Windows 10 is here but you're still running a PC or laptop with Windows XP. Should you upgrade to the new OS? Find out in our Windows 10 vs Windows XP buying advice review. See also: Windows 10 review.
I'm running Windows XP, should I upgrade to Windows 10?
The simple answer to this question is yes, and we'll explain why. Assuming we convince you, the question is whether you should upgrade your existing machine or go and buy completely new hardware – we'll tackle this, too. One reason why you might not want to upgrade is if you're running old specialist software which won't run on Windows 10. See: How to install Windows 10.
One of the first reasons you should upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10 is that you're running an operating system which is no longer supported by Microsoft. One of the main issues here is the lack of security then so a decent reason to upgrade to Windows 10.
For the gamers out there Windows 10 supports DirectX 12 and the latest games coming out at the moment. It also means you'll be able to run games which are currently in development – if your hardware is good enough, of course. See also: Will my games run on Windows 10?
Windows 10 comes with a long list of new features which you'll be able to take advantage of if you upgrade. These include Cortana, Microsoft's digital personal assistant, the new Edge browser, Universal Apps, Continuum Mode, Xbox streaming and more.
Windows 10 upgrade price
Although Windows 10 is widely advertised as a free upgrade, this does stretch all the way back to users still running Windows XP. So, if you do want to upgrade, you'll need to buy a license.
You may purchase Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store with a choice of a download or a USB at £99 for Windows 10 Home and £189 for Windows 10 Pro. However, Amazon is a cheaper option with prices at £77 and £112 respectively.
Windows 10 minimum specs: Can my XP machine run Windows 10?
A big question before you go and place your order for Windows 10 is whether your current PC will be able to run the new operating system. Below we listed Microsoft's minimum specs for running Windows 10:
Processor: 1GHz or faster processor or SoC
RAM: 1GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard disk space: 16GB for 32-bit OS 20GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
While your computer currently running XP might meet these requirements, you'll want to seriously consider buying new hardware. Since you're going to need to pay for Windows 10, we recommend putting that money towards a new desktop PC or laptop which will, at the least, be upgradable to Windows 10 for nothing.
You're likely to see a speed boost by upgrading to Windows 10 and while this is partly down to it simply booting up faster, it's also because you'll have to do a clean install. Since you have no choice about this, it's another reason to get some new hardware.
While your computer is likely to feel faster with Windows 10, with old hardware it's hardly future proofed and you'll likely find yourself wanting a new machine before long anyway. Check our reviews of the best PCs and Laptops available to ensure you get your money's worth.
Microsoft says: "We recommend you experience Windows 10 on a newer device. We think you'll be happier with the affordable, great PCs that are available today. PCs have improved dramatically since Windows XP was released in 2001."
If you're not convinced, we recommend upgrading at least come components of your existing machine which is running XP. Since you'll be doing a clean install of Windows 10, why not get an SSD for better performance. Here's how to install an SSD (or upgrade your laptop to an SSD).