Our long national nightmare is over — Windows 8.1 is no longer the current version of Windows. Now it’s Windows 10, and today’s the day it hits the airwaves for what appears to be as many people as Microsoft can keep the servers running for. For a while, it was expected that only Insiders would get it first, followed by those who request the update, as well as anyone who buys a new machine starting today. It appears that lots of people are getting it right away though, which is a nice surprise.
To install it on your current machine, first check Windows Update; you should see a notification saying that it’s available, assuming you’ve pre-registered for it. If it’s there, then that’s the simplest way, and you can install it right over your current install and preserve all of your existing software and data.
The better news is that if you want to do a clean install of Windows 10 — say, if you’re a stickler for a super-clean machine like we are — you can do it starting today with a newWindows 10 .ISO file, which you can download straight from Microsoft’s website and install on a USB key.
Several of us have already given our thoughts on the roller-coaster ride that was Insider Preview. Our sister site PCMag has a full review up, which we encourage you to read, as well as ExtremeTech’s own continuing coverage of the Windows 10 launch — including how to turn off Microsoft’s automatic WiFi password sharing, why Windows 10 even has the name it does, and more.
And as Microsoft has made clear over and over, it looks at Windows 10 as a living, breathing document, er, operating system — meaning that even though this is the final release version, the company will continue to patch it often, and even prefers to abandon the idea of version numbers altogether.
So which of you are upgrading to Windows 10, and which are holding off for now? I can tell you that on the Devil’s Canyon mini-ITX machine I literally just built a month ago, I somehow managed to scrog the Windows 7 install. It’s throwing .DLL errors on bootup and explorer.exe crashes, even though all I’ve installed on it are Steam and some audio applications. I may reformat with Windows 7 and try again, or I may try again with Windows 10 to see how it goes — this way I can write about how I regret it and have to go back to Windows 7. I’m kidding, I think. Anyway, let us know your thoughts on all this in the comments below.