Windows 10 free upgrade

Realizing Windows has long been losing its momentum ever since that Vista train wreck in 2005, the Redmond-based software giant surprised attendees of its press event this morning by announcing that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade from Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 7.

But how on Earth is Microsoft going to make money from the forthcoming operating system? Well, in a typical Microsoft fashion Windows 10 upgrades will be free for just one year.

Kicking off the press event at Microsoft headquarters, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group, said that “for the first year after Windows 10 is available, we will be making available a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all devices running windows 8.1.”

In addition, Microsoft will keep users’ Windows 10 devices consistently updated throughout the “supported lifetime for the device.” The new operating system will be available across many different form factors, including phones and gaming devices.

Back by popular demand, the familiar blue taskbar sits in the right left corner of the Windows 10 desktop. The Start menu is more polished, better animated and available in the full screen mode as well.

Windows 10 full screen Start menu

A new Action Center gives you quick access to commonly used options like turning off Wi-Fi and it doubles as a Notification Center with actionable alerts.

Windows 10 automatically transforms from desktop to tablet mode after you remove a mouse and keyboard. The Start button and taskbar remain on the screen in this mode, even on tablets.

“It works like a tablet while you’re out and about, and then it works exactly like a PC when you bring it back and dock it,” said the firm.

Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana, is part of Windows 10 (the logo is in the search bar at the bottom on the taskbar), as are many other new features that will be coming over the new few months.

Windows 10 Cortana

Offering users to upgrade to Windows 10 is a smart move that could boost the software’s adoption among the faithful.

Also, developers will be able to “target every single Windows device” when they build apps because no longer will Windows customers be spread across many versions.

Eagle-eyed readers could point out that Apple famously ended the era of paid operating systems with the release of Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

During the October 22, 2013 press event, Apple promised to offer free upgrades for life on its operating system and business software going forward.

“The days of paid operating system updates are gone for good,” boasted the company that October.

Some questions regarding Windows 10 are still left unanswered. It’s unclear, for example, how free upgrades will work or if they’re going to be subject to any hardware requirements.

You can watch a live-stream of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and other executives delivering the briefing over at the Microsoft website.

Source: The Verge Liveblog

  • pegger1

    “…blue taskbar sits in the right left corner of the Windows 10 desktop”

    What is a right left corner?

    • What is a right left corner?

      A confused corner.

      • After lol’ing to this I think they meant the Windows corner. You know on over on the right left..

    • Joey_Z

      same to the corner of south and north

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    • :)

      Its the one in the corner

      • Reload Gglax

        It’s a corner, whats the big deal. 🙂

      • coLin

        no, it’s in the other corner 🙂

    • Jonathan

      The center corner. xP

    • Guest

      It’s the bipartisan corner, obviously.

  • Hammam Boutafant

    I m going to create a whatsapp or telegram group to talk about iOS and Android too, contact:facebook or 0034631537416 (telegram or whatsapp

  • Free for one year. Fair enough I can get a free year and then downgrade to Windows 8.1. It’s still nowhere near as good value as the cost of OS X and Linux but it’s better than nothing and a definite improvement. I think I like the direction Microsoft is going in i.e give people free stuff if they like it they’ll buy it…

    • mike

      I think you’re reading it wrong. What I got out of it was more “For the first year after release, the OS will be free. After the first year, users will be required to pay in order to upgrade.”

      • That’s what I got out of the article and the live preview (http://bit ly/1Jjo1WJ).

      • Jeffrey

        Sounds waaay more obvious, if Windows 10 would be like, ‘a free 1 year trial’, it would suck very bad.

      • Quadzilla

        They should have written in small letters underneath the first free year that you must register within that first year for it to be free. Once you have registered it though your key will be good forever and it does not expire after a year. So many people confused over this its not even funny. Again its simple just register it within the first year after it launches and its yours free to keep . If you miss that 12 month window like you were hiding in the jungle somewhere without internet access then you will have to pay once you get from your safari.

      • Jeffrey

        Hahah yeah, I think you will have to sign in with your Microsoft account to download the ISO/install app. Sounds pretty simple to me, don’t get why some people don’t understand that.

      • This was what I got out of it hence my downgrade comment. Use Windows 10 free for a year and then downgrade back to to Windows 8.1…

        EDIT: You’re probably right. It’d be really stupid of Microsoft to only offer a 1 year trial. Besides people that have bought Windows 7 / 8 have already given Microsoft enough money as Windows isn’t cheap!

