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Will Windows 10 Be Free?

Question: I keep reading about Windows 10 updates being free. Will it be a free update forever, or until Microsoft comes out with Windows 12?

If you’re looking for confusion, you need look no further than Microsoft. When it comes to Windows 10’s free offer, there’s plenty of it.

While there are a lot of things we don’t know, there’s much we do, and much that we can infer.

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Moving to a subscription model? No.

Many people have inferred the “free upgrade for the first year” offer as meaning that they’ll have to start paying after that year is over. Much like the Office 365 subscription, they’re concerned that they’re somehow being sneakily moved to an annual subscription where only the first year is free.

No. Just … no.

Each edition of Windows has always been a one-time purchase, with updates to that version free for as long as that version is supported.

This has not changed.

The offer is simply this: for the first year after release, and for qualifying machines, the “one time cost” of Windows 10 will be exactly $0.

Windows 10The goal is very simple: Microsoft wants as many people to move to Windows 10 as possible. This one-year offer is their way of removing one barrier that might prevent people from upgrading: cost.

What it means to be a “qualifying machine”

Microsoft has been very clear on this:

We announced 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.1

So if your PC is running Windows 7 or 8.1, and the hardware supports Windows 10 (most will), Windows 10 is available to you for free for the first year after it’s released.

What it means to NOT be a “qualifying machine”

What if you’re not running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7?

Presumably, if you’re running Windows 8, you can update to 8.1 for free. Certainly Microsoft has been pestering you to do so since 8.1 was released. Once updated to 8.1, you can leap into Windows 10.

If you’re running XP or Vista, you’ll need to first make sure your hardware is capable of running 10 (click here for the requirements). (If it can run 8.1, it should be able to run Windows 10.)

If your machine can run Windows 10, but you’re running XP or Vista, you’ll need to purchase Windows 10. How much? When? What format? Microsoft recently announced pricing similar to that of Windows 8.1. All the details will be out by the day of release.

About Windows 11, or 12 or …

Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 is the last major version number for Windows. That implies there will never be a Windows 11 or 12.

Rather than provide major releases every few years, Windows 10 will simply be more or less continually updated for as long as Windows itself lives on.

What that means to you is that you’ll get updates for free, pretty much forever. Microsoft has qualified this as “the life of the machine:” as long as you have a machine running Windows 10, they’ll support it. Free.

Bold claims, and never say never

Never releasing another major version of Windows seems like a very bold claim. Similarly, potentially supporting Windows 10 with updates for decades seems extreme.

But those are the current interpretations of what Microsoft has stated.

It makes Windows 10 a very lucrative option for folks who want to keep their computers running for a long, long time.

As for me, I’m always a little skeptical. Decisions can be changed. I’m reluctant to ever use the word “never”.

But as an overall direction, I think it’s very promising.

Time will tell.

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Footnotes & references

1: From: The next generation of Windows: Windows 10 blog post.

103 comments on “Will Windows 10 Be Free?”

  1. This “free” thing is somewhat misleading. I mean, it’s not Windows 10 that I’m getting for free; it’s not even an upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10! All I’m getting is the ability to upgrade an existing installation of Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Once the year is over I lose that ability. This is unlike “upgrades” that Microsoft often sells, which give you that ability indefinitely, so if you bought, say, Windows 7 and an upgrade from that to Windows 8, you can, effectively, install Windows 8 from scratch (by installing Windows 7 and then upgrading to Windows 8 right away). The way this Windows 10 upgrade works, though, is that, after one year is over, I still have to buy Windows 10 if I, for instance, decide to get a new computer and install Windows 10 on it. Not that it’s inherently a bad thing (although a huge pain if you want to buy an English variant of Windows in a non-English-speaking country).

    • If you install Windows 10 before the year is up, you can keep it forever or the life of your computer, whichever comes first :). If you get a new computer after a year, most computers will have Windows 10 preinstalled. That all sounds free to me.

      • Correction: all pre-assembled computers will have Windows 10 preinstalled. If I build my computer myself, I’ll still have to buy Windows 10. And even if I do get a pre-assembled computer, it’ll still be likely to be full of crapware, so I’ll still want to reinstall Windows from scratch.

