When the Windows 10 update arrives tomorrow millions of users will get Microsoft’s next-generation operating system at absolutely no cost. Unfortunately, some users will get excited about Windows 10 release day only to find out that their notebooks and desktops aren’t eligible because of hardware issues and offer details. Windows PC maker Dell can’t magically make that free Windows 10 upgrade install on old machines, but it is making it easy to have an all-new Windows 10 PC in time for the big launch.
This morning Dell kicked of its Windows 10 release celebrations with massive news for users who have systems that won’t get the upgrade tomorrow. Anyone who purchases a PC running the operating system from Dell until 3PM Eastern Standard Time today gets free next-business day delivery.
Effectively, users get to experience the wonders of Windows 10 without having to venture through the Windows 10 upgrade process like other users. Strictly speaking, this deal is really for users with PCs so old that they don’t meet the requirements of Windows 10 or owners of PCs with Windows XP an Windows Vista installed. The free Windows 10 upgrade offer is only for PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. For all others, Microsoft has a flash drive loaded with full copies of Windows 10 launching on Amazon and more in a few week’s time.
As with most Windows releases, the selection of PCs loaded with the operating system is limited in scope. Dell’s entire Inspiron line of notebooks and Windows 2-in-1s have Windows 10 Home loaded on them already. Dell also has Windows 10 available in Inspiron desktop PCs. Anything that doesn’t have Windows 10 installed isn’t eligible for next day deliver. For example, Dell’s universally lauded XPS 13 isn’t included in the list of PCs you can pre-order and receive on Windows 10 release day. That’s an interesting detail considering it runs Windows 8.1 and will get the Windows 10 upgrade free anyway. Anyone who buys a new machine without Windows 10 loaded on it will have to make a reservation and go through the Windows 10 upgrade process like everyone else.
Best Buy and Staples both have PCs that’ll come with the operating system installed natively too.
Launching tomorrow, Windows 10 is in a lot of ways more ambitious than even Windows 8 was. The goals are the same for both operating systems; Microsoft hopes to create a vast device ecosystem all powered by its Windows operating system and apps available in its Windows Store. The big difference is in the way Microsoft is going about that. Windows 10 doesn’t force a touch-centric Start Screen and apps on everyone. Instead, it tailors itself to what users want and need at that particular moment.
When there’s a touch screen present users get a Start Screen and full-screen apps. Elements on the Taskbar are hidden, menus become bigger and a back button that works in all apps surfaces. When users tap on a field a keyboard pops-up from the bottom of the screen automatically.
When Tablet Mode is turned off the Start Menu becomes a resizable Start Screen, a Search bar gets added and shortcuts sit on the Taskbar. Apps – even those downloaded from the Windows Store – open in windows just like programs.
There’s more to appreciate about the operating system too. Internet Explorer is still present, but only for compatibility purposes. The company hopes that users will adopt its newer, faster, more user-friendly Edge browser instead. Updates now happen automatically and users can only delay them instead of disabling them.
Lenovo and HP also have PCs with Windows 10 built-in coming soon.