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Windows 10: Try Before You Buy

Last week's launch of Windows 10 was really about the release of the bits online to those who can get it -- mostly Windows Insiders. PC makers took a backseat because they only recently received the final bits. That's a historic deviation for new releases of Windows, but as the OS moves to a more continuous upgrade cycle, that looks to be a moot point going forward.

Between that and Intel's delay in shipping its Skylake processors, PC makers had little choice but to dial back on the hoopla. Most issued reminders that many of their most recent releases support Windows 10 and many more are coming in August and into the latter part of the year. That's not to say they entirely ignored the launch. There's tons of business to be had by hardware manufactures following the launch of Windows 10 and Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer and Toshiba issued reminders of their existing and forthcoming systems.

HP briefed media and analysts last week by outlining which systems are now optimized for Windows 10 and those that are in the pipeline. The unstated message was 'try before you buy.' Take advantage of the free upgrade on your existing system, if eligible, and become familiar with what Windows 10 has to offer.   

"We've been working with Microsoft from the very beginning on Windows 10. As a result we had the opportunity to design our entire 2015 portfolio with Windows 10 in mind," said Mike Nash, VP of product management at Hewlett Packard, on the Tuesday call. "Whether you buy a product that comes from the factory with Windows 10 or you have one of our products that came with Windows 8.1 and you upgrade in the field, it's going to deliver a great Windows 10 experience. We're really confident about that."

According to HP's own research, 22 percent of those it surveyed earlier this year said they'll purchase a new device, while 44 percent will upgrade their current system. Given the falloff in PC sales, that's not a surprising feature and Nash, a former longtime Microsoft exec, is encouraging users to upgrade their existing systems to Windows 10. The implication of course is users will like what it has to offer so much that they'll ultimately want new hardware that takes advantage of its features. And since HP and others are still readying new hardware, the notion of try before you buy will suit them well, according to Nash. "The upgrade becomes a way for you to demo and try out Windows 10," he said.

Indeed when people ask me if they should buy a new system, I say, run Windows 10 on your existing system for now but wait until later this year, as the best is yet to come.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/03/2015 at 11:57 AM


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