If you are planning to upgrade to Windows 10 and want to be able to do it for free, time is running out. The deadline for you to take your Windows XP, 7, or 8 machine and turn it into a computer running Microsoft’s newest operating system is July 29, 2016. After that, you will pay $199 for the Pro version or $119 for the home version.
Overall, solosmall attorneys have been pretty wedded to using older versions of Microsoft’s operating systems. In 2015, the ABA solosmall survey found that 47% of firms still used Windows 7, which was introduced in 2009 and hasn’t had an update since 2011. The survey also found that 10% of firms were still stubbornly clinging to Windows XP, which hasn’t been supported for over two years.
You may be entirely comfortable running one of the older systems and not be inclined to upgrade, which is understandable. It is nice to be familiar with the technology you use regularly, and sometimes there is just no need to have the latest versions. Here, though, there are a few compelling reasons to consider shifting to Windows 10:
- It’s free. Windows doesn’t do free. Mac has done free for years, offering free OS upgrades to existing Mac users since 2013 and has said that users will never pay for an upgrade again. Microsoft made Windows 10 free for a year, which is unprecedented for them. Obviously, their goal is to lock you into their computer eco-system, not to provide you nobly something without cost. But that doesn’t matter. If you think you’ll ever want to be running newer Windows tech and don’t want to pay, now is the time to upgrade. You can even just download it and install it later if you’re not quite ready to give up your existing OS.
- It adds some nice new features. Microsoft 10 offers better support for two-factor and biometric verification so that you can lock down your machine a bit better. You get Cortana, which is basically Microsoft’s version of Siri. If you upgraded to Windows 8 awhile back, you might have noticed that the Start menu was nearly unusable. Windows 10 fixes that.
- Eventually, your old machine becomes a security risk. Windows XP isn’t supported at all, which means Microsoft no longer issues security updates. They don’t provide mainstream support for Windows 7 any longer (which means no free technical support or product upgrades) and will stop providing anything, including security updates, in 2020.
Should you upgrade? That’s up to you, but there’s no downside in downloading the update and deciding to install it later, and you are running out of time to do that for free.