t actually remove it from your computer; it just keeps it from showing up down there in the Notifications area. To do this:

– Right click in a blank area on the taskbar (the bar across the bottom of your screen, and in the new menu, choose “Properties”:

windows 10

 

– In the new window, click the button that says “Customize”:

windows 10

 

– Now look for “GWX” (it’s probably the first one in the list), and in the drop down menu choose “Hide icon and notifications”, then click OK

windows 10

 

No doubt over the next couple of months, we will hear many times from Microsoft about all the cool new features in Windows 10 and why everyone should upgrade. And in time, you probably will upgrade. But there’s no real advantage to being first in line. Be a settler, not a pioneer.

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Elisabeth Meier
June 8th, 2015

I have three questions. Did everyone get the icon? How much is it going to cost at the end of a year? And if you try the freeby and after a year it’s too expensive how do you get rid of it and get back to your old OS?

Scott Johnson
June 8th, 2015

Most people running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 got the icon. If you upgrade in the first year, it’s free for life. I’m sure there will be a process available for reverting back to the previous version, but can’t really tell you those specific steps since the software has not been released yet.

Craig
June 8th, 2015

what if we never want 10, how long will 8.1 be valid.

Scott Johnson
June 8th, 2015

Windows 8.1 will be supported until January 2023. But honestly, I never thought I would hear anyone ask that question. 🙂

Tem
June 8th, 2015

How can I un-reserve the Windows 10 upgrade?

Scott Johnson
June 9th, 2015

To cancel the reservation:
Right click on the Get Windows 10 App or Windows icon located in right end of the taskbar.
Select “Check your upgrade status”
Select “Cancel reservation”