You've probably heard the news: Microsoft will end its free Windows 10 promotion in just a few short months. And while Windows 10 isn't for everyone, it's pretty darn popular according to Microsoft, which reports that the new operating system is now active on more than 300 million devices around the world.
Is your device one of those 300 million? If not, congrats on successfully weathering Microsoft's nagging pop-up prompts to upgrade. But you may want to reconsider your anti-upgrade stance -- here's why.
(And here's how to upgrade, for free, right now.)
Microsoft is so confident in its new operating system that it's offering free Windows 10 upgrades to all users running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. But this offer won't last forever -- in fact, it expires in less than three months, on July 29, 2016. You'll still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 after July 29, but the upgrade will cost you $119, £100 or AU$180.
You can change your mind
If you upgrade to Windows 10 and decide that the new operating system isn't for you, you have 30 days to roll back to your older version of Windows. And by upgrading once -- even if you downgrade later -- you'll have secured the free Windows 10 license for future upgrades. In other words, you can upgrade to Windows 10, roll back to your old operating system, and then you'll still be able to upgrade to Windows for free after July 29.
You have a touchscreen
Windows 7 may look good, but it's not touchscreen-friendly. And Windows 8 and 8.1 were designed with touchscreens in mind, but we all know how well that went over. If you've got a touchscreen on your laptop or you're planning on upgrading to a touchscreen for your desktop, trust me: You want Windows 10's touchscreen-friendly settings app and its customizable Start menu.
You have more than one Windows device
Windows 10 is a universal operating system, which means it works on all Windows devices -- computers, tablets and phones. If you're already part of the Windows ecosystem, upgrading to Windows 10 will make everything that bit more convenient by syncing your settings, notifications and apps across all devices.
Microsoft's intelligent, voice-activated virtual assistant has been around since Windows Phone 8.1, but she's really come into her own in Windows 10. While other virtual assistants are primarily designed to work on mobile devices, Cortana has been optimized for your desktop -- she can do all these things, from finding files or photos from a specific time frame to drafting and sending emails. You may not think you need to talk to your device, but you'll never know until you try.