There is nothing like a deadline to get millions of PC owners moving.
Windows 7 users face a Jan. 14 deadline for the end of Microsoft security updates and need to move to Windows 10 or risk being hacked.
There are still an estimated 300 million Windows 7 users worldwide. Corporate users can buy Windows 7 security updates for three more years. But consumers are less than three months from Windows 7 obsolescence.
As a result, several readers have asked about switching to Windows 10. Here are some answers to their questions:
-- What is the easiest way to move to Windows 10?
In order, the easiest methods are: Buy a new Windows 10 PC (starts at $400), buy a refurbished PC with Windows 10 (starts at $130), pay a repair shop to upgrade your Windows 7 PC to Windows 10 (about $240, including software) or do the upgrade yourself (about $140.)
-- Are there any hidden costs?
If you upgrade a Windows 7 PC, probably not. If you buy a new or refurbished PC, you will need to reinstall all your programs on the new computer. If you have those programs on an installation disk, that should be easy. If you don't, you may have to buy them again. (Note: Newer versions of Microsoft Office can be transferred to a new PC. See tinyurl.com/y4n6nq25).
-- What should you do before upgrading Windows 7 to 10?
Make sure your PC qualifies for the upgrade (see "system requirements" at tinyurl.com/y2ox2p2a or look on your PC manufacturer's website for a list of eligible PCs.)