        • I would say you are going overboard on the bloatware issue. I agree that most manufacturers load their machines with add-on software that lines their pockets somehow, or has some dubious benefit that keeps you in the manufacturers hip pocket. But some of them let you do a clean reinstallation, and I know at least one (Toshiba) that offers a clean image for an extra $20. That might be a bit cheesy, but it saves you a lot of time (which is worth $$). And the other route you can go is do a little web research and identify what you should remove from a new build. Then use either Revo Uninstaller or Geek Uninstaller to get rid of all the crapware. You don’t HAVE to buy Windows separately and then install from scratch, because you can effectively clean up the factory junk.

  2. It’s worth noting that the statement ‘if it runs Windows 8.1, it will run Windows 10’ is not universally true. I have a computer (bought in early 2014) that came with 8, was upgraded to 8.1, and… does not support Windows 10.

    If you read the fine print on Microsoft’s website, it lists a few CPU instruction sets that your computer must have in order to support Windows 10. And some CPUs included with some pre-built computers don’t support them!

    I’m sure that it’s not a widespread problem, but doing a little comparison using a tool like CPU-Z can’t hurt.

  3. Dear Leo
    Very disappointed to see the expression “OMG” used twice in this article (and not in the Readers’ Comments section either).
    I’m sure most people know what this means, and of course it is blatant blasphemy – worse in my opinion than all the “F” words and other crudities. Both the US and Australia are Christian countries (nominally at least) and this sort of language is most upsetting to those who hold true Christian beliefs. God’s name is certainly not a swear word! I have had the greatest respect for the “Ask Leo” articles and the Heroic Stories series (also by Leo I believe). I had thought it highly likely that Leo was a Christian – may I still hold this as a real hope? Any way, thanks Leo for the huge amount of time and effort you must put into your articles, and the extremely high technical quality of them all! Dick Jenkin.

      • That’s the good thing about the English language, it’ll get you out of the mire every time . Must admit you made me chuckle with that reply. And I thought that Dick Jenkin’s point was well made and thoughtful. Andy Pomfret

      • People use words and terms without knowing what they really mean. I like to put them back to the person using the real meaning.
        For example, if I hear someone say, “Oh, my god”, I ask who the god is, and why the person is calling upon it/him/her. I usually get a blank look and some of verbal expression that the person doesn’t know what I’m talking about.
        If a person uses the shortcut version, such as OMG, I ask what that means. Quite often the speaker doesn’t know. If he/she does know, that leads to the above scenario.
        NOTE: I had a lot of fun in the 90s when many people couldn’t say a complete sentence without some form of the expression for sexual intercourse. After a while, people quit using those expressions around me.

    • we’re talking about computers here……. not politics, religion or the e
      English language!! sorry if you’re offended but get a life!!

          • When I was in my first year at a starchy Methodist boarding school in Perth, Western Australia, I found myself in the midst of a gaggle of farmers’ sons with very definite “theories” about the precise nature of offence which could be offered to the Almighty Being by verbal means; it was impressed on me by the gang of cowardly rowdies in C Dorm (together with the fact that I would not be wearing a “siewt”, but a “sooot”, inter alia) by means of nightly beltings after Lights-Out, that variations on the theme of “Oh God” were in fact not Blasphemy–that was a totally different and really rather ugly procedure involving imaginative combinations I would much rather not mention–but were instead Taking the Name of The Lord My God in Vain; some of the more humane C-Dormers, indeed, asserted that “Oh Gawd” was nothing more than variants of “Oh Lord”, which was also a watering-down of the Mortal Sin, or whatever-it-was. I found this all so paralysingly boring that I resolutely thought of other subjects until the other day I discovered to my delight that I had completely forgotten it. I would suggest this as a rewarding course of action, leading as it does to diminishing inflammation of the brain, if any.

    • Seriously, this comment by Mr. “Jenkins” sounds like a satire of some sort. I’ve never heard of anybody offended by use of the acronym OMG or even the phrase “oh my god.” And to suggest that the use of the acronym or phrase is a “swear” word — that’s a new one on me. While Judeo-Christian tradition forbids taking the “lord’s name in vain” (as do many other religions) I’ve heard so many ministers, rabbis, and priests utter the phrase in conversation that I doubt very much if OMG or “oh my god” constitutes “in vain.”

