win10¬†Windows 10 is free starting today, July 29 but there’s a catch. If you wait more than a year to download and install it, you have to pay for it. They don’t say how much it will be. But if you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

One problem is it’s like a bad game of “Red Rover, Red Rover, send my programs over.” Microsoft says the programs from your old machine might not transfer over.¬† No kidding! This has always been true and is not peculiar to Windows 10. You can lose some really nice stuff this way. For example: in moving from XP to Windows 7, Joy’s favorite greeting card program, which came out 20 years ago, wouldn’t work. Nor would it work with Windows 8, even if we used the Windows routine for running old programs. Fortunately, since we have had so many bad experiences with changing Windows operating systems, we kept the old Windows XP computer; Bob uses it.

Why consider upgrading to Windows 10 at all? One reason might be “Cortana,” Microsoft’s answer to Siri, an assistant who answers your voice commands. You also get new ways to get organized, new photo editing, music and map apps, plus “Edge,” a new browser that takes the place of Internet Explorer.

To find out if your computer is compatible with Windows 10, click the Windows icon in the lower part of your screen, then click what they call in the business, the “hamburger icon,” in the top left. That’s three stacked lines, sort of like a bun with a burger. Then click “check your PC.” It may take a few days for the update to be available for everyone, that is Windows 7 and up. It’s not available for XP users or older operating systems.

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