Windows 10 Upgrades or New Hardware: The Fine Print

Windows 10 Upgrades or New Hardware: The Fine Print

With the Windows 10 official reveal just around the corner there are many that having difficulty waiting for the upgrade. July 29 just can't come soon enough. Don't forget, however, that Microsoft will be staging the upgrade to better manage the bandwidth requirements for pushing out multiple gigabytes of data across the Internet. And, also so ensure that your current PC experience (hardware and software) is compatible before performing the upgrade. So, don't expect to see it for your particular PC right away.

Still, there are others that see the Windows 10 release as the perfect opportunity to invest in new hardware. It's just easier to talk the spouse into a new PC when something like a monumental new operating system releases. Promising to clean out the attic helps, too.

We're hosting a poll on Supersite right now, asking about the intent to buy new hardware with Windows 10. You can still participate here: Does the release of Windows 10 cause you to want to buy new hardware? The results are pretty interesting so far, showing that most are taking a wait-and-see stance for new hardware.

So, what's the 411 from your favorite hardware manufacturers about both the upgrade and availability of new hardware with Windows 10 pre-installed? We took some time to research some of the top brands that are pretty common purchases and those you regularly find in retail stores. Here's what we know and what you can expect…


The upgrade: "As soon as it’s released, we’ll give you simple step-by-step instructions for upgrading to Windows 10. We’ll also provide a comprehensive list of all Acer devices that are eligible for the upgrade so you’ll know if yours will qualify." So, if you have an Acer now, sit tight for more information.

New hardware: Acer has promised to start shipping new models with Windows 10 pre-installed on July 29. I spent time with the company at WPC 2015 and have to say that the Acer models releasing are pretty phenomenal in both style and function. I love my HP Spectre x360, but the Acer offerings are extremely tantalizing.


The upgrade: ASUS announced WHQL certification for Windows 10 in May of this year, stating that it would have the widest readiness available, but since then has been suspiciously quiet. Here's the bullet points from the WHQL certification press release:

  • Z97-A and Trooper B85 first ASUS motherboards to receive Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs approval Windows 10 compatibility

  • ASUS will deliver the widest support and fastest upmost updates for best Windows 10 experience across all motherboard series

  • First Windows 10 compatibility list published, and will be updated as more support is added

New hardware: ASUS seems to be behind the game somewhat, with no formal statements for its hardware with Windows 10.


The upgrade: Dell says that most of its Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 systems can enjoy the upgrade to Windows 10 for free, but hasn't yet supplied a list of compatible PCs. The company is also offering an upgrade help page that will go live on July 29.

New hardware: Dell has new hardware at the ready. If you buy now it will start shipping on July 29 and arrive with next-day shipping on July 30.


The upgrade: HP has the most complete and most aggressive story when it comes to upgrades and new hardware availability. For the upgrade, HP has worked closely with Microsoft to develop hardware drivers certified for Windows 10. According to HP, its entire portfolio is ready for Windows 10 – as long as the hardware was purchased within the past 5 years or so. Also, if you buy new hardware now, HP assures that it will be ready for the July 29 upgrade.

New hardware: Right now on the HP web site, customers can pick from select PCs with Windows 10 and get free next day shipping. So, order on July 28 or before and get it in your hands on July 29. Hardware with Windows 10 pre-installed will be available to purchase in stores on August 2. The special Windows 10 hardware page isn't live yet, but is expected on the July 28 date.


The upgrade: You might not remember, but in May Lenovo announced a partnership with Microsoft to improve Cortana for its own hardware. Additionally, the company announced the ideacenter Stick 300, which turns a TV or monitor into a full-fledged Windows 8.1 PC through a HDMI port. Lenovo has been working as closely with Microsoft as HP and, even though the company has made no formal compatibility statement, it is offering information on the upgrade now, with more to come closer to the Windows 10 launch.

New hardware: Lenovo seems be lagging behind as much as ASUS, except that the company has given an estimated, mid-August date for systems with Windows 10 pre-installed and it is hoping to start taking online orders on July 29. Based on the current communication, Lenovo's Windows 10 hardware will probably show up in stores about the same time it starts showing up on doorsteps. I spent time at WPC 2015 looking at the Toshiba models running Windows 10. Talking with the booth monkeys there, it seems that Lenovo is holding out a bit, waiting for Bay Trail to release. They said that Bay Trail is what will make Windows 10 an exceptional OS.


The upgrade: I spoke with Toshiba and was told that "all laptops on the web are eligible for Windows 10 upgrade," but couldn't get a statement about models already purchased. When asked about upgrade help, the company just directed me to Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade web site.

New hardware: Toshiba has been in the Windows 10 news since early this year, promising a 2-in-1 called the Satellite Click 10, and new Satellite C, L, Fusion, and Radius series laptops. Toshiba has stated that all devices will ship this summer with Windows 10 either pre-installed or available as a free upgrade, and that most will be pre-loaded with Windows 10 on July 29. I suspect, like the others, we'll see these sometime in August in stores, considering the company is targeting the back-to-school crowd. What's interesting about all these new models is that Toshiba has an integrated Cortana button embedded.

NOTE: Don't forget that Microsoft will be offering Windows 10 upgrade help in its stores for the July 29 launch.

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