Explaining Windows 10's free upgrade offer: Who'll get it, who won't?

By Julio Franco · 74 replies
May 13, 2015
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  1. Microsoft is set to release Windows 10 later this year and users of current versions of the operating system will get an upgrade free of charge. That's what Microsoft said and made abundantly clear last January when it presented key consumer features of the new OS including Cortana, Project Spartan (now Microsoft Edge), DirectX 12, and Hololens, which seemingly runs some version of Windows 10.

    So where's the confusion?

    Since the announcement, there have been some mixed signals and speculation about who'll get the free upgrade and who won't. Here's a brief overview of the different upgrade paths to Windows 10...

    Read the complete article.

  2. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Booster Posts: 106   +84

    Nothing in life is free. Want the latest "Patch Tuesday" updates to plug up those holes in your OS?.....It'll cost ya...$$$$...
  3. failquail

    failquail TS Member Posts: 20   +7

    You do seem to have glossed over one of the most uncertain aspects of the win10 upgrade: Win7 OEM keys.

    If you format your pre-installed OS you might not be able to get a functional win10 key...
  4. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    So the pirates *cough* (me) will have some form of limited system I take it. I have an XP key laying around somewhere, could I use that to get free W10, or shall I go hunt for some family/work keys for W7/W8 to get the free W10?

    Hmm, I wish it was free upgrade for everyone... blargh.
  5. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,336   +843

    I think I just read that XP users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 10 so your key will be useles unless there is some way that you can upgrade from XP to 7 or 8 and then to 10. I think we all wish it was free for anyone cause even crapple put their OS for "free".
  6. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    WTF are you talking about. Patches have never and will never cost money. Don't be such a cynical *****.
  7. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    so if you stop paying your yearly windows sub you will keep getting patches?

    & crapple dont give you the OS for free... its in with the system hence why they get nearly 50% profit for everything they sell.. it comes out of that..
  8. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +108

    I still have questions, if one has a valid Windows 7/8 copy, upgrades to Windows 10 and after a time you format your pc, what will happen then?
    bea108 and andrewyoung like this.
  9. The Chad

    The Chad TS Enthusiast Posts: 23   +8

    Cant wait for Windows 10 RTM. Yes there are some pretty major glitches right now in the beta for PC and Phone but they are being ironed out pretty quickly. The OS is running on my hardware way more efficiently. Microsoft has really stepped up their game in the last 18 months.
  10. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

    My information on the topic is limited so what does it mean that this will be the last version of Windows? Forever? is there gonna be a new OS after Windows or we stick with Win10 and its incremental updates forever?
  11. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 684   +253

    They say Windows 10 will be Windows 10 for life. This is the stupidest idea anyone has ever tried to promote. Along with a constantly morphing operating system. Who wants that seriously? I wanna know that what my operating system did 6 months ago, that its going to be able to do that today, and that its going to be able to do that 6 months into the future. Train wreck coming, complete and total disaster ahead.

    So, the only way they could justify the silly name change from 8 to 10 was to feed us this marketing hype that it's the last version ever. That's the only reason they did it.

    The reason Microsoft is allowing pirates to keep Windows 10 on their system in limited form or fashion is because they want to use those pirates as guinea pigs to boost their statistics at launch. Leaving a "crippled" version of Windows 10 on a massive amount of pirate machines will get Microsoft to their "Windows 10 .... Now are over 1 billion devices....fine print: half-a-billion of these devices are running a crippled version of Windows 10". The crippled version of Windows 10 can greet with "Ahoy Matey!" instead of "Welcome".

    I have 3 PCs I use. 2 with Windows 7 and 1 with Windows 10. I will probably take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10 on at least 1 machine. However, in spite of the fact that Microsoft has finally shifted their focus back to making Windows 10 more user-friendly to desktops, I don't trust them at this point. There is too much change going on. Windows-as-a-service is just ahead which makes us all even more dependent on an operating system that has now become...literally...a moving target...you have no idea what its going to be capable of from one day to the next. "So stay in the slow ring...you don't have to upgrade right away". What if we like a version of Windows 10 and we don't EVER wanna upgrade from that version? Can I get security updates without losing/adding anything else? I hope so.

    Yeah Windows 10 for life...just like my Gold's Gym lifetime membership that lasted until they filed bankruptcy. Windows 10 for the next 3 years is my prediction until they wanna separate themselves from it again.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +763

    I bet there is still a substantial base of XP users out there - myself included. If M$ really wanted to eliminate this base, they should offer upgrades to XP users for free, too. If I have to pay for this for the machine I have it running on, then all I can say is not gonna happen.

    Even with years old hardware except for an SSD upgrade, it is the fastest booting machine that I have that is not built with UEFI.
  13. I plan on creating an Acronis True Image archive of each Windows 7 machine using the free Acronis WD edition (as long as one of your drives, even if the only WD drive is the external USB drive). Then upgrade to Windows 10, create a new archive & store it on the external USB drive. Then go back to Windows 7. In a year and a half when the final version of "windows" is out aptly named "Windows", I will repeat the process and go back to Windows 7. When it's time to finally upgrade, I will have a free path to either Windows 10 or the final Windows version.
  14. Stupido

    Stupido TS Booster Posts: 66

    So for people like me who build their own rigs, what we do?

