Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be offered free of charge to all users during the first year. All? No, in reality it is not that simple and it will all ultimately depend on your status and that of your machine. If you are feeling a bit lost, then this article should help you see it a little bit clearer.
The first thing to know is that the offer will only be valid on machines running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. If you stayed on XP or Vista then you will need to (re) checkout to get the update.
Same thing obviously if your license is not valid. Microsoft does not intend to offer its new operating system to hackers. If they do the migration, then they will end up on a restricted version of the system. The firm is however working on attractive offers to get them on the right track.
Windows 10 will only be offered to people with a Windows 7 or Windows 8.x license
This information has been known for a long time, but there are still a few things to consider. If you want to install Windows 10 from Windows 7, then you will need to download and install Service Pack 1 on your computer first.
If your machine is running Windows 8, you will also need to update it to Windows 8.1. Then you just have to go through Windows Update to install the OS on your computer.
Ah and if you are wondering, having tested the Technical Preview of Windows 10 during all these long months will not allow you to obtain a license.
In addition, be aware that these rules apply for physical machines, of course, but also for virtual machines or even for Boot Camp, on OS X.
So, what about the different editions of Windows 10?
You may know it but Windows 10 will come in seven distinct versions , each corresponding to a very specific use: Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Mobile Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 IoT Core.
For the last four editions of the list, you will need to contact Microsoft directly for more information on the migration options offered.
What about the first three? In reality, everything will depend on the version that is installed on your computer. If you have a Windows 7 Home Basic at home, for example, you won't be able to migrate to Windows 10 Pro. Not without taking out the credit card.
Basically and to keep it simple, therefore:
- Windows 7 and Windows 8.x Home Basic or Home Premium: free migration to Windows 10 Home.
- Windows 7 and Windows 8.X Professional and Ultimate: free migration to Windows 10 Pro.
- Windows Phone 8.1: free migration to Windows 10 Mobile.
Windows RT will not have the right to an update to Windows 10, for its part, but Microsoft is working on an alternative. However, we will have to wait a little longer to learn more about the subject.