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Windows 10 to be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users

by Mark Tyson on 21 January 2015, 22:00

Tags: Windows 10

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Windows 10 has been under the spotlight at a special event in Redmond earlier today. We found out many things about what will be coming to the Windows ecosystem, but the first thing we want to highlight is the upgrade pricing. In a nutshell any user of Windows 7 or above can get Windows 10 for free. Microsoft says that "a free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch".

Windows 10 is a service

Microsoft voiced its intentions to "continue to keep it (the OS) current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge". The philosophy behind this move is that Windows 10 is a service. As a service new OS upgrades and updates will come, just like web services get upgraded, as and when they are ready.

Desktop Start Menu and Cortana panel

Universal apps

Windows 10 brings many devices closer together in Microsoft's ecosystem. Universal Windows apps will be able to work across "PC, tablet, phone, Xbox, the Internet of Things, and more," we are told. Microsoft is starting the ball rolling with universal apps included in Windows 10 which include the Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging, and Mail & Calendar standards. Microsoft Office is being introduced in a new universal look to "offer a consistent, touch-first experience across phone, tablet and PC." All of the universal apps can be synced with OneDrive so your data can be seamlessly accessed and edited from any of your devices.

Continuum Mode

To help users work naturally with Windows 10 across devices Microsoft introduced Continuum mode. There are plenty of 2-in-1 devices now and we expect to see even more diverse hybrids in the future. Windows 10 is built to naturally and slickly move between keyboard/mouse and touch/tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches between the optimal interface.

New notifications centre, seen right

Making Windows 10 a free upgrade for so many Windows users is a bold move. Beyond the huge free offer for existing Windows users there were lots of new exiting technologies revealed by Nadella & Co.

For a brief run-through of all the main new features in Windows 10, including those mentioned above and Cortana, Spartan and DirectX 12, please watch Windows VP Joe Belfiore's summary video below.

HEXUS Forums :: 104 Comments

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that is great for MS to do that.
Sounds like OSX, iOS and iCloud.
wow, it looks like ms are on the right track. i look forward to playing with 10 now as i dare upgrade to the preview copy! may need to go back to windows phone in the future too!

So, “free for the first year”, eh? And after that?

Windows to be “a service”, with OS upgrades “as and when ready”.

So, are they suggesting that, after 12 months, we get to pay a monthly subscription for an OS “service”? If so, MS, then free for 12 months or not, you can shove it right where the sun don't shine.

Regardless of what features it offers, personally, I'm not paying MS a monthly fee for an OS, EVER. And that's where I've suspected they were going for quite a while. This makes me even more suspicious …. and makes Linux loom even larger in my future.

Windows is not, to me, a “service” and never will be. It's an OS for running MY choice of applications on MY hardware. And for all sorts of reasons, my choice of applications rarely includes MS “standard” packages.

Windows feels increasingly like an old friend that's got married and moved abroad …. fond memories, but we're drifting apart and our lives are inexorably diverging.
I'd like to see a bit of clarification on the ‘free for a year’ bit, it's a bit ambiguous as-is. From what I can tell, it is saying ‘as long as you take up the offer in the first year, you get to keep it’, but where are they getting their money from then?

Also, their wording makes me wonder whether reformats will be possible after that timescale? Assuming the licensing model stays the same i.e. you send a 7/8 key, you get a 10 key, then I don't see a problem, but the way they keep referring to ‘devices’ makes me a bit uneasy.

I think it's just the subscription model rumours making me a bit dubious, but reading between the lines, it seems there's a lot they're leaving out.

Edit: beaten to it by Saracen. :P