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Windows 10 Launch Quick Guide: Almost Everything You Need to Get Started


Editor in Chief

The day has finally arrived and the big news of the day is that Microsoft has launched Windows 10 to the masses. Enthusiasm is running high for the new OS from Microsoft, and rightly so. Windows 10 promises to reshape the entire Microsoft ecosystem, merging their mobile devices, Xbox One and PCs into a cohesive whole. Microsoft has even gone to great lengths to create cross platform compatibility with some Android and iOS devices.

With the new launch of Windows 10, there is a great deal of information to disseminate. Here's a once-stop-spot for you to get some of the handiest info regarding Microsoft's newest product. We have included the following: "Windows 10 System Requirements," "How to Install Windows 10," and "the top 5 cool features of Windows 10." Let's kick this quick guide off with a bang!

Windows 10 System Requirements and Upgrade Tool Instructions -
First, here are the Windows 10 requirements:
  • Latest OS: Make sure you are running the latest version of either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit

  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800x600
Next, (for those who don't necessarily know their system specs) here is a quick set of instructions on how to have your system automatically check to see if you are compatible:
  • You will need to have Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 already installed on your desktop. If you do then you will have a new Windows update icon in the corner of your desktop (you've probably seen this there for several weeks).
  • You will need to click it to activate Microsoft’s update tool so you can check to see if your computer is compatible.
  • After you have opened the update tool, head to the Options button, which is in the upper right corner of the window.
  • Next, select the Check your PC option from the Getting the upgrade section.
  • Finally, your computer will automatically let you know if Windows 10 can run on your machine. Most of the time, if you have Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 on your system, then you should be fine, but if you shoe-horned either of those operating systems on a very old PC then you could be left out in the cold.
How to Install Windows 10 Quick Instructions - (please note things could be more complicated than these instructions depending on your particular setup, but this should be fine for most users.)
  • Of course, the first thing you should do is backup all of your important files. The installation process shouldn't affect them, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Next, if you have registered with the Windows 10 Update tool (described above) you will be entered into a queue to download and install the update (there's no way to know how many others are in front of you, now when you will get the update so you will need to be patient).
  • However, if you don't want to wait and are comfortable enough to get the process started manually, you can skip this queue and install Windows 10 manually.
  • To proceed with this plan, you will need to have a blank DVD and a DVD Burner or a USB Flash drive with at least 4GB of FREE space.
  • Next, you just need to head to Microsoft's download landing page (found here) and select which version of Windows 10 edition you want to download. Each of the installation files will include everything you will need to get either the Home or Pro version of Windows 10.
  • You will then be required to pick a language for your Windows 10 installation, which will give you the download links for both the 32-bit and a 64-bit version of Windows 10. This needs to match what you currently have on your system.
  • After you downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, Windows will walk you through the procedure for burning a Windows 10 installation DVD or setting it up with an installer on your USB Flash drive.
  • Finally, you can begin installing Windows 10 with the media you just created, and it will proceed pretty much like any normal Windows install.
Those are some handy resources to get you started with Windows 10, but just in case you are unsure if you want to take the plunge, here are the top five best reasons to install the Windows 10 upgrade:
  1. Windows 10 includes the return of the Start Menu - the lack of this was the thing people hated most about Windows 8, but Microsoft wisely has resurrected it in Windows 10.
  2. Microsoft's new Edge Browser. - It's probably no surprise to most that Internet Explorer is the most hated web browser on the planet. It had become a bloated, slow and insecure piece of dung over the last few years. Microsoft listened to all of the feedback and supposedly has started over from scratch with their new Edge browser. They claim it is faster and more secure than anything else available.
  3. Microsoft is bringing Cortana to life on the desktop (and other devices beyond just smartphones) with Windows 10 - Cortana may be just one of the AI-lite digital personal assistants available today (like Siri and Google Now), but Microsoft promises the experience and usability of Cortana will set her apart from the rest.
  4. Windows 10 includes the new Continuum Mode - this feature basically lets folks optimize the interface depending on which type of machine you are running Windows 10 on. It can even switch between the two different interfaces on hybrid devices like the Microsoft Surface.
  5. Windows 10 is completely FREE for users running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, (non-enterprise versions). The only caveat here is that you have to take the offer within a year from today. After that it will need to be purchased just like any Microsoft OS from the past.