Windows 10 releases to the world in just under 10 days and I’ll be in New York on the 29th of July to celebrate the launch with some of our fans. I couldn’t be more excited for the release of Windows 10. Not only is it being described as the best Windows ever, a number of new features like DirectX 12 and integration with the Xbox are going to have a big impact on gaming while uniting the two platforms.
Here are Ten Tips you can do now to make sure you’re ready to upgrade to Windows 10 on 29 July.
1. Check out the new features coming to Windows 10
Is upgrading to Windows 10 right for you? Maybe you’re content with Windows 7 or Windows 8 and don’t know if you want to upgrade to Windows 10. After you check out the new features coming with Windows 10, I think you’ll change your mind. From Microsoft Edge, an all-new browser; Cortana, your personal digital assistant; and the Xbox app, which brings some of the best features on the Xbox to your PC, Windows 10 is the Windows you know, only better. You can read more information about the new features coming to Windows 10 here.
2. Learn about DirectX 12
With DirectX 12 graphics, performance optimization and Xbox, Windows 10 makes PC gaming better than ever. DirectX 12 will deliver high-end graphics and can improve performance of your games, even on existing hardware.
Watch Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, talk about DirectX 12 at the Windows 10 presentation back in January (jump to the 7:15 mark).
Stay tuned to the Xbox Wire for some upcoming features focusing on DirectX 12.
3. Did you know there is an Xbox Experience In Windows 10?
As gamers, one of the coolest features coming with Windows 10 is the Xbox app. With Xbox on Windows 10, you’ll have more ways to connect and play, wherever you go. Your games, your friends, your achievements, and more follow you across Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. The Xbox app for Windows 10 features include streaming Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC, offers cross-device multiplayer, and enables the Xbox Game DVR feature on your PC. Read more about the Xbox experience in Windows 10 here.
4. Take a moment to verify Your System Requirements
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 on your PC or tablet, you can find the system requirements here. You can also check to see if your system meets the system requirements by selecting “check my PC” in the Get Windows 10 app.
5. Don’t wait! Reserve Your Copy Today
Upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Yes, free! This upgrade offer is for a full version of Windows 10, not a trial. To take advantage of this free offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device. Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. You can find all of the Windows 10 Upgrade Offer details here.
6. Archive Your Old Data & Create A Back Up
Even though the Windows installation asks you if you want to keep files on your computer when you start installing, it’s always a good idea to archive any files you want to keep. One of the best ways to archive files you want to keep is using an external hard drive or uploading the files to OneDrive. It’s also a good idea to create a backup of your system prior to commencing the Windows 10 installation, just in case something goes wrong or you want to revert back to your previous setup.
Here are a couple Microsoft Support pages for creating backups, but there are plenty of resources available online talking about this in greater detail.
7. Hardware Drivers With A New Version Of Windows
Whenever you install a new version of Windows it’s always a good idea to verify you’re using compatible drivers to avoid any hardware conflicts or stability issues. Many hardware manufactures already have Windows 10 drivers (or beta drivers) available now with updates coming soon after Windows 10 releases. Tech savvy PC enthusiasts can use the device manager or DXDIAG tools to identify their specific hardware and drivers, and see if the manufactures have already released Windows 10 drivers. It’s a good idea to download these to a portable drive so you have them available during your Windows 10 installation, just in case you need them.
8. Games and Apps for Windows 10 – New Games and Old
When Windows 10 launches, it will introduce the new Windows Store, a unified shopping experience across every Windows 10 device. Browse the store on your PC, tablet, or phone and easily purchase great digital content including apps, games, music, movies and TV shows.
There are a number of new games and apps coming to Windows 10, so you might want to start thinking about the ones you want to get as soon as you upgrade. One of the biggest titles to announce a unique Windows 10 version is Minecraft, but you can bet there will be some other cool new games and apps available for Windows 10 when it launches.
And if you’re wondering if some of your older PC titles are compatible with Windows 10, this unofficial community created list may help.
9. Xbox Controllers For Windows 10
The Xbox experience is coming to your Windows 10 device and you want to play games on your PC, and you prefer the Xbox controller – no problem. You can use an Xbox 360 or Xbox One wired controller with your PC. There is a wireless adapter for Xbox 360 controllers available now, and the a wireless adapter coming this fall for Windows users to enjoy the freedom and convenience of the Xbox One wireless controller on Windows 10 PCs, laptops, and tablets.
10. HELP! I have questions.
Depending on your level of technical expertise, you might have questions before, during and after the upgrade installation process. And before you start upgrading it’s always a good idea to know how to get help in case something goes wrong in the middle of the process, especially when your computer is likely unavailable. Check to see if your question has already been answered in the Windows Community Forum, or post a new question. If you need help installing Windows 10 when it’s available on July 29, 2015, Microsoft will offer phone and chat support to make sure that you get up and running smoothly.
*Bonus Tip – Get Windows 10 while its free!
To take advantage of this free offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability. After that, you’ll have to purchase it.
Whether you’re an Xbox gamer looking forward to using the Xbox app on Windows 10 to extend your console’s capability or a PC gamer excited to see how the latest installment of Windows enhances your gaming experience, it’s going to be an exciting time. Stay tuned for more news and updates as we gear up for the biggest Windows launch ever.