Free Windows 10 confusion cleared up…?

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Last week, Microsoft was saying that everyone would be able to get Windows 10 for free. The company has been pretty clear that Windows 7 and Window 8 users would be able to upgrade for free for one year after Windows 10’s release on 29th July, the blog post last week also appeared to suggest that everyone else could get a genuine copy too.

How can you get Windows 10?

Over the weekend however, the US-based software giant backed away from that idea, changing the wording in the post to remove the possibility of an official path to Windows to for gratis. Today, there’s been a third update that makes it even clearer than ever before.

First off, it says that Windows 10 should only be used on Genuine Windows devices. If you’ve installed on a virtual machine to test it, that probably means it’s not properly licensed. If you put it on an old Windows Vista machine – nobody is sure, as Vista isn’t eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10. But perhaps no one will notice…?

It seems that Windows 10 users will be split in two halves. The first is those that want to stay in the Windows Insider program. The program will carry on after July 29th, and it will still be used for beta testing and for end user feedback. Anyone who stays with the program will receive all the activated, genuine releases. And just like any other beta from Microsoft, after several months they will expire, but new versions will be available way before that happens.

Windows 10 Devices

The other half of the users are those that want out of the Insider program and want to stay with a stable release on July 29th. This group of people will need a valid Windows 7, 8 or 10 license, or else the operating system will eventually expire. If the Insider builds were installed as a Windows 7 or 8 upgrade, the will remain active once the user switches to the proper release. But Microsoft has not said what happens if a clean installation is done – there should be a way to enter a valid license key…

This basically means there’s a way to use Windows 10 indefinitely without ever having to pay – you just need to stay in the Insider program and keep your system up to date before you ever hit an expiration. But if you want the most stable build, you will need a Windows 7 or 8 license or pay for a Windows 10 one…Clear?

SOURCE: Ars Technica.

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