Microsoft’s Windows 10 is finally out, and in many important ways is a solid improvement over the miserable Windows 8 release. So, should all Windows owners update? No.
If you are a Windows 7 owner, stay with Windows 7. It is a superior operating system and will be supported by Microsoft into 2020 (if not longer — see Windows XP). If you tire of the Windows 10 nag pop-ups, however, try removing KB3035583 using the Control Panel -> Programs and Features (be sure to click on “View Installed Updated”).
If you are a Windows 8/8.1 owner, you should update, but care needs to be taken. First, make a proper disk image (bit-by-bit backup) of the entire system. I recommend Macrium Reflect for this. Make a disk image to an external hard drive, and then burn a Macrium recovery disc. You will use this disc if you need to restore your old system.
Another consideration is whether your existing hardware will function (properly) in Windows 10. Systems may require driver or firmware updates to hardware components before the update. Below is a list of manufacturers (compiled by WServer News) and links to websites that detail Windows 10 compatibility for various models:
This page may be specific to Canada:
Enter your model number in the System Look-up box and click Submit:
This Knowledge Base article on the Dell Support website lists all Dell laptops and desktops that have been tested for upgrade to Windows 10:
If your Dell computer is missing certain Windows 10 drivers you may be able to install compatible Windows 8.1 drivers as described on this Knowledge Base page:
However as this post on one of the Dell Support forums indicates, using downlevel drivers like this may render your computer into an unsupported state from Dell’s perspective:
Enter your product number from your HP computer to check whether Windows 10 upgrade is compatibility with your particular machine:
This detailed page lists both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 systems that will support upgrading to Windows 10:
Select the product and model on this page to find out if your system can be upgraded to Windows 10:
This page which is localized for the USA lists all supported models for upgrade to Windows 10:
To find out whether you need to download firmware or driver updates when upgrading to Windows 10, select the series, model and model code of your machine on this page or enter the part number:
Remember that you have until July 29th of 2016 to claim the free Windows 10 update, and patience is certainly a virtue here.