      • mike

        Very true, I agree. It’s fair that Microsoft charges for their OS as a standard source of revenue, but sooner or later, these updates should be free IMHO as MS should find another way to keep business going,

  • Cameron

    tbh, im only using windows to play games. And its still windows 7.

    • Same here I only use Windows for games and Office (Office for Mac sucks compared to the Windows version it’s like a dog Microsofts done nothing but neglect)

      • Om

        Google Docs is a good alternative to Office for Mac IMO.

      • I actually think Google Docs is great but I don’t like Google 😛

        I don’t like Microsoft either and have a love-hate relationship with their products but I’d take a Microsoft product or service over anything Google any day…

      • Jeffrey

        Very true, when I bought my Mac, I needed Word and PowerPoint as well. I downloaded the Mac versions and immediately deleted them. I did some Google research and I found out that Apple actually has alternatives to Microsoft Office (everyone knows of course but in the time I didn’t). Now I use Pages and Keynote on a regular base and I love it, even more than Word on Windows! You should try using them, if you haven’t done so before of course.

      • Pages doesn’t have any of the reference tools Word has. It’s literally the only thing stopping me from using Pages…

      • Jeffrey

        What do you mean with reference tools? Because I use it for school and I can do pretty much everything with it that you can do with Word too, even though some features are harder to find than others…

      • Reference tools as in I quoted something and then use the reference tools to place an appropriate citation next to it and then add the citations to a bibliography at the end automatically. The same for a contents page too…

        Granted I could do the above myself but I’m too damn lazy to do so I’d rather use the reference tools of Microsoft Word instead.

        I like what Apple is doing with their iWork productivity suite but honestly anyone that says it’s better than Microsofts Office suite is just being ignorant. The same goes for the Open Source OpenOffice and LibreOffice too as well as Google Docs. They are all great software but are nothing compared to Microsoft Office…

      • Jeffrey

        Ah like that, well yeah I guess it can’t do that, and I also get that that’s why you won’t use Pages:P I do love Pages though, the problem is that I always have to turn in my school projects as a Word document, so when I convert my Pages document to a Word document, images get moved, the layout changes etc. It’s annoying because I always have to change so much stuff in big rapports.

        And I definitely admit that MS Office is more productive and maybe generally better but I just personally prefer Pages because it’s cleaner and simpler, I also don’t have a lot of problems I have with MS Office. But productive wise, yeah, MS Office stands above all.

    • Dan

      Same here, I stick with windows since I mainly game on my PC. Although I don’t really get all the hate for windows 8, I’ve installed it on a SSD and runs perfect.

      • Tommy

        Haters gonna hate lol

      • tiltdown

        Some people just like to hate without even trying. I had a problem before but I think it’s because of my old hardware not compatible with win8, but in general it’s a good upgrade to win7. I will definitely upgrade to win10!

  • Merman123

    I’m going to want a refund for my free year.

  • Tronjheim79

    I can finally get rid of that “Activate Windows” thing on the bottom-right of the screen (because I didn’t feel that Windows 8.x was worth paying for /runs and hide). I did get 7 for free legally through MSDNAA.

    • WindowsLoader v2.2.2 will solve that very quickly.

  • sosarozay300

    what happens if i install the technical preview / consumer preview whatever they are releasing next week over my windows 8.1 pc and wipe everything on it, will i still get it free?

    • Chris

      You will most likely need to roll back to 8.1 but the upgrade details are still TBA.

    • Bugs Bunnay

      your pc will most likely blow up.

      • utsav koju

        Nothing will blows up dude. You can easily upgrade your pc through iso no need to rolling back and upgrading. I actually do that same with windows 7, 8 and am currently running W10 TP.

      • Jeffrey

        It’s obviously a joke……

  • Chris Buck

    I’m using 2 PC’s with Windows 7 Pro. Had 8 and 8.1 and crashes soooo many times and was wayyyy slower. Win 7 Pro is just fine. Will try Win 10 AFTER my software apps are updated for it for sure.

    • Dan

      Old system?
      Mine has actually never crashed, stayed on windows 8 (not 8.1) and installed Start 8 to bring back the menu bar.

      • Chris Buck

        Lenovo y500 with12GB ram and twin GT650 Graphic cards and Core i7.
        Blue screen of death too many times to count and no problem for 4 months rolled back to Win 7 Pro.

