iStock_000016717518_SmallIn an unprecedented effort to get their newest software running on a billion devices within the next few years, Microsoft has been offering a free Windows 10 upgrade. Even though the offer has been in effect for nearly a year now, many people still don’t know about it, so we think it’s important to review the details with you.

In order to take advantage of the offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 by July 29, 2016. So what will happen at the end of this free offer period?

First of all, the free upgrade offer is for the full version of Windows 10. It’s not a trial or “light” version, so you won’t have to pay or otherwise jump through hoops to access the full version of the software. It’s complete, it’s installed on any device you choose, and it’s absolutely free.

Once the introductory period is over, Microsoft might begin charging for the upgrade, probably to the tune of 99 dollars or more. But whether or not they decide to start charging for the new software, that is actually the least of your concerns.

In the future, support for Windows 7 and 8 will end, and you won’t be able to access security patches and updates. Right now, those dates are scheduled for 2020 and 20203, respectively. There is obviously no pressing need to switch over to Windows 10 for security reasons alone, but you might wish to take advantage of the offer anyway. Certain features of Windows 10 might benefit your business; on the other hand, you might be more comfortable sticking with your old operating system. This is an issue to weigh carefully (we can walk you through the details if you give us a call).

As long as support is active for Windows 7 and 8, you’re not at risk of missing security patches and updates, and an upgrade to Windows 10 is purely optional.  But since this free offer expires in July, it makes sense to examine your options within the next month or so. If you decide Windows 10 is right for you, you might as well get it for free!

If you need help making the transition from an older operating system to the new and improved Windows 10, give us a call. We can show you how to get the upgrade for all of your machines, and ensure that your security settings are adequate to protect your valuable equipment.