Whether you have a computer that operates on a Windows or Mac system, you’re probably wondering if you can download the latest version of its OS.
Virtually all machines running Windows 7 will be able to operate on Windows 8, which will be released in October. Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion, released July 25, runs on most Macs that can run Lion, but if your machine was made in 2007 or 2008, it might not be compatible.
Supported models include:
iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
Xserve (Early 2009)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Not sure what version you’re running? Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen and then click “About This Mac” then “More Info.” From there, you can see the model and year of your Mac.
Mac users can also check the warranty of their computers and also the purchase date and model number. Just enter your serial number into this site.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 is made to work on both traditional PCs and tablets. Microsoft Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc posted an update on the Windows blog writing, “If your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets.” However, this is a limited time deal, lasting until January 31, 2013. As PC World recalled, Windows 7 offered a similar limited time offer after which the price of upgrades increased to $50-$100. If you’d rather shop in a store, the package DVD of the upgrade will be price at $69.99 during the promotion.
A feature called the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant can help make sure your PC is ready for Windows. The Advisor will let you know if the apps and devices on your current PC will work with Windows 8. The compatibility report will also inform you which apps and programs will need updating if you chose to download Windows 8.
“If you’re not upgrading from a prior version of Windows and are building your own PC or installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine or a separate partition, you will be able to purchase and install the Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro System Builder product,” LeBlanc writes.
For upgrade or backup purposes, you can create your own bootable USB or .ISO file which can be burned onto a DVD, or Microsoft will mail you one for $15 plus shipping and handling.
Will you be downloading the latest OS for your machine? Tell us in the comments.
Christina Warren and Pete Pachal contributed to this post.