Eventually Windows 8.1 will no longer be supported by Microsoft, so you'd need to have Windows 10 or some other operating system installed on your computer. Windows 8.1 will be supported for a few more years yet, but you only have until the end of July to get Windows 10 upgrade for free. You can upgrade now, then revert back to 8.1 and still have Windows 10 installed on your computer for free and be able to use it when Windows 8.1 has security problems and is no longer supported.
You wont be forced to upgrade to it, you'll only be "recommended" by Microsoft. Microsoft update does automatically download the entire update just in case you really want to go for it, but it's not compulsory to install it.
If you want to you could even still run Windows XP (or even worse Win 95 or 3.1) – nothing would stop you except you'd be at more of a risk to be targeted because there would be more vulnerability in older OS's – but there is normally a peak of this, eventually it gets to a stage that people don't bother testing for a weakness because they're expecting most people won't be using that software any more and people will forget about how to exploit that vulnerability.
Btw – if your on Windows 8.1 I'd highly recommend going for the upgrade to 10 anyway, it's certainly not any worse. I went from XP to Vista to 8/8,1 to 10 and put 7 on my laptop (that laptop is now running Puppy Linux), my favourite Windows OS's are – 7, XP, 10, Vista, 8.1, 8 (with Start8). My top two OS's of all time has to go to Puppy Linux and Amiga Workbench 3.0 (Workbench was so ahead of it's time in comparison to Windows!)
First of all it is not mandatory to upgrade your OS to windows 10 and u will never be forced to upgrade to windows 10. It depends upon the user weather to go for the upgrade or not. And my suggestion is to go for the upgrade, because when u r getting the latest windows without any cost then why should not u upgrade to new OS. Windows 10 has some really Good feature and has a cool user interface as compare to previous Microsoft's OSs. Remember one thing that after July 29th no one will be able to get the free upgrade. So hurry Up and get your free copy.
You won't be forced to upgrade, it's just that windows 10 will be a free upgrade until July 29 2016. After that date, you'd have to pay before you can upgrade. Have it in mind that the free upgrade doesn't mean it's a trial or introductory version.
No, you're not forced to and I personally don't recommend upgrading.
Older models may crash after upgrading to Windows 10. Mine did and now I gotta buy another one.
I hate how its so pushy about it though I get pop ups to upgrade all the time.
Sooner or later but by the time that you might choose to do so Win 10 may be out dated and Microsoft will be putting out another windows. They have been doing this since the 90's I have had just about every form of windows, and win XP is the best.
You will be nagged until you mistakenly click the Yes button. But really, take time to find instructions how to disable it. Windows 10 renders some small percentage of computers useless. There may not be drivers available, the WiFi may never again work properly or it may start crashing often. These are the risks. No two computers behave the same, especially laptops. The fact that it has worked out great for your friend is no guarantee for you.
Microsoft are trying to trick you into upgrading to windows 10 WHY?
Probably because it will go on a subscription service,It may be ok but I know too many
people who have had their laptop screwed up by the download .
Don't upgrade to windows 10.