Confirmed: Windows 10 Due July 29; Plus Upgrade Paths

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has confirmed Windows 10 will be available July 29, 2015. It's also advising those who wish to take the plunge to Windows 10 do some prep work before installing the new operating system.

The date is a minor surprise as, more often than not, previous Windows editions came out in the fall. Fall release dates are usually meant to target people buying new PCs for the new academic year, or for the Christmas shopping season. That may be less relevant, however, as Windows 10 is a free upgrade.

Windows 10 Upgrade Paths

The upgrade process should be relatively simple, starting with the choice of editions for consumers.

Put simply: if you are upgrading from a Professional or Ultimate edition of Windows 7 or 8.1, you will get Windows 10 Professional. All other consumer editions of Windows will upgrade to Windows 10 Home. The upgrade is free as long as you install it on your system within a year, meaning before July 29, 2016.

Rather than have users visit a website and fill in forms to get Windows 10, Microsoft is releasing a dedicated application to manage the whole process. It will appear automatically as part of the regular update process, though users will need to be running either Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1 in order to qualify for the upgrade.

Reserve Free Windows 10 Upgrade Now

Once the "Get Windows 10" application has been activated, users will see a white Windows icon in the notification area of the taskbar (next to the clock). The "Get Windows 10" program is noted by the executable "GWX.exe" according to Windows Task Manager, and for many users, became activated yesterday.

Clicking on the "Get Windows 10" icon will bring up the option to "reserve your free upgrade." Once this option is selected, Windows will download some files now and the rest on July 29 to complete the installation. Users can manually change when the files will be downloaded and installed. (Source:

The "Get Windows 10" application will also scan the computer to check that it meets the hardware specifications needed for Windows 10, and that users are not missing any key driver files. For the most part, machines that run Windows 7 or 8.1 should cope fine.

Some Programs May Be Affected By Upgrade

It's considered very solid advice to perform an entire system backup before Windows 10 is scheduled to install.

Microsoft says most files and programs should be unaffected during the upgrade, but there are some exceptions. The main exceptions are that Windows Media Center will be removed and users may need to get a separate program for playing DVDs, such as VLC Media Player.

Windows will also automatically uninstall any anti-virus software running on the system during the installation, in order to avoid any potential conflicts. Once Windows 10 is in place, it will automatically download and install the latest antivirus edition from the relevant manufacturer, but users should make sure to check this has worked properly. (Source:

Windows XP Upgrade to Windows 10: Pricing

Microsoft has also revealed the pricing for those unable to take advantage of the free upgrade, including users running Windows XP. The upgrade cost will be $119 for Windows 10 Home, and $199 for Windows 10 Professional. If users get Home and later decided to upgrade to Professional, it will cost a further $99.

Recommended Prep Work before Installing Windows 10

Many users in the past have asked if Windows 10 should be installed fresh or as an upgrade. It appears that the rollout due July 29, 2015 will come as an upgrade. This means it will be installed 'over top' of the existing Windows installation, leaving existing programs and data in place.

As such, we highly recommend that users backup their existing operating system using a disk image backup (with a program such as Acronis True Image), in case the upgrade fails to install. For this reason, many tech professionals always recommend performing a 'fresh install' of Windows (which means formatting the hard drive and starting new), so that there are no chances of a failed installation. If the installation fails, it will likely be difficult to extract and reclaim data.

To date, not much has been made public regarding the download of the "full install media", but we suspect that information will become available as the July 29 release date approaches.

On a side note: if you require help backing up your system, you may contact Dennis for remote desktop support. He can help you to install Acronis True Image, set up the backup for you, and / or advise you on what needs to be done to ensure that you are prepared before Windows 10 deploys.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you plan to upgrade to Windows 10 from day 1? Will you take advantage of the one-year deadline to instead "wait and see"? Or are you happy with your current system and believe that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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odiesdad83_3480's picture

What has been the concensus of this from the beta users as to the reliability of 10? I think I might wait and see. . . I have Windows 7 on desktop and 8.1 on laptop, which, btw, is a little pain in the ..s to use. Thanks for your news . . . .