      And to state ‘ I had thought it highly likely that Leo was a Christian – may I still hold this as a real hope?” is quite an insult to everybody who is not Christian — and probably an insult to many Christians as well who believe one’s religion is a very personal and private thing. Leo’s religion is nobody’s business but Leo’s. It is just plain frightening how some people think they believe in the “one true god” and adhere to the “one true religion.” There ain’t no such thing. The problem is that people of many different religions believe as fervently in the god of their choice as much as “Mr. Jenkins” does. How can anybody have the hubris and chutzpah to think the deity they choose to believe in is the “one true supreme being” and the religion they choose is any better than any other religion? Nobody has ever proven that. Worship whomever you please, “Mr. Jenkins,” but please have the decency and courtesy not to try to impose your religious beliefs on anybody else and to respect the choices others make in terms of whatever they worship or do not worship. As our Constitution makes very clear, the United States is a nation of many religions and the government does not — and cannot — support any religion, but must support the right to worship whatever deity you choose or not worship one at all.

  4. Leo, I have not seen you talk about the forced automatic updates in Windows 10, as shown in the current 10240 build. It is one of my major objections to Windows 10. If Microsoft won’t give me back the option to choose which updates to install AND the ability to install them whenever I choose, I will NEVER upgrade to Windows 10 (and beyond). I can do that in Windows XP and Windows 7 and I really hate the fact I can’t do that in Windows 10.

    If I were to upgrade to Windows 10 and a problematic update (security or feature update) come out from Microsoft which cause major problems (such as reboot loops, blue screen of death or the problems in last December’s KB3004394) then it will be up to me to try to fix the problems (because I have no way to stop the update from installing, particularly if it is a security update), and I don’t want to do that. These potentially troublesome updates are the reason why I do not install them immediately anymore in Windows 7, but will wait at least several days or even weeks to see if there are any problems and if they have been fixed. With Windows 10 I won’t have that option anymore. This is an absolute deal-breaker for me.

      • What I want is the ability to stop those bad updates BEFORE they are installed by default, not after they have been installed (by that time they will be causing serious problems). I can do that in Windows XP and Windows 7 and Windows 10 won’t let me do that at this point.

        • Again, only Windows 10 HOME edition (Pro and better let you control), and I believe that this decision will not stand – eventually there’ll be a way to control Home updates also.

          • I surely hope you are right in saying that “eventually there’ll be a way to control Home updates also”. I would modify it to “eventually there’ll be a way to control Home and Pro updates also”.

            As to your statement that Windows 10 Pro users let you control how and when you install updates, I don’t think so. Apart from my own experience, see what Woody Leonhard said in “Windows 10 : Fact vs Fiction”.


            He said that “If there’s an Achilles’ heel in the grand Windows 10 scheme, it’s forced updates for Windows 10 Home users and Pro users not attached to update servers.” This means that users using Windows 10 Pro who are not attached to update servers (which includes the home users running Pro) have updates forced on them.

            I suggest running a copy of Windows 10 Pro to see for yourself, Leo, and see for yourself.

      • Are you sure, Leo? I have installed Windows 10 Pro build 10240 in a VMware virtual machine, and from what I can see, there is no way to stop security updates and other “Updates” from installing automatically. I can’t block them from installing. The “Defer Upgrades” option in Windows 10 Pro does not do anything to stop these updates from installing. I find this totally unacceptable.

          • The release version of Windows 10 Pro (directly downloaded from Microsoft), as far as I can see, is just the same as build 10240. I can see no way to control which updates are downloaded and no way to stop those updates from installing automatically once they are downloaded. The “Defer Upgrades” option does nothing with regard to security updates and other updates as far as I can see.

            In fact even in Windows 10 Enterprise the situation is the same. If it is not connected to a WSUS update server (like when I am testing in a virtual machine), then Windows Update in Windows 10 Enterprise behaves just the same as in Windows 10 Professional, with no way to control updates.

            I will NOT even consider upgrading unless Microsoft gives the functionality of the Windows Update in Windows 7 back to Windows 10.

            I strongly suggest you take a look yourself, Leo. At present there is NO way to control updates in Windows 10 for normal users, regardless of what version of Windows 10 they are running (Home, Pro or even Enterprise).

            While you seem optimistic that this functionality will be reinstated, I am not that hopeful. I hope I am wrong.

        • It is actually very easy James Bond. Just disable the Windows Update service in Services. Re-enable when you want to update manually.

