One of the big problems with Windows 10 is that the entire installation, up to 2.9GB, has to be downloaded per machine.
Except in corporate environments, Microsoft has said there won’t be an official offline upgrade installer for Windows 10. Machines must each download individually. If you have five or six PCs, that could mean upwards of 20GB worth of bandwidth. For most, that isn’t a big deal – but for those stuck on dial-up, satellite or 3G/4G fixed wireless for Internet, it’s a big problem.
Thankfully Staples is coming to the rescue. For a limited time, they will offer in-house Windows 10 upgrades for free – to anyone. One simply has to bring in a valid, licensed PC with Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 installed. There is no official limit to how many upgrades per customer.
Staples is taking advantage of the unofficial offline upgrade process, which is possible, but not officially supported by Microsoft. Using a few different tools, one can convert the Windows 10 Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) into an ISO image which can then boot a PC and upgrade Windows as usual.
For some geeks, this presents an interesting situation – unless willing to go hardcore and create your own custom Windows 10 install media… your only option on launch day to upgrade to Windows 10, may be to have a Staples EasyTech employee install it for you.
Windows 10 will launch July 29, but many PCs will not receive it for weeks to come. Because of the significant bandwidth amount, Windows Update is “reserving” places in line, and Microsoft will offer the free upgrade on a first come, first served basis. Microsoft has also noted that Windows 10 will switch to a rolling-release cycle, and is the last major version of Windows.
In addition to good things like restoring app sideloading, something PhoneNews.com has campaigned for years to inform consumers about, the platform will finally unite mobile and desktop experiences with so-called Universal Windows Platform apps.