    Back in the days I bought Vista DVD. I used that one for all my builds & upgrades (so 1 personal machine - not multiple machines at the same time)
    then when 8 came, I used the license # of Vista to upgrade to 8 (for 30 buks) and free to go to 8.1;

    so if I go with 10 now on this machine and later I re-install or build new one, what happens?
    according to this quote:
    "Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, it’ll be supported for the lifetime of the device."
    not good idea? meaning buying new license?
  15. Seriously, what OS do you use that has a yearly subscription cost? You aren't using Windows or Apple if that's the case. Windows and Apple provide the OS either for free or at a ONE TIME COST. Updates to NEWER OS versions cost but they do NOT charge for Patches and Updates to the current OS.
  16. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    I think the only thing important will be the win 10 key.

    So after you do this update aslong as you hold on to that key you can probably download the ISO copy of win 10 then use valid key you got from upgrade.
  17. thanos999

    thanos999 TS Rookie

    Windows 10 will be around for about 5 years and then they will come out with a new os and call it door 1.1 after about 20 years and the final release off door 10 they will call there os something else like chimney after about 100 years they can call there os house cause by then they would have released walls ,roofs ceiling and floors
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    lol I'll wait for Microsoft Safe version, cause you know that will be the most secure version out of them all. :D Windows Closet would fit my personality better though.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    gingerbill likes this.
  19. bobby5602

    bobby5602 TS Rookie

    MS has not said that will go to a yearly subscription, so it is not possible to answer. What might happen is that add-ons or upgrades would stop. If you purchase a new system with an OS, I would think it would it work at least as it came.
  20. edee02

    edee02 TS Rookie

    O-M-G .........People STILL don't get it?

    Here is a perfect example of people always looking for something for nothing but don't want to do anything to get it.

    Bottom line people ..... if you are STILL on Windows XP or Vista and refuse to upgrade to AT LEAST Windows 7, then Windows 10 WILL NOT be free for you, want it free? then PAY for the upgrade to 7 / 8 or 8.1 like the rest of us did. If you are running Windows 7 / 8 or 8.1, Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to you but only for the first year it's out after it's release, if you don't get it within the first year you will have to pay for it afterwards.

    Windows 10 will be Microsoft's last and final operating system, much like Apples OS 10 this one will be added onto with new features and will be serviced with security updates for the rest of your life, so ....... sooner or later you will have to upgrade, there really is no avoiding it, so ..... get it free when it comes out or ...... pay for it later, it's ALL your choice.
    Windows Insiders such as moi who have been testing Windows 10 and providing Microsoft valuable feed back and bug information to make this OS what it is and what everyone has been wanting will get free copies also.

    Those with Pirated or hacked copies of Windows 7 / 8 or 8.1 will get a free upgrade also, only thing is your copy will upgraded as "non genuine" until you pay for the upgrade. I would assume that the upgrade will come with all the hassles like not being able to get patches and Windows Updates and so on and nags for you to buy it courtesy of Microsoft, if you are running a pirated or hacked version of Windows, one may want to think about upgrading through a tunnel or VPN and not their main IP for obvious reasons.

    The ONLY thing Microsoft has not made clear yet is how much Windows 10 will cost for those that will have to pay for it ..... if you don't get it within the free upgrade period.

    But don't whine because it's not being offered to you for free because you chose to use a pirated copy or didn't want contribute or just did not want to keep up with technology, it's not becoming, if you haven't bought an upgrade or OS since Windows XP then you need to pay your dues like the rest of us have. Microsoft has made every effort for everyone to upgrade to each operating system affordably, everyone had the chance to upgrade from Vista to 7 on the cheap, everyone had the chance to upgrade from 7 to 8 for $40, everyone had the chance to upgrade from 8 to 8.1 for free, if you didn't take advantage of it when it was made available then, honestly, it's on you.
    gingerbill likes this.
  21. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +988

    There are some gaps in the information Microsoft has provided so far and that partly explains the confusion behind the upgrade paths and future possibilities.

    Today's article was meant to provide you with clear information of what we know for sure thus far, and honestly it's a lot, because in a wide majority of cases (anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8) will be upgraded for free regardless if your license was bought standalone or came with a laptop (in which case it's safe to assume it's limited to that machine), etc.

    Two particular topics of discussion that are yet unclear:

    1) What happens if you upgrade your W7/8 license to Windows 10 and want to go back?
    We don't know yet.

    2) What will happen after the first year? What is the model Microsoft will pursue? We don't know either and it's possible than even Microsoft will evaluate their options during the first year of free Windows 10 upgrades before taking a longer term choice.
    gingerbill and Rick like this.
  22. Stalepie

    Stalepie TS Rookie

    It's to avoid problems in older software that reference Windows 95 and 98.
  23. Cassiebeak

    Cassiebeak TS Rookie

    This article simply speculated that Microsoft could move to a subscription-based service for Windows 10, why are so many commenters here acting like MS is for sure doing that when they haven't even mentioned any sort of subscription?
  24. emmzo

    emmzo TS Booster Posts: 142   +37

    Call me a pessimist, but:
    - firstly, I don`t think after you upgrade to 10, you will be able to switch back to 7 or 8 and also, within two years, they`ll drop support to the latter altogether, so that will force 10 up your arse anyway and
    -second, it`ll be a subscription model for sure, cause that`s the easiest way to cash in big time without a hassle, moreover divided into silver, gold, platinum, so the more you pay, less commercials or any of that bloatware crap and so on.
    Yes, it`ll probably be the best Windows ever and an yes, there will be an incremental small steps transition, I even bet the thing is gonna be free for a while and then slowly, they`ll sneak from behind with "minor" updates unloading a plethora of "features" that in 5 years or so, you`ll have to pay every time you boot your computer.
    Oh, and I also predict an always online session for "security reasons".
  25. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88


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