Windows 10 free upgrade is not free for everyone. Devices that are not running genuine, paid-for earlier versions of Windows are not eligible for the upgrade. When Microsoft had announced the free upgrade, the company indicated even pirated versions of Windows would be eligible. Now, it has been clarified.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, says, “Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together. While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state.”
The Windows 10 free upgrade offer says, “We will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year.” The asterisk links to a rider that says, “Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device.”
Eligible for Windows 10 free upgrade:
- Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1devices. This free upgrade is in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid.
- Microsoft 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices will upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
- Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
- Windows 8 users must first upgrade to Windows 8.1 and then install the free Windows 8.1 update. After it’s complete, you can upgrade to free Windows 10.
- If you upgrade within the first 12 months following launch, device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free.
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 users can upgrade using Windows Update.
- The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.
Not eligible for Windows 10 free upgrade:
- Windows XP or Windows Vista users are not automatically eligible for a free upgrade of Windows 10. PC may qualify if you upgraded to a later Windows version.
- Windows RT devices cannot be upgraded to Windows 10.
- If you built PC or bought it without a qualifying copy of Windows, you are not eligible for a free upgrade.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced Windows 10 editions and now, according to the recent blog post, “While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to non-genuine Windows devices, as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a non-genuine state.”
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