Yesterday, Gabe Aul, the head of the Windows Insider program, put up a blog post which answers one of the most asked questions regarding the ongoing Windows 10 preview program. How will Windows Insiders get access to the final release of Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade? The answer is pretty simple: be running the Windows 10 preview and be signed in with the Microsoft Account used to register as a Windows Insider.

Even better, once you have upgraded, you can then do a clean install of the operating system from an ISO and you will still be active. The product activation will be tied to your Microsoft Account.

In preparation for the final release, there will be some changes to the Insider Program and how updates are delivered, and it will prompt you to sign in with a Microsoft Account if you have not done so. However Mr. Aul was very clear to point out that once the final release is available, it will not be necessary to sign in with a Microsoft Account on any computer with Windows 10 pre-installed, or clean-installed from media. There will of course be functionality missing that is tied to the account, such as the ability to download apps from the Windows Store, but that choice will be left to the end user.

Also, and this has been said before, the Windows Insider program will continue even after Windows 10 launches on July 29th, so if you want to always have the latest programs and features, you can keep active and provide feedback as well.

If anyone is running the Windows 10 Enterprise preview edition, make note that this version will not be eligible for the free upgrade, since Enterprise requires a Volume Licensing agreement. If you are running Enterprise on a device that won’t require Enterprise after July 29th, it would likely be a good idea to reinstall the preview with the Pro version instead so that it will be updated to the full release.

I think there are a lot of people who keep wondering what the trick is going to be, with some people thinking that Windows 10 will require future payments, but the trick will be on Microsoft if they can’t get people to update to a common platform, since their entire model seems to be revolving around a common app platform and store. At Build, they stated they wanted Windows 10 to be on 1 billion devices in three years, and it really seems like they are serious about that with such a big reversal in pricing. For those that want to buy Windows 10 after July 29th, it will cost $119 for Home and $199 for Pro. Of course if you have a licensed copy of Windows 7 or 8, you will be offered the update for free for the first year.

Source: Windows Blog

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  • CaedenV - Saturday, June 20, 2015 - link

    Woot! This means I just scored a free upgrade to Pro on my laptop! And here I thought I was still going to have to pay for the upgrade from home to pro, thanks MS!

    Now if we can get the user verification hang and the buggy experience host process to start behaving it will make the OS run like butter on said laptop. I don't have these issues on my desktop, not sure why the lappy continues to have bugs.
  • Samus - Saturday, June 20, 2015 - link

    Windows as a service. I don't know how they are going to make money long term.
  • Morawka - Saturday, June 20, 2015 - link

    because they are still making money from the OEM PC builders such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc... All new laptops and pc's sold over the next 20 years will all be buying windows licenses per the normal fee.
  • Brett Howse - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Yes exactly. They normally never made much on upgrade fees anyway since the upgrade processes wasn't always very smooth. Normally people get Windows with a new PC and this is the first real push to get people to upgrade on current systems. There was a sale on Windows 8 when it launched but that was small potatoes compared to the push for Windows 10.

    Microsoft is looking at the long term here and they need a userbase.
  • pugster - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    With competition of android/ios, chrome os and others, Microsoft have no choice but to give the OS for free. Microsoft's intention is not to make money from the consumer side anyways. Microsoft is already making boatloads of money off from licensing its software to enterprises. Besides, Microsoft wants to maintain its dominance in the consumer side so people will load Microsoft software in its enterprise side.
  • Michael Bay - Monday, June 22, 2015 - link

    Yes, and 2015 will be the year of linux on desktop...
  • niva - Monday, June 22, 2015 - link

    No, it won't be.

    Trust me, I use Ubuntu on 2 out of my 3 home PCs, but even I have no such illusions. Windows is here to stay and they own the corporate world. IMO by far the biggest advantage MS has is not even in Windows but rather MS Office. I don't see that changing anytime soon. I do think it was a mistake for them to make office available for Apple systems.
  • Cinnabuns - Monday, June 22, 2015 - link

  • mccalejk - Monday, June 22, 2015 - link

    I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic. Microsoft faces no competition on the desktop as pugster suggests. The reason why Bill Gates is so rich isn't due to hardware or the Xbox, it's always been the desktop OS and it's never going to change.

    I think they are being nice because people hate Windows 8 and it's starting to make them look bad.
  • jann5s - Monday, June 22, 2015 - link


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