Microsoft has put a lot of effort in the making of Windows 10, and there’s huge expectation surrounding the release of the product. Those who didn’t considered Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to be a significant update, along with users of older Windows versions, will be ready to give it a try once the software becomes available. And to prepare you for that moment, we have decided to come up with some important things that you should know.
As you have probably heard by now, Windows 10 will run both on desktop and phones, of course, with different user interfaces, but sharing the same core. So, if you plan on running Windows 10 on your PC, all-in-one or laptop or tablet, hybrid, then find below the desktop requirements you need to meet.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Free hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit and 20GB for 64-bit. Do take into account that Windows 10 comes with some smart compression techniques that save up storage space.
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- Minimum screen resolution of 800×600 pixels
- Others – UEFI 2.3.1 firmware, tablets require buttons are power and volume up/ down, a Microsoft account and Internet access
If you plan to download and install Windows 10 on your phone, you will also have to meet the following requirements, which are pretty much on par with what you are accustomed to with Windows Phone.
- Supported screen sizes – from 3-inch to 7.99-inch
- 512MB of RAM for FWVGA (854×480 pixels) and WVGA (800×480 pixels) resolution devices; 1GB of RAM for WSVGA (1024×600 pixels) devices, HD (1280×720 pixels), WXGA (1366×768 pixles), and qHD (960×540 pixels) devices; 2GB of RAM for full-HD (1920×1080 pixels), WUXGA (1920×1200 pixels), and WSXGA (1440×900 pixels) devices; 3GB of RAM for WQXGA (2560×1600 pixels) and QWXGA (2048×1152 pixels) devices, and finally 4GB of RAM for QSZGA (2560×2048 pixels) resolution devices (I haven’t heard of too many with this amount, to be honest)
- Minimum of 4GB of inbuilt storage, SD card slot required for phones with just 4GB in order to support updates
- Power and volume up/ down buttons, phones with a WVGA display need start, back, and search buttons
Other components and connectivity requirements for both the mobile devices and desktops are pretty much obvious, such as cellular radio, audio, connectors, wireless, sensors, notifications and others. As we can see, nothing much has changed and by the looks of it, you will be able to use Windows 10 to give live to some old hardware lying around useless.
Price and availability
We knew that Microsoft was planning to make Windows 10 available as a free upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, as we all as to Windows Phone 8.1. And while this was a pretty much expected move, since Microsoft needed to do something to address the lack of popularity mainly among desktop users, there were just a few who knew Redmond would make Windows 10 free for basically everybody!
The news broke recently, when during the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China, Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, confirmed that even those with pirated versions will be able to get the Windows 10 upgrade for free. However, you need to know that your version won’t be actually called ‘genuine’, which is rather strange and at the moment a little hard to understand. Microsoft says this:
With Windows 10, although non-Genuine PCs may be able to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade will not change the genuine state of the license. If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade.
As for its official price as a standalone purchase, at the moment Microsoft hasn’t disclosed that, as it seems to be focusing mainly on upgrades, which will probably represent the lion’s share for new users. However, it will be interesting to see how will Microsoft go about licensing Windows 10 to OEMs, as it is currently offering it for free on smaller screen devices.
Regarding its availability, Microsoft said Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages, but hasn’t revealed and exact date. Also, we don’t know whether there will be multiple roll-out phases or Redmond will choose to make the software available to everybody at once.
If you plan to make the jump to Windows 10, you are probably also wondering what are going to be the upgrade paths for every specific version you have. You should know that users of Windows 7 RTM, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 RTM will be able to update to Windows 10 only by using the ISO image while Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 S14 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 both via media and Windows Update.
Users with Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to update only via Windows Update while Windows Phone 8 will have to upgrade first to Windows Phone 8.1 before they can get Windows 10. It seems that Windows RT won’t get Windows 10, but Microsoft did mention before that it plans some sort of software update for the ill-fated operating system.