JeffRL's picture

I have absolutely no intention of switching from Windows 7 any time soon. I plan to wait months, if not close to the full year that Win10 is available free, and if what I read about Win10 doesn't convince me, I'll skip it entirely.

PayPaul's picture

I found out the actual relevant upgrades that Ms has been installing over the past few to "allow" this notification of the Windows 10 upgrade. Some have all the behavior of malicious software. At the very least, information available on MS about these "upgrades" to windows 7 is misleading and mysterious. See this article on sevenforums:

guitardogg's picture

I've been using Windows since version 1.0, really. My recommendation is to NEVER install the first release of any version of Windows (or any other MS software), at least in production (or at home). If you are in IT, by all means get it on a test machine and get familiar with it. At a minimum, wait for the first major update before upgrading. Let everyone else find the bugs!

caseymcpoet's picture

Hi Dennis: I appreciate your help in the past & trust your advice. I have a 2 month old new HP Presario laptop w/Win 8.1. It has been running wonderfully until about may 27th when it started acting crazy, especially Word 2013. All my Restore pts prior to May 29th were gone. I have Avira free & UVK, so I did virus scans & nothing found. Then when I hooked up my Seagate Expansion+ 1Tb external HD to do my 1st real backup on my laptop & also a 2nd backup of the Ext HD data to DVD's the laptop stopped recognizing the Ext HD. I then connected it to my Win 7 Netbook & at 1st last Friday the Mini Netbook recognized the Ext HD, but as of Sun the 31st it also stopped recognizing it.
The mini NB would show in the pie graph of Properties that it still had all the data on it but couldn't access it. Also last week my mini netbook said my battery wud no longer charge? I always keep it charged & have surge protection or unplug the PC's when I'm out or not using them. If I tried to get Properties on my Win 8.1 Laptop it would just idle spin when I requested Properties on the Ext HD & once or twice popped up showing the data was still there in the pie graph but would ask me if I wanted to format it. Prior to last week everything was working fine, in fact as close to perfect as I've experienced in yrs.
The Ext HD has all my docs & fotos from previous PC's. Lucky I have my XP HD in an Enclosure, my Win 7 HP mini 210 still has some of it & I made some backups to DVD's. Since it is only 2 months old I don't have a lot of new stuff added & since the earliest restore was after it started acting weird I decided to restore the new Win 8.1 Notebook to the factory defaults. Today after logging in & reading ur article I checked the Win update. It has 50 important & 18 optional updates!!! If I hadn't read ur article Dennis that some folks have been having problems like me I wud have just thought they were because I had done the factory default restore. I have done default restores in the past but never at anytime have I had 68 Windows updates to load afterwards!!!
Luckily I read ur Win 10 article right after logging on so I was able to reset the Win Update from automatic & I just reset it to back to 'download but let me choose'. I realized it had reset back to auto late last nite when i shut down the Laptop & it started updating & I hadn't been notified. But there was only 1 update yesterday. 50 important & 18 optional is mind blowing to me. And only 2 of them have explanations. The "more info" Win site is also down.
How do I know which ones if any of these 68 updates cud be the ones that caused my perfectly working PC to go wacko? I want my 1986 Packard Bell 286 back, lol. Thanks for any help you can give as I believe there may be a helluva lot of ur readers who may be in the same situation. I also downloaded Picasa but forgot to go do a settings limitation on it so it loaded 3000 of every icon & commercial graphic it found on my PC & very few of the fotos, lol. My friend says that it's because Mercury is severely retrograde until June 11th & I should keep off the Web until then. Who knows, maybe she's right. Thanks, Casey.
PS, they say us Irish have a hard time making a long story short so I hope u don't mind my lenghty blurb