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Windows 10 will be free for Insiders, grab your Preview copy now and update to RTM later

By Julio Franco · 28 replies
Jun 21, 2015
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  1. Microsoft has finally committed to something I suspect they intended to do all along. Windows 10 Insiders (anyone who is currently using the Windows 10 Preview builds) will receive a direct upgrade to the final release of the operating system and that copy will remain valid indefinitely. Even if you decide to clean install later, you get your free copy of Windows 10. Thanks, Microsoft.

    The only requirement is that as part of the Insider program, your Preview build needs to be connected to a Microsoft account, and then the final copy of Windows 10 will be associated to this account. There will be one or two additional Preview builds before the OS goes RTM and launches next July 29th, so it's likely signing with the MSA (Microsoft Account) will be made mandatory in one of those builds, as hinted in the company's official blog post:

    Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Home and Pro editions) with their registered MSA connected to their PC will receive the final release build of Windows 10 starting on July 29th. This will come as just another flight. I've gotten a lot of questions from Windows Insiders about how this will work if they clean installed from ISO. As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated. Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.

    It's crystal clear Microsoft is serious about moving as many people as possible to its latest platform and as soon as possible, even if that means giving it away. At this year's Build conference, the company forecasted 1 billion devices would be running Windows 10 in three years and that becomes easier to accomplish now that the free offer is not limited to valid Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users.

    The Windows Insider Program will continue after Windows 10 is launched. Insiders will continue to receive future updates, there will be a fast and slow ring, and according to the Redmond they will begin to work on the next release of Windows immediately after Windows 10 ships. Also note that Windows Enterprise edition customers are excluded from the offer since they need to activate using the Volume Licensing Service Center.

    Permalink to story.

  2. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 492   +422

    I got old laptop lying around. If I set it up with W10IP will I be able to tranfer license to my main PC after confirm it's stable? Account is linked to email address or checks for motherboard too?
  3. In a previous TechSpot article it was confirmed by Microsoft that Windows 10 is also for free for anyone using Win 7 and Win 8. They would be able to clean install Win 10 later as well. So I don't see the difference to the Windows 10 Insiders, or am I missing something?
  4. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 492   +422

    Lots of people in lower income countries are still running Vista, even XP, lots of people running cracked Win7/8, but would be nice to cheat out M$ (although I believe M$ wanna move to Android model and sell You ads with daily dose of Updates - all that hassle to enforce automatic update on consumer W10)
  5. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 149   +89

    The article is wrong, and was wrong already at the time of the publication. he linked blog post from Microsoft says:

    "It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer."

    So, no free Windows 10 licenses. Upgrades only for genuine Windows 7 and 8 users.
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,760   +1,268

    Is W10 preview stable enough to be ran as your only OS? I tried dual booting it with W8 and somehow every time it screws my W8 OS and I have to reinstall it later.
  7. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 996   +93

    ...and launches next July 29th, so it's likely...

    So I'm confused does it launch this July or next?
  8. stateofjermaine

    stateofjermaine TS Rookie Posts: 23

    This is being reported by multiple reputable sources. It's not wrong. The Insider Program is M$'s way of getting people onto the platform.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  9. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,760   +1,268

    Maybe they will even let pirated Windows 7 and 8 get a legit copy of 10.
  10. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 149   +89

    Too bad it's not the "multiple reputable sources", but Microsoft who has the final say on this. And Microsoft says: the upgrade is free only for genuine Windows 7 and 8 users.

    Also, if you think something is true or more true, just because "multiple reputable sources" are saying it, then you're committing the bandwagon fallacy.
  11. the gamer

    the gamer TS Rookie

    Insiders like myself will get the full version earlier than the release date.
  12. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634   +288

    The Windows 10 preview will give you the Pro version on release, so on a PC that has Windows 7 or 8 Home you can get the Pro version by installing the preview; otherwise you'd get the Home version.

    I'm considering it for this reason, but I'm still not sure it's worth the hassle. I do have Windows 10 installed in a VM, but I guess that would give me a version that can be installed only in that VM.

    Edit: After reading Microsoft's announcement here, I'm not at all sure people will be getting a free license. Perhaps the build will change to an release version, but they do say "It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.*" It might mean that you'll still need to get that old Windows license to make the release copy genuine.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    madarashi likes this.
  13. maxxxenem1

    maxxxenem1 TS Rookie

    NO. So sorry .. but you do have a year to watch the bugs being worked out.
  14. maxxxenem1

    maxxxenem1 TS Rookie

    Yes you are missing something , But I'm not sure what, yet.
  15. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 149   +89

    Translation: "[sticks finger in the ear] lalalalalala... I'm not listening to you".

    Well, that's also a way to cope with life. Most people grow out of it at around the age of 10, though.
  16. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 8,126   +1,211

    FYI, the story has been update with as much clarification on the matter as we can bring you for now :)
    Nobina and madarashi like this.
  17. I wish they would just come out and clear this up, it feels like they're jerking us around.
  18. stateofjermaine

    stateofjermaine TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Sourcing tech sites for updates on tech news is hardly so egregious an offense as to warrant your level of animosity. We will see how the story plays out. In the meantime, have a great day!
  19. turismozilla

    turismozilla TS Addict Posts: 174   +55

    I am really not excited about Windows 10 at all. When it comes to its interface, MS has mess to much with it within the years that followed after Windows 7s release, to the point I got cold, man, cold! I then discovered Linux Mint was mature enough and an actual solid option, let alone the fact that they arent changing the GUI on me as they please, its been about the same for years. Besides, game developers would be really dumb if they drop Windows 7 support, which is highly unlikely, 99 out of a 100 games will run on Windows 7, and thats all I need. I would probably not feel this way towards Windows if MS hadnt been all trend imposing on us.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  20. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,358   +403

    Well the first article I read about win 10 said you have to have a genuine copy to get it for free, I don't see the controversy.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    Yep, a free upgrade of a genuine Win7/8 license.
    - - - - -
    What confuses me is how that the Insider program is always brought up, as if it has the equality rating of a genuine license to be upgraded. It's not, it's equivalent to a pirated copy, that can be upgraded as an invalid license. MS does not want the Insider program to be equivalent to a license, or else the whole world will be installing Insider and upgrading for free.
  22. BeachDogDaytona

    BeachDogDaytona TS Rookie

    Maybe they will do a cheap upgrade from from the Windows 10 preview. After Windows 8 was released I was offered a chance by Microsoft to upgrade the Windows 8 preview to a fully licensed copy for $20 and received an installation disc as well. That was a pretty good deal.
  23. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,510   +2,210

    The mixed messages are intentional and may point to a truly desperate company. If their betting the farm on a cut of app revenues and endless desktop advertising their going to have a bad time. Nobody sees Microsoft as the company that sells you crappy little mobile games and whatnot, or the one that shoves ads in your face. Their the provider of serious productivity software and comprehensive operating systems and interfaces that developers can easily build for. The harder they try to become Apple and Google the worse their going to do.
  24. bugejakurt

    bugejakurt TS Booster Posts: 158   +15

    I remember Windows 8 was a 30€ Upgrade as an insider. As an upgrade it still needed a genuine Windows licence. I believe Microsoft will be giving out a free Upgrade copy of Windows 10 for Windows insiders and not a licensed full-version.
  25. I think people are confusing "getting the final release of Windows 10" (as in an RTM installation of W10) with getting a "free upgrade license to Windows 10" (in theory, reserved ONLY to current W7/8/8.1 valid license owners).

    I believe "insiders" can get the former but NOT the latter.

    We'll see how it is on July 29th...

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