Update: "Something happened". The day has finally come, Windows 10 is available to the public and if you currently have a computer with Windows 7 or 8 on it, you can get Windows 10 totally for free. Let me give you a few tips about upgrading your operating system and a few warnings.
I personally own 4 windows computers, 3 of them running windows 7 and 1 of them running windows 8 (which I've never really liked). I know that upgrading an operating system can cause problems and that is why I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 10 on any of my main machines until our latest project is 100% complete. It's not worth risking months of work to upgrade to something that we really don't need. If you rely on your computer for your livelihood then I would suggest waiting at least a few weeks to install Windows 10. That being said, I do own 2 laptops that I rarely use for business and I am excited to install Windows 10 on them today.
You may have noticed a small Windows logo in the bottom right of your screen that looks like this:
To upgrade Windows for free you can simply click on this icon and "reserve" your free copy by sending Microsoft your email address. Once you do this Windows will tell you to be patient and you will be alerted when you are able to install the update. This is extremely frustrating because you don't know if it will be ready in an hour or a week.
How to download Windows 10 directly from Microsoft without waiting
If you're like me and you don't want to wait, you can simply go directly to Microsoft's website and download the update directly here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
Clean install vs upgrade
I don't like upgrading my operating system. In fact, I usually do a clean install of Windows every year anyway for a fresh start. You might be tempted to skip the upgrade and wipe your entire hard drive and install Windows 10 fresh. In this particular case, you shouldn't do that.
Windows 10 is free for those of us who already own Windows 7 or 8. If you upgrade, Microsoft will automatically use your current OS product key and generate you a new key for Windows 10. If you attempt a fresh install without first getting a Windows 10 key, you will actually have to buy it. If you upgrade first, Microsoft will associate a new license with your computer and then you can do a fresh install without having to spend any money.
How to do a clean install
Once you've spent a ton of time upgrading your computer to Windows 10 to get your free license, you will then need to go back to this page and download the Windows 10 installer again and click “Create installation media for another PC.”
The Media creation tool will create an installer on a USB drive or DVD-R. You will then need to restart your computer and boot from the USB drive in the bios by pressing F1 or F12 (it will say when your computer first boots up).
Follow the directions and choose "Custom: Install Windows Only." Choose the correct hard drive and click "format." THIS WILL DELETE EVERYTHING ON THIS DRIVE SO MAKE SURE YOU'VE BACKED IT UP.
After a few minutes of formatting and installing you will have a computer with a fresh copy of Windows 10 on it. As I understand it, Windows will automatically know your license key for Windows 10 even after you have formatted your C: drive if you perform the instlal in this order. I am currently working through this process right now and I will report back soon with my results.
Update: This shit doesn't work
While I was writing up this post I was personally walking through the steps to update one of my laptops to Windows 10. In classic Microsoft fashion, the update has failed in way that is so stereotypically "Windows" that it's hilarious and sad at the same time.
When I first got back to my laptop there was an error on the screen that said: "We couldn't complete the updates, Undoing changes, Don't turn off your computer"
Typical Windows right? Well I figured I would just have to restart and try once more and it would work. NOPE! I went back to the download folder and tried to start the update process again. I recorded the process for your amusement.
"Something happened????" Is this some sort of joke? Something happened? No it didn't. Actually, nothing happened. No matter how many times I click on the installer and Windows tells me that "something happened" nothing will actually happen. At this point I'm so pissed off I'm going to forget about this for a day and revisit tomorrow. Maybe I should swing by the Mac store.
Update number 2
Tonight I went to dinner with my girlfriend and she said "you seem like you're in a bad mood." I realized that I was in a bad mood and I had to explain how frustrated I was with my Windows 10 update. When I got home I decided to give the update one more try on a completely separate laptop.
The update took a few hours but went totally smoothly. When I booted Windows 10 for the first time my screen resolution was way out of whack. Everything was ultra low res and stretched out. I tried changing the screen resolution but the current setting appeared to be correct and it didn't give me any other options anyway. I started looking for display driver updates. 30 minutes into my search, SNAP! My desktop became "normal" again. I have no clue what happened but I assume Windows automatically downloaded some sort of update for me.
I started using Chrome and everything did appear to be working but it also seemed a bit slower than normal. I then switched over to Microsoft's new Edge browser and noticed that my 2 finger scrolling didn't work (although it does work in Chrome). I then figured out that 2 finger scrolling doesn't work anywhere in Windows.
I clicked on the start menu and the entire thing started glitching out. Mousing over one program would make another option or program appear above it and start blinking. Moving my mouse around then started to "paint in" other tabs of the start menu. It felt like Windows 98 all over again.
Now this is hardly a full review. I've used Windows 10 for about 20 minutes now but so far nothing is going smoothly for me, especially with so many glowing reviews out there. Tomorrow I'll give you another update but until then, I cannot suggest anyone upgrade to Windows 10 at this point, especially with a work computer.