          • I know that disabling the Windows Update service in Windows 10 will stop all updates from downloading and installing. However, (1) whether this will continue to work in the future is open to question, and (2) eventually when I decide to install the updates, I still have to accept ALL the updates available at that time, including any troublesome updates (such as drivers) with no way to stop any of them from installing once they are downloaded. I still won’t have the option to choose which updates to install.

            That’s one of the reasons I am staying with Windows 7 and not upgrading (besides the fact that for me Windows 10 does not really offer anything superior over Windows 7). I repeat : If Microsoft won’t give me the option to choose which updates to install AND the ability to install them whenever I choose, then I will not upgrade to Windows 10 (apart from running it as a test in virtual machines).

  5. The forced updates bother me too. Many times in the past, I haven’t been paying attention to Windows update offerings, and have ended up with my video ( and other ) drivers actually ” rolled back ” from what I already have installed. I have never seen a hardware driver from Win. Update that was current, or as new as what I already have installed. I understand what MS is trying to do here, but there will be many more borked machines from old drivers, and just bad updates as lomg as MS insists on this policy.

  6. The other issue that bothers me, is the statement from MS that Win 10 will be supported for the ” life ” of your machine. I don’t need MS to tell me that I need a new computer or not. I currently am running a first gen i7 that works perfectly fine for me. So is MS going to one day ( soon ) tell me I need to buy a new computer because they don’t think that my reliable old i7 is current anymore ?

    • It’s not a question of Microsoft deciding that your computer is no longer current. Hardware is constantly advancing in capabilities and complexity. Software is advancing to keep up with hardware and vice versa. Eventually software advances to a point where it can longer support some hardware. It might seem like hardware and software are “good enough”, but what if hardware and software providers had that attitude 25 years ago? We’d still be running DOS on a 286 computer.

    • Maybe I’m just naive, but I don’t see anything nefarious in “free for the life of the machine.” To me it goes more to the point that they’re not going to demand a subscription after the first free year. Additionally, if down the road you decide to build a new computer because your old one doesn’t suit your needs, you’ll have to get Windows and the dealer will want to charge you for it. You can’t argue that you should get Windows for free because Microsoft promised. All they’ve promised is free for the life of your machine.

      On the flip side, I could see a point in time come where Windows says that you’ll have to get a new computer, not because Microsoft wants money, but because Windows can no longer support your hardware. How much has hardware changed since XP came out? If we think Windows is bloated already, how much more bloated will it be if it has to keep adding in support for new hardware (in case you are going to add something) while still being able to support your 8 year old hardware? I can see a scenario where Windows will only install the hardware support it needs to support your hardware and install additional support (e.g. drivers) as you change your hardware, but does that mean that in 2035 Windows is still going to be able to manage supporting the hardware you have today? I have my doubts.

  7. Hi Leo, We have seen loads of this and that on Win 10, however I see nothing of this scenario, although I will be pleased to learn it.

    OK, I have Win7, I upgrade it to Win10. Fine for 2 months and then the computer throws a wobbly, lets say the hard disk develops a fault. I replace the hard drive and then I reinstall Win7 so how about Win10 ? I will have backups but what’s the real answer ? There is no disk so reinstall is out of the question and I cannot ( I think ) use recover from the disk. So what’s the answer

    • If you take a full system image backup prior to the OS upgrade, you would be able to roll your system back to that point. If you continue to take image backups and daily incremental or differential backups, then you would be able to roll your system back to just before the crash. That would not only preserve your Windows 10 installation, but all the work you’ve done on your computer.

  8. Oh My Gosh Leo, I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the continual updates on Win 10 and other great info in terms that I can understand. JimE

  9. Leo,you say that this version will last till next Windows came out.Few days ago I came across verry interesting article.
    It spokes about date,when Windows will end support for Windows 10.Date is 14th October 2025.Tittle of article is
    Microsoft sets end date on Windows 10 support. Hey, wait, WHAT?
    I hope that this is a joke

    • It’s unclear how “this is the last version” and “support ends in 2025” relate to one another. I suspect something will change, or some technicality or nuance will be introduced sometime in the next 10 years.

