Welcome Windows 10! With excitement and a little trepidation, I’ve installed the publically-available Windows 10 OS on a test machine. The machine originally had a clean, current install of Windows 7 x64 w/SP1. I downloaded the ISO (over 5.8GB for both the 32 & 64 bit versions) so I could use it again and again during my testing and possible future upgrading. Note that the ISO I downloaded took hours at my DSL-like bandwidth connection, and will not fit on a standard DVD (4.7GB max). Performing an in-place download/upgrade should take less time and have smaller download sizes (MS says 3GB), but be aware of your download bandwidth speeds before you start the process. You will need a BluRay DVD or USB stick, or some other large media system to manage an ISO of this size if you go the same route I did.
I used the upgrade procedure to see how well it works on a virtual machine with 4G RAM, 40G hard drive, and a single CPU (I use VMware’s ESXi 5 on a server at my shop). Microsoft is trying to entice everyone to upgrade to 10 by making the upgrade free for 1 year for current legal Windows 7 SP1 and 8.1 users (some caveats apply such as not being available for enterprise and RT versions – check the Win10 upgrade pages).
I’m still working with the new install, so I’m going to reserve judgement at this time. However, I will say that I do not recommend anyone upgrade to the latest Windows 10 OS on production machines! My preferred operating procedure (which is the result of years of experience with operating system updates and upgrades) is to wait for the first Service Pack for all major Windows OS versions unless there is a specific reason why you need to upgrade sooner, or perhaps waiting even longer if your software packages are not Windows 10 ready. With this new upgrade model Microsoft is using – free updates for 1 year from the launch date – cost is not the significant factor it has been in the past. Again, use common sense and evaluate your specific risks to make sure you are making the right move at the right time.
That said, however, Windows 10 is supposed to be fully compatible with your current Win7 and 8 apps. I’ll report more as I get into Windows 10.