Is the Windows 10 free upgrade really free?

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Seven more days till July 29th when Windows 10 will be globally launched. Therefore I will concentrate on Windows 10 for the next couple of weeks. And I would like to start the Windows 10 article series by answering a question that I heard very often, especially when going out with friends or family. As we know, every eligible device with a genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license could benefit from a Windows 10 free upgrade. But is this free upgrade really free?

The answer is clearly YES. There are no strings attached and everyone would get a full Windows 10 license. You won’t have to pay for it after the first 12 months, as I often hear, your Windows 10 license will not become a subscription so you won’t be charged monthly for using it. 

Most concerns arise from the fact that most of us fail to understand how this Windows 10 free upgrade will be profitable for Microsoft. Thus, I would like to reiterate that Windows 10 is not just another version of the operating system, but the next generation Windows. These are not merely great marketing words. This fact really emphasizes a total shift in the way Microsoft sees its operating system.

Technology is not about operating systems, software and gadgets anymore. Technology is about bringing a more personal and meaningful compute experience to end users. So the operating system is not important anymore! Important is the developer ecosystem built around Windows 10. And this is the big bet Microsoft is aiming right now: build a strong ecosystem around Windows 10. This is also the reason why Windows 10 will essentially run the exact same binaries, no matter on what device you install it.

So, Microsoft wants to build a big family around Windows 10, not to simply sell it. And that’s why the Windows 10 free upgrade is really free, with no strings attached, no hidden gotchas and so on.

In the next articles of my Windows 10 series I will therefore also cover the limitations that Windows 10 comes with (mostly due to hardware specifications), the features that you may love in Windows 7 and won’t be there in Windows 10 and so on. I would like my readers to make a responsible and informed choice when thinking about the Windows 10 free upgrade.

 

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

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