  10. My problem with the Windows 10 upgrade is a personal problem and one that I’m sure many other people will experience and that is that I live in a rural area where I can only get dial up and or satellite. In my case I have both dial up and the Verizon “Hot Spot”. The problem is that dial up will take ages to download 3 gigabytes and my Verizon is limited to 5 gigs a month. My laptops I can take to the local library and perform the download but my desktop will have to be either dial up or my Verizon. This will basically blow my usage for a month unless I want to pay for extra gigs. So I guess my question is do you think it is possible that MicroSoft will provide a way to download the update to say a flash drive and then use that to update my desktop? The other problem I have is the forced updates. For the reasons stated in other posts about bad updates and of course my personal problem of data usage. Right now I go to the library each month and go to the MS Update Catalog and download all the updates for my desktop and then bring them home and install them. With the forced updates I will not be able to do this. Thanks for you wonderful newsletter Leo!

      • Mark,
        I went to the site you had in your comment and downloaded the Media Creation Tool x64 (Have a Dell Inspiron with Win 7 SP1). I ran the tool and picked ISO file and it started but then said: “Something Happened 0x80200013-0x90017.” No other explanation. I saw Leo’s comment also about MS maybe selling a DVD for those like myself with Dial Up/data limits. Of course I can always stick with my Win 7 as I do like it quite well and just update my 3 laptops at the library. Since I have a year to do this I’m hoping that MS will sell a DVD to people like me so I can put Win 10 on my Desktop. Any other comments, suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all who have responded. JD

    • I read elsewhere that MS took this into consideration. Downloads will be done incrementally and stored on the user’s computer. Actual installation will occur when all segments have been downloaded and verified. MS still hasn’t said whether or not a hardcopy or ISO will be made available.
      My guess is that we won’t find out until MS sees how the initial phase of the upgrade goes.

    • Forced updates are only in the Home version, and I’m hearing rumblings that this may not stand.

      I also expect Windows 10 to be available in other formats that don’t require a full download (as in perhaps purchasing a DVD).

      • Trying to find out if there is a specific article on how to disable “automatic updates” in windows 10? I have searched and this is the closest I’ve come to finding anything about it. Have you posted an article on this? If so, please advise where to find it. If not, please do so. Tks/Larry

  11. I’m not going to upgrade to win10 because media center isnot going to be included I need it on my main computer the win 10 advisor said it would not be included and will be uninstalled if win10 is a upgrade why are they taking programs out when people like me still needs it ??????????

    • I’ve seen this complaint posted on numerous sites. In each case multiple people respond with getting a good free alternative – the most common being VLC. It is far superior to WMC.

    • VLC is a superior media player to WMC as it is so easily customized and will play virtually anything you throw at it. It can also be used with your media player remote control. To me the loss of WMC is mostly about losing television viewing and recording. To have that functionality in Win10 would require use of a third party alternative such as XBMC. To see other options just Google “WMC replacements”. Most of them are free of charge and require little setup and learning curve.

    • I use Windows Media Player to rip all my CDs and play my music on my computer. I also watch DVDs in Windows Media Player. Is this the same thing? Am I going to lose Windows Media Player?

      I’ve tried playing a CD in VLC, but it doesn’t seem to like it. It will list all the tracks on the CD, but when I click on one to play it, it says it can’t play it.

      I don’t want to lose my ability to play my music and videos tomorrow.

  12. The more I read, the more confused I get about Windows 10. I have Windows 7, and have received the same message of “Download Windows 10 for free.”

    Also, I wonder what VLC and WMC stand for.

    Thank you

    • WMC is the Windows Media Center that was introduced in Vista and included in W7 and an option for 8/8.1. VLC is an open source media player produced by Videolan, a non profit group of programmers. Google is my best friend!

  13. Thanks Leo for keep addressing this ‘Hot W10-Upgrade Topic’ Well! the deadline is almost over, with less than 24hrs. To Start the long waited Upgrade–Those who haven’t reserved yet are rushing to do so. As stated before..I’ll wait to read the (Pros & Cons) reported on the Leo’s Newsletter and the MS-Forum to take an informed decision to Upgrade.

    What dislikeMe abut this event is the Update(KB2952 664) installed on Jun-01-2015 displayed the GWX-icon. But on week-1 of July, found 5 optional Updates. One of those was the famous (KB3035 583) Without further search I installed +Restart the machine.

