Windows 10 is just over a month away from being released. Microsoft’s newest operating system is arriving on July 29th – and now we know exactly what you need to run it.
In general, if your PC can handle Windows 8.1 (which had famously low system requirements), then you should be able to run Windows 10 perfectly fine. Rest assured that Microsoft isn’t forcing anyone to upgrade their hardware with this new OS.
The specific technical requirements as announced by Microsoft are:
-The latest version of either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update
-Processor: 1GHz or faster processor or SoC
-RAM: 1GB for the 32-bit version of Windows 10, 2GB for the 64-bit version
-Hard Drive Space: 16GB for 32-bit, 20GB for 64-bit
-Graphics Card: Anything with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
-Display: Any monitor with a resolution of 1024×600 or greater
Looking at those specs, I’m pretty sure a PC I made back in 2004 could run Windows 10. Microsoft spent a lot of time optimizing its new OS so it could run on the greatest possible number of PCs.
A Word of Warning
Microsoft has issued a bit of a warning about the tech requirements listed above: they’re not official and final. Microsoft anticipates you’ll be able to run Windows 10 with the above specs, although Microsoft also says they’re subject to change between now and when Windows 10 ships.
One other thing to know about: you can’t run Windows 10 on any old processor with 1GHz or more processing power. It has to have support for three technologies called PAE, NX, and SSE2. Fortunately, these technologies are all over 10 years old, so systems made from 2004 onward should have no trouble.
Here’s what each of those technologies does:
-PAE: Lets your 32-bit operating system use more than 4GB of RAM
-NX: Protects your PC against attacks from malicious software
-SSE2: Instruction set on processors used by many third-party apps and drivers
Which Version of Windows Will You Get?
The free upgrade offer for Windows 10 isn’t the same across all operating systems. Some people will get Windows 10 Home and others will get Windows 10 Pro:
Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will all receive Windows 10 Home
Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate will both receive Windows 10 Pro
Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 with Bing will both receive Windows 10 Home
Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro for Students will both receive Windows 10 Pro
Finally, Windows Phone 8.1 will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile.
The free upgrade doesn’t extend to everyone, even if you’re using certain versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. .Windows 7 Enterprise, base Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1 users will not receive the free Windows 10 upgrade.
How Much Will Windows 10 Cost?
Most users will pay nothing for Windows 10 because there’s a free upgrade offer sitting in your system tray as you read this.
But if you don’t qualify, then you may need to pay for your full Windows 10 license.
Microsoft hasn’t announced pricing details yet. But NewEgg did (accidentally). Here’s how prices break down:
Cortana Only Available in Certain Countries
The only other major thing to know about the Windows 10 upgrade offer and system requirements is that Cortana won’t be available worldwide at launch.
So far, Cortana has only received support for a handful of major languages. That’s why it’s only going to be available in the United States, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain at launch.