You may have already felt the buzz, as today marks the start of a brand new movement that will run for a year, one that will reach out to millions of Microsoft users, allowing them to upgrade their OS from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and even Windows 8.1 Phone (if available to their carrier,) to the highly anticipated Windows 10 OS for free. That would be an awesome gift all on its own, but Microsoft is taking this moment to foster social good for both global and local communities. Flex your fingers, and take to Twitter under the #UpgradeYourWorld hashtag @WindowsCanada, ‘cause Microsoft needs our help to help them.

Have you recently seen a show/movie that was pre-1997, where the characters would have highly benefited with access to the World Wide Web and its abundant wealth of knowledge? Watching them now, it can get so dire, you might shout at the screen, “I could have Binged that in seconds for you!” It’s no wonder that Hackers (1995) was my fave movie for the few years it took for us to catch up to its fantasy. If perhaps not the graphic user interfaces, they certainly had it right with the connected few becoming a social network, and banding together to help one of their own. Can you imagine today without an online world? I honestly don’t know how I survived life before my young-adult years, without access to email, and all the social networks you could possibly have a use for. And thanks to this incredible invention, we have the chance to make the most of Microsoft’s year-long initiative, #UpgradeYourWorld.

#UpgradeYourWorld IRL with Microsoft’s Windows 10

As part of the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft announced that they’re investing more than $10 million in cash and technology to give our global and local communities as much of an upgrade as they’re giving our computers at home.

Great projects need strong technology as part of their arsenal these days, to get tasks done in the easiest and most efficient ways. How effective can a group be if they waste precious minutes, or even hours, struggling to open their email correspondences or simply print off a flyer for their next event. I love that Microsoft has made this goal to improve the everyday technical tasks that non-profit organizers face, with what should be the easiest OS to utilize yet. Judging by the Windows 10 features page, everything we need will be instantly and easily accessible, with a personalised Start Menu panel that I’m just itching to get to know.

Making a Global Commitment

As part of the #UpgradeYourWorld project, ten global non-profits are going to be gifted with $500,000, along with Microsoft devices and services, to keep their good-doing flowing. Microsoft already has 9 groups selected to benefit from their movement, and need our help on Twitter to find the tenth.

Personally, I’m going to vote for Right to Play. This non-profit is based on educating children in disadvantaged communities to overcome poverty, conflict and disease through play; giving these kids the right to play, and become the kids they’re meant to be.

Give Children the Right To Play

If you’re a fan of Right to Play as well, here’s a quick tweet button to let Microsoft know your support.

[clickToTweet tweet=”.@WindowsCanada please consider @RightToPlayIntl to benefit as your tenth non-profit to #UpgradeYourWorld!” quote=”.@WindowsCanada please consider @RightToPlayIntl to benefit as your tenth non-profit to #UpgradeYourWorld!”]

Empowering Local Community

Using the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld, tell @WindowsCanada about the people or groups in your community who are empowering others to do great things. Or join the conversation and tell Microsoft how you would upgrade your world. Microsoft will bring a few of these ideas to life in the coming months.

I’ll even help you get started to tell @WindowsCanada what group(s) you would like to see benefit from their investments.

[clickToTweet tweet=”.@WindowsCanada I support ______, and want them to be part of #UpgradeYourWorld’s local initiative.” quote=”.@WindowsCanada I support ______, and want them to be part of #UpgradeYourWorld’s local initiative.”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”.@WindowsCanada my community would benefit from a ________ #UpgradeYourWorld” quote=”.@WindowsCanada my community would benefit from a ________ #UpgradeYourWorld”]

Change the tweets above to fit your goals, just ensure that it’s still addressed to @WindowsCanada and includes the #UpgradeYourWorld hashtag.

What would you do to upgrade your community? I would love to see a new park in my area, complete with a community vegetable garden that is big enough to not entail a truly long wait list, for those who are eager to turn their thumbs green. And with this heat? A splash pad for the kids would be phenomenal, especially since many of our backyards aren’t big enough for kids to run in and around a sprinkler to cool down.

The local groups that I would love to see benefit from Microsoft are The Shoebox Project and Second Harvest, whom always needs new Partners Against Hunger to ensure that one more person in need is fed each day. These are two of many local projects I support year round, and would love to see them get any kind of boost they could from Microsoft’s movement.

The ShoeBox Project 2015

Here’s my most recent Shoebox. I am very lucky that whenever I go to events, both personal and for Geek with Style, I tend to wind up with more beauty/accessories swag than I can personally handle. I love that I can take these items (usually duplicates of what I’m already using myself,) and hopefully give a woman who has found the strength to seek help at a shelter a little bit of love and boost to their confidence.

Right now I’m just waiting for the Toronto group to make the call requesting for new boxes. All this box is missing is a Tim Horton’s gift card and wrapping paper (waiting till last minute to wrap, ‘cause it might not be until the fall, and there’s nothing worse than torn wrapping paper, right?) If you’d like to participate, all you need is a shoebox and roughly $50 worth of toiletries, beauty swag and accessories. There are numerous locations accepting these boxes across Canada, and has even begun in the US.

Upgrade to Microsoft Windows 10

What’s New in Windows 10

If you’re currently using Windows 7 or 8.1, I would entirely recommend upgrading to Windows 10 at some point this year, while its free (after you’ve backed up all your files of course!) It’s everything you love about your current OS, only better. Some of those missed functions, like the Start Menu, will be back to resume making your life easy, as well as new features like Microsoft Edge, Continuum, and Cortana (which will be released in Canada by Fall 2015.)

What’s more, this OS will be supported for the lifetime of your device, at no cost. This means, when there’s a hiccup in the system, you won’t be left to flounder with an operating system that only works until the next OS is released. As long as your device is operated with Windows 10, there will be engineers to make sure it still works flawlessly.

Backed by the Windows Insiders Program’s global community, millions of users are already using Windows 10 and had a hand in shaping this OS into what it is today, ready and waiting for you to install.

Well… you’ve heard what I’m going to do to upgrade my world! Tell me in the comments below, what will you do to #UpgradeYourWorld?


Disclaimer: While all opinions are my own (as always,) this post is sponsored content.