    When the PC-get to normal status I right clicked the GWX-icon to my surprise appears that(I had reserved my upgrade to W10) without do anything from my part. I cancelled triple times and everytime I reboot the reserved notification it showed again. So here I am with a reserved Upgrade without my approval. Will see what happen on July-29-15. Bye for now

    • I haven’t reserved my copies of Windows 10, and I am NOT rushing to so either.

      I have NO intention of downgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (A.K.A. Vista 3) with it’s Fisher/Price – Toys-r-Us mobile phone UI.

      • Personally I believe you’re not giving Windows 10 a fair shake. The UI has been dialed back significantly from the mistakes of Windows 8.

  14. The catch with the free Windows 10 upgrade (which must be installed before July 29, 2016) is that Microsoft has said that it is for the life of current device. Change the motherboard or CPU and you’ll have to pay for Windows 10. The devil is in the details as reported by

    “The license for Windows 10 will be valid for the life of the device, and any subsequent clean installs will automatically register with Microsoft without requiring you to enter a serial number ever again.

    “The free Windows 10 license is valid providing that you don’t make any major hardware changes (such as a new motherboard, which technically constitutes a new computer). A new hard drive, for example, is not a major hardware change. Therefore the free Windows 10 license is tied to specific hardware (such as motherboard, CPU, RAM, etc).”

    This seems pretty draconian and I imagine if enough users — and manufacturers and resellers of computer components — protest, Microsoft may change this policy which discourages upgrading key computer components.

  15. Any new information, about the people who already have Windows 10? Another article that says only 7 and 8.1 will get it for free. Despite the automatic updates, my insider preview a week later is still the same number. Was I supposed to keep downloading and burning each insider preview, I didn’t. I will just wait until the final stable version is released. I’ve been told Windows 10 has a key logger built in. Malware bytes has not detected it, yet, probably, because it is part of the OS. I rather avoid a clean install, but it will take hours. And is there a way to return to windows 8.1 without reformatting?
    Still on Windows 10 insider preview 10074. How long should I wait to getting the final version of 10 to avoid bugs(for the DVD’s I burn). even with backups on an external HDD, the reformat will take hours, I would like to avoid that, if possible. It took several hours in burn and install the Insider preview on a Saturday.

    • If windows10 is 100% “cloud” (i.e. NOT on my computer, for all practical purposes) based, I will move to Linux when Windows 7 is no longer supported, PERIOD. There is much work that I do OFF line. I am not interested in software that requires me to be online for it to work as advertised.

      • Windows 10 is not 100% cloud. Obviously, it can run apps in the cloud, especially the tile apps, but in a similar manner to all other versions of Windows , it can also can run normal Windows programs.

    • That’s been discussed in several places. There was no Windows 9, period. There’s been plenty of speculation as to why the version number was skipped, but no definitive answer from Microsoft.

  16. I’m using the Win10 Pro Preview 10240. I incase wanted to get a ISO to have as a recovery setup in case one of those forced updates
    made the system unbootable. I used a tool to convert the file to windows 10 esd file (that wibndows update downkloaded)
    to a normal ISO that can be put on DVD or USB for a bootasbe install media.

    search for “Windows 10 ESD to ISO” for links to gt the toolset.

  17. Windows 10 is available to you for free for the first year after it’s released.

    So this means once you had it for a year you must pay to keep it? Don’t laugh… MS is like politicians; they love to be ambiguous to cover their backside.

    • Exactly. Microsoft has the same “concern” for its customer base as a bird catcher laying a line of bread crumbs to a trap.

    • This has been explained several times – even by MS. It is only obtaining Win 10 that will change from free to some bunch of dollars, not the use of it.
      I think all the confusion is due to using the word “for”. The more accurate word is “during”. That is, during the first year after release it will be offered free. After that people will have to pay to get it.
      The MS script writers need to read the effective communication articles on (;

  18. I am almost 77 years old. My 3-year-old desktop computer runs Windows 7 Home Premium. I could upgrade to Windows 10 for free, but I’m not going to. Why? If I live longer than my computer, and I still have all my marbles, I will buy a new computer with Win 10 installed. Then all I have to do is transfer my personal files and reinstall the special programs that I want to keep.

    • Most likely support for Win 7 will come to an end before either you or your computer. By then MS will have their next OS out. The only thing we know now is that it won’t be called Windows – maybe they’ll call it Doors.

