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What Free Upgrade To Windows 10 Means For You

The Windows 10 event was huge and not just because it listed a lot of new changes that are to be implemented in the next Windows 10 build or because of Cortana but also because of the HoloLens announcement and the news that Windows 10 will be free for everyone running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. I’m still very excited about the HoloLens preview and the mind blowing Minecraft integration shown but apart from that this news of the free upgrade is a major point of interest for me, and possibly for many other people. Here’s a look at what the announcement means for both consumers and for Windows as a product.


The Free Upgrade

Windows 10 is going to be free for one year after it has been released to anyone running any version of Windows 7 and up. You will be allowed to upgrade easily. Windows Vista users have been left out of the free offering. This upgrade will be permanent meaning you cannot downgrade to Windows 7 again with your old license. The upgrade will be free for the first year of the Windows 10 launch and any upgrades made after the year expires will cost you.

Why You Should Care

Many new laptop models are built entirely for Windows 8 at present with very few still coming with Windows 7 pre-installed. This announcement means you’re entitled to a free OS upgrade and if your current Windows 7 license is OEM restricted, you can still get in on the action without shelling out money for Windows 8/8.1 or buying a new device.

If you were considering buying a new system the same time you upgrade to a newer OS, you might want to rethink the decision to do so, especially if your current one is working well and a new OS was all that was motivating you to get a new laptop. For me personally, this announcement has made me reconsider buying a not only a new laptop, but also persuaded me not to shell out a ridiculous amount of cash on a MacBook which I was considering because I didn’t want to wait until Windows 10 came out. The announcement has persuaded me to wait.

This upgrade is going to be permanent. It is likely Windows 7 will cease to be available for purchase and your current license may be all that remains of an authentic Windows 7 license. Since the upgrade is going to be permanent, it’s a big decision to make and you might want to do a Windows 10 test run before you make the plunge. You do have a whole year to decide what you want to do but once you upgrade, there is going to be no way back.

What This Means For Windows

A while back, Apple used to charge for OS upgrades. I remember Mountain Lion cost something around $20 but the last two upgrades have been free. Windows 8 had a price tag on it and where it had its set of problems that contributed to users abstaining from an upgrade, the price might also have dissuaded some from buying an OS that was only half-cooked.

Microsoft is realizing that it needs people to upgrade  and that it is more about market share than profits at the moment. It is a very conscious effort by the company to get people to move to the newer version. Windows 7 is going to be pushed out and slowly made obsolete and this free upgrade will play a huge role. It lets users keep their currentPCs, and get the new OS with very little effort. The question is, will we soon see a decline in Window 7 market share as people upgrade to the much improved Windows 10? I personally think it’s very possible because Windows 10 has fixed just about everything wrong with Windows 8/8.1 and Free is a price that’s hard to beat. The new OS has plenty to offer anyone running Windows 7 which is now looking very dated.


  1. How long will I be able to continue using windows 7 ? Why would I want to use windows 10 ? Please explain.

  2. if you upgrade to windows 10 cant you go back to windows 7 if you don’t like the windows or after one year of free services?

    • No you cant go back to your previous version of windows after upgrading to Windows 10

    • Yes, you can, there is a setting that lets you revert beck to your previous OS. To get to it, press and Hold the Windows Key, then press I, and let go of both. Then select recovery, and voila, there it is.

  3. Microsoft want to mothball all other OS’s except 8.1 and 10. As is even though XP, Vista and soon Win 7 & 8 will be mothballed they still have people keeping them up and running as far as required files on malware and viruses etc, that requires a larger workforce. Discontinuing all OS’s but Win 8.1 and 10 means more people can work on them.

  4. I haven’t seen a new feature in Windows 10 that interests me, let alone excites me. I could be convinced but for the moment I will stick with Windows 7 like most others.

  5. (1) Windows 10 will be free to use for one year and after that it will cost (Windows as a service)? Or (2) can you get Windows 10 for free just the first year from the launch date but if you upgrade to Windows 10 in this year you have Windows 10 for free for how many years you want to use it?

  6. I don’t think this article is correct. For 1 year after the release, all users of 7, 8 and 8.1 will be allowed to ‘claim’ their free upgrade, once one does that, any updates/upgrades to windows 10 will be free, for the lifetime of your device.

    Feel free to check the sources though.

  7. I’m just worried about drivers, how win10 will be able to cover all models? or do I have to go and look for drivers everywhere? I hate that.

    • I’m running tech preview atm. Amd omega driver works without any issues (amd’s r7 200 series gpu). Dual core processor and a very old mainboard (800 MHz memory slots lol). So far, 10 doesn’t care about any of that and keeps plowing trough anything I throw at it. There’s always the compatibility mode if things don’t work “out of the box”.

  8. Old Windows 7/8.x is a product with the licence for using these old Windows forever, and new Windows 10 is a service (I think not longer the product with the licence), with some strictly constrained life cycle, and date of EoL, and might be switch off after this date, forcing us to prepaid for the new-current version of “Windows as a Service”, so this might be a trick, a trap set for our wallets.

    • That is a misconception that seems to be making the rounds. Microsoft has not said anything about changing Windows to a subscription model. What has been announced is that Windows 7/8 users will have a period of one year to claim their free Windows 10 upgrade. If you want to get Windows 10 after the year has elapsed, you will need to buy a copy.

      I really wish people would stop making things up.

    • The upgrade will be free for the first year of the Windows 10 launch and any *upgrades made after the year expires will cost you*.

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