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Microsoft clarifies who gets a free version of Windows 10 [hint: it’s probably not you]

Microsoft is forced to clarify exactly who gets an upgrade and how to get it after confusion and frustration swarms the release of Windows 10.





Windows 10 rolls out, but isn’t actually free for most…

Initially it looked as though everyone who tested Windows 10 would get a free copy, but this is not necessarily the case, unfortunately. There was so much confusion surrounding this issue that Microsoft was forced to update their blog in an effort to clarify the situation. Apparently, even Microsoft itself seems a bit confused about how this program is supposed to work.

Initially, it was widely reported that Microsoft planned to give away free Windows 10 licenses to anyone trying out the Preview, but this is not true.

So how can you actually get the update?

In order to receive the upgrade you needed to have an authentic version of Windows 7 or 8 installed. If you didn’t have either of these installed, you can still get a copy of Windows 10, in theory, but it is a bit tricky. When you install Preview, you must remain “opted-in” to future preview updates all the way through the final version and beyond.

If you install a Windows 10 preview copy right now, and then opt-out of pre-release updates, you will no longer be genuine. Microsoft will then prompt you to “roll back” to a previous OS version, or get a new Windows 10 license. This is not exactly the convenience people were promised.

No roll out is perfect, but come on

Every roll out has bugs, but this seems to have gone above and beyond the confusion threshold for an OS release. Microsoft says, “if you do not roll back or acquire a new license the build will eventually expire.” In essence: you’ll be left with an outdated OS, or no OS at all. In the blog post, Microsoft makes it abundantly clear that installing the Preview and upgrading to get the final beta releases (and then opting out) is not a path to getting a license.

So what does this boil down to? You have to opt-in to future pre-release updates to get Windows 10 for free, but keep in mind, you will also have to endure the bugs, updates, and issues that comes with it. Microsoft says, “Windows 10 is intended to be installed on Genuine Windows devices;” but, if you don’t have a Windows 7 or 8.1 license, you can still get a copy, provided you remain opted-in and endure the entire process. At least that’s the story at this point.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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  1. Pingback: How to get your Windows 10 upgrade notification (while it's still free) - AGBeat

  2. Dan

    June 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    So, free upgrades for those who purchased the last two major versions.

    And, free upgrades to anyone who is testing, and commits to continued testing.

    Where's the problem?

  3. John

    June 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Sounds like a non-issue being blown up to try to create news.

    The preview editions are for testing. Opting in is how you participate in the preview program. If you remain in the program, you are eventually rewarded with the RTM version showing up on your computer. If you opt out, you might as well uninstall since you are not participating anymore.

    Otherwise, you are a genuine Windows 7 or 8 user who can upgrade for free after July 29th.

    Seems clear and fair to me.

  4. kftgr

    June 24, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Sounds fair. Microsoft gets to keep their preview pool sizable, and preview members get a free license as long as they continue.

  5. mike

    June 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    1) so Microsoft is not rewarding people who got a pirated copy of windows with a free copy of windows 10…is that a crime?

    2) your title basically claims that the majority of people don't have a genuine copy of windows, which can't be true. You should really try to be less click baity

  6. Pingback: Here's an even easier way to determine your Windows 10 eligibility - AGBeat

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Tech News

iOS 15 beta has blur nude photos opt-in, but its not without fault

(TECH NEWS) To protect children from explicit content, the most recent beta version of iOS 15 includes a feature that allows users to blur nude photos.



Woman looking at Apple iPhone representing new iOS 15 beta that will blur nude photos.

In a move to protect children from explicit content, the most recent beta version of iOS 15 includes a feature that allows users to blur nude photos received in the Messages app. Amid privacy concerns, the feature has yet to be released.

The option to blur nude photos is opt-in, reports The Verge, and does not prevent users from choosing to view the photos in question even after being implemented.

This iteration of the feature is distinct from the original one insofar as it will no longer alert a parent or guardian when nude photos are encountered. While this may seem like a controversial change, several experts pointed out that exposing nude content on a child’s device in some households could result in abuse or, as Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic instructor Kendra Albert suggests, the outing of “queer or transgender children to their parents.”

With the most recent version of this feature enabled, children who receive inappropriate photos via the Messages app would be able to do two things: choose to avoid (or see) the content, and