  19. My concern about Windows 10 has naught to do with price. Confusion abounds. Leo has tried to debunk some of the “rumors” that are not really rumors, but information coming from articles at other tech sites. Go one place and read one thing, go to another and there is a different take. Meanwhile Microsoft talks like politicians running for office, different politicians because one makes an esoteric comment that seems in direct conflict with another crytic statement I read just yesterday. One of them did say — and Oh, My Gracious I wish I’d marked the website so I could reference it now — that Windows 10 would be “Windows as a service”. The trust and confidence I once had in Microsoft is gone. I have NO idea what to expect from their latest and “last” version of Windows.

    I do not claim any technical savvy. But I do notice things. For years now MS has been pushing people to the cloud. There is a reason. First it was storage in the cloud. Convenient, but do I need it? NO. A multitude of sites where files, photos, whatever you want to upload can be shared. Do people like it? I guess so. Do I need it? NO. Online apps, online subscriptions for MS Office? Do I need them? NO. I avoid them. The Microsoft Store. Oh My Gollygee, NO thank you. Windows 10, so far promises only confusion, more headache and less control.

    For social media, emailing, gaming, and such activities, the way the OS is going will work for many people. I won’t even argue that, but that’s not me, and MS is ignoring those of us who use their computers for working, unless we are attached to a large enterprise. I remember back when it was hard to figure out which version of Windows XP you needed because there were so many choices. Now I wish I had a choice other than Home or Business. Something called Home Business with Total Control would be my choice.

    • “Windows as a service” has been stated many times, and is UNRELATED as to how it’s to be paid for. “As a service” implies only a delivery method and development mindset (downloads and updates downloaded from the internet – pretty much like it’s always been), and not a payment structure.

    • I agree with you. The “cloud” will never be a safe place for our data OR our software, period. The “cloud” DOES NOT EXIST. Your data can be accessed by someone who DOES NOT have your best interests in mind when your data and your software reside OUTSIDE of your computer in a nice sweet place called “the cloud”. It is one of those slick euphemisms like the “Trust me, I’m a lawyer” con.

      The LESS we rely on the servers out there to store our data and our software, the BETTER. Storage is cheap. Memory is cheap. We DO NOT NEED the “cloud”.

      But Microsoft wants EVERYTHING transitioned to the “cloud”. What’s wrong with this picture? A lot! Just wade through the different “privacy” and other agreements we are required to sign with Microsoft and you will then begin to realize that you do not have a snowball’s chance in hell of arbitrating a just claim to lost data or privacy caused by the loss of personal data that happened to be in the “cloud”.

      Stay safe. Stay AWAY from the “cloud”.

      • Privacy is dead in Windows 10 and MS, according to an Article called “Windows 10 and Privacy” on, Microsoft will have access to everything, all your data, anything on your computer, and they can do what they like with it . Nice, huh? Have a read here: . Don’t forget to read all the comments, too.

        Sad thing is, people will complain, but then they will just accept it.

        • I shut off all of the Microsoft Cloud services when I installed Windows 10. Although I don’t believe it is as evil as many say, I feel it’s an imposition on the part of Microsoft, especially since we’re paying for it. In the case of Facebook or Google, if you don’t like their invasiveness, just don’t use them. In the case of Windows, we’re dealing with a virtual monopoly. Most people are forced to use it without a choice. Defaulting to sending all that information to Microsoft is unconscionable on their part. When this is done by third party software companies, it’s called Potentially Unwanted Programs (they’re rarely potential) of foistware. To make matters worse, the option to change the privacy settings are hidden in the fine print during installation. But at least it can be done.

  20. Leo: I happen to have an old XP machine (with big memory and fast processor), and I wonder if Win 10 will be able to run on this machine (otherwise, it is headed for Linux experimentation)? As an aside, is Win 10 expected to be just as “busy” as Win 7 and 8? Will outdated machines that barely run Win 7 or 8 be even more burdened by Win 10, or is Win 10 less demanding of resources?

    • If you’re not sure, you can find the Windows 10 minimum requirements here.

      Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster.
      RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
      Free hard disk space: 16 GB.
      Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.
      A Microsoft account and Internet access.

    • Unfortunately I can’t say about the XP machine – there are too many details not given. My understanding is that 10 is somewhat LESS resource intensive than 8.1.

