A reader has a question about dual booting: “I’ve read articles on dual booting-If I have multiple accounts on my Win8.1 why can/can’t I set up Win10 on one of those accounts and still keep 8.1 on another? Like a lot of people,I think, there are some things about each that I would like to have/keep.-For now, the only thing about Win10 that interests me is Cortana.”
Dual booting is certainly an option here. Dual booting is when you partition a hard drive and run one operating system on part on one partition and another on the other partition. Generally, when you turn on the PC, you’re offered the choice of which OS you want to boot up to.
This is not to be confused with having multiple user accounts on a PC. You don’t need multiple user accounts to run Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 in a dual-boot situation. You can lot onto either OS with the same Microsoft Account.
While you can switch pretty easily back and forth between user accounts on the same operating system, switching back and forth between operating systems on a dual-boot requires restarting the PC.
If you want to run Windows 10 as part of a dual boot with Windows 7 or 8.1, that’s fine. But you will have to pay for your copy of Windows 10.
Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1, but they aren’t offering an additional license. You’ll have to purchase a separate copy of Windows 10.
I’d suggest trying the upgrade from 8.1 to Windows 10. I like Windows 10 quite a lot. You can always revert back to your old operating system the first 30 days after the upgrade if you find Windows 10 doesn’t work for you.