Should I update my computer to Windows 10, or buy a new one?

Windows 7 or Windows 10, that is the question

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest operating system (Photo: Microsoft)

In brief

  • Two readers have written in for advice around potentially upgrading to Windows 10
  • However, the new software does not come cheaply, costing from £119 upwards

Both Hilary and Rodney wrote in with the same query this week, about whether they should upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 on their current computers.

As we discussed in last week’s Tech Clinic, Microsoft has confirmed it will no longer provide security updates or support to PCs or computers running Windows 7. This means the system itself will still work, but won’t be protected from potential cyber attacks or malware (malicious software).

Hilary has anti-virus program Kaspersky Security installed on her old laptop, and asked if this is enough to defend it from web threats after next January. In short, not really – anti-virus plans scan for bad files, but are unlikely to be robust enough to stop sophisticated exploits in the future.

If you are prepared to pay to upgrade your machine to Windows 10, it should run more quickly than Windows 7 (pictured) (Photo: Microsoft)

This leaves both readers with two options: either to upgrade their current machine to Windows 10, or to buy a new laptop/PC which comes with Windows 10. With regards to upgrading, Microsoft offered users a free upgrade to Windows 10 until July 2016, and now charges £119.99 to buy. ( There are various articles online detailing how to download Windows 10 seemingly for free, but there’s no guarantee they’ll continue working into the future if you do follow their instructions.

Are these undelivered message texts from EE a scam?

Once you’ve purchased the software, you’ll be emailed a product key. Back up all your files to an external hard drive, download the Windows Media Creation Tool ( and follow the on-screen instructions before entering the 25-digit key you were emailed. The software will then begin downloading.

Alternatively, if your computer is too old to run Windows 10 (check the specifications at, buying a new machine may make more sense. Asus, HP and Lenovo make excellent, serviceable laptops for under £500, including the Asus VivoBook L403, (£329), the HP Stream 14 (£199) and Lenovo Ideapad 320S-14IKB (£339), and they all run Windows 10.

Send Rhiannon your tech queries at [email protected]

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