  21. I have a reserved (little white windows icon) win 10 upgrade waiting to be installed. It keeps downloading win 10 but the install keeps failing. The various error codes that I have rec’d are 80070003, 80248007 and 8024A000. Following the instructions for the various ‘repairs’ does nothing to correct the problem. From my perspective it looks like win 10 is vaporware.

  22. It seems to be “free”, as long as you have a computer running windows 7 or 8.1, however after one year you lose the ability to transfer your windows licence to a new computer. Now you can’t buy new hardware and transfer a windows license from a previous machine, instead you’re forced to pay for a separate copy of windows 10. All previous windows can be run on ONE COMPUTER AT A TIME, but windows 10 runs ONLY ON ONE COMPUTER. If for any reason that computer’s life ends, your windows 10 licence is gone and you’ll have to pay for a new copy, Microsoft is hiding the licence fee in the cost of devices running windows 10, how is that FREE?

  23. Wednesday 29th. Well, I bit the bullet and loaded Windows 10 onto one of my Windows 7 computers. I don’t usually fall into the “must load it now” club but for some reason this just felt right. I just simply clicked install and walked away from it. An hour later it had done its own upgrade without any help from me.

    On looking at the new system it seems clean and pretty simple. There are a few things to relearn but I found everything, not like windows 8 where most of the time I looked at the screen and wondered where were my files.

    This will take time and they may well be a few bugs here and there, ( if anyone ever finds a perfect world where software without bugs lives can you let me know, I will move there !), but I feel MS will sort them out.

    So far so good. Now it haves one month to prove itself, given that you have this time to reinstall windows 7.

    Still a bit concerned about reinstalls in the future if a problem occurs.

  24. Ok, I read the article and all the comments.
    Yes, I make regular back ups but it’s just my files, not a full image back up.
    My PC (HP) is 2 years old and came with Windows 8. I immediately made recovery discs (4 DVD’s).
    I upgraded to 8.1 for free.
    My PC has crashed at least once in the 2 years and I reformatted my hard drive on purpose once.
    So… whenever I’ve had to reinstall my OS it’s Windows 8 and I have to free upgrade from the Windows Store to 8.1 My files are backed up to a external hard drive so I have never lost anything.
    So… I upgrade to Windows 10 before the free year is up. After the free year is up, my PC crashes. Then what? My OS reinstall will consist of Windows 8. Will I be stuck with Windows 8 after the free year if my PC crashes?
    I read the suggestion is to do a full image back up immediately following upgrading to 10 but I am really not interested in doing that as having my files backed up and other paid programs on discs has worked just fine and I don’t want to spend extra money on more space or a program to do full image back ups.
    Bottom line: Will I be stuck with Windows 8 after the free year if my PC crashes?

    • As long as you’ve installed it and activated before the end of the year, you should e able to reinstall it on the same machine. But this wouldn’t even be an issue if you are taking regular system image backups as Leo is constantly harping on.

      • Mr. Notenboom and Mr. Jacobs,

        Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. Since you did, I looked into it and it does look pretty easy using System Image Backup in File History (hopefully WIndows 10 will still have it) and inexpensive using existing external backup. Considering getting a 256GB flash drive on sale for a back up to a back up. I can always use it otherwise if things work out with external hard drive. Wondering if I should leave external hard drive plugged in while performing upgrade?
        One other thing, I am taking Mr. Notenboom’s advice and waiting until November/December to perform said upgrade.

  25. I have a Samsung netbook with MS 7 starter and SP1 installed. I have tried to get the MS10 App but it doesn’t happen. I did the troubleshooting and it ended up saying ‘Enterprise is not included in the upgrades to 10’. But it is NOT Enterprize, it’s a private netbook with 7 starter. Any tips on how to get the App, or should I just, at a later date, just download MS10?

  26. Regarding “Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 is the last major version number for Windows. That implies there will never be a Windows 11 or 12.” I take this just to mean that the next Microsoft operating system, after Windows 10, will not be called “Windows”.

    • I think trying to predict what will happen is kinda pointless. It’ll be whatever it will be, and it’ll take a few years before we know. If I had to guess … 10.1.

  27. “NEVER”

    My Murphy’s Law:

    There are two words one must always remember never to use. Always and Never.
    Murphy has initials now. I gave them to him some time ago. They are S.H. Translated it means
    Things Transpire.


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