      • Dan

        Damn, that should be enough. I never liked laptops, more prone to that kind of stuff.

      • Chris

        The most common cause of this is a partially incompatible HDD, I had similar issues with my old SSD and one I upgraded it the problems stopped.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        the blue screen shows what problems you had, but I think I can see that the problem was sloppy, negligent driver coding on your legacy SLI cards.

    • Guest


  • rockdude094

    Never Updating from windows 7. <– Notice the period

    • Jonathan

      Proper grammar, nice job. Except a capital “U” in “Updating” was unnecessary. 😛

      • rockdude094

        Still gotta give me credit for the period tho it was probably in the right place. And no you’re not going to get proper grammar from me lol

      • Jonathan

        Well, not in this case. You missed it after “me”. 😛

    • Robbie Ginder

      I kinda feel ya there. I’ve just dual-booted Windows 7 and Ubuntu. Try making a second 80GB Hard Drive partition, and installing Windows 10 on there to try it. If the Microsoft good/bad trend follows through (windows ME = sucks, Windows XP = Good, Windows Vista = sucks, Windows 7 = Great, Windows 8 = sucks, Windows 10 = ?), then it might be okay… Microsoft needs to learn how to count…

  • Mohammed Khaled

    So after 1 year of the upgrade I will have to pay?

    • Dan

      I think it means that people have a year to upgrade, if you do in that window (pun intended), it’s your to keep. After that year, new adopters will have to pay.

      • Mohammed Khaled

        So I guess later if I intend to do a clean install or something I can just use the product key they provide me with!

      • Anish Shetty

        I don’t think that’s how it actually is.

      • Damian

        That’s what I thougt too

        Damn Microsoft could not be more confusing. They had one simple task to do: explanation. And they just confused us

      • Dan

        I’m not sure. I asked on another forum but was pretty much called am imbecile for not knowing lol.

      • Damian

        You should try asking reddit groups
        They are very fast and responsive

  • jack

    MS is so lost. First they have the loved start button. Then they removed with Windows 8. Then they added back a crippled version. Now they’re bringing the full start button back. Gosh

    • coLin

      they had a lot of complaints

  • Why isn’t everyone talking more about Microsoft HoloLens? I can’t deny that those look pretty dang amazing!

    • Damian

      Probably really expansive and not good for public yet. I am looking forward to it in 10 years

  • WiseBlasian

    Wait did I miss something or they skipped Windows 9 :p

    • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

      They thought 9 would be like Vista “the way 10 was supposed to be”

      • A man

        I think Windows 8 sucks like Vista actually. I hope when I’ll upgrade to Windows 10 I’ll have less problems than now with Windows 8.1

    • Chris

      They couldn’t call it Windows 9 due to a naming conflict created by Windows 95.

    • Jonathan

      They skipped 9 because the next OS was such a radical difference from its previous OS, Windows 8.1.

      • coLin

        not true

      • Jeffrey

        I don’t think that’s why they did it man, I have no idea why they actually did though. Windows 10 could/should have been called Windows 8.2, since it doesn’t have a huge amount of new features…

  • filter351

    Go home corner, your drunk!

  • Awesome to hear it’s free for the first year. Though I have a feeling they’ll limit the availability to say the US during the first year or they’ll use some other change in terms of agreement to make it a subscription.

    “Realizing Windows has long been losing its momentum ever since that Vista train wreck in 2005”

    Haha, typical Zibreg, you just had to start it off with such as5-wipe fanboy BS, didn’t you…

    • Jeffrey

      Why would they limit it to US only? They ain’t Apple:D (not saying that’s a good thing, because Apple is awesome). Seriously though, I highly doubt they would limit it to US only in the first year. You are right about the pattern thingy though, wonder how Windows 11, or however the heck they will call it, will be like. Guess we’ll find out in a few years…

  • askep3

    It shouldn’t have hardware requirements since tablets will also get windows 10, and tablets are usually weaker than desktops

    • Huh? Hardware requirements would be similar to what Windows 8’s were, or possibly even less demanding (making even more old hardware compatible). Tablets are a PC (personal computer) form-factor, just like Desktops, Laptops AND SmartPhones.

  • Gary LE

    So win 10 is free for A YEAR AFTER release? Or is it free for ONE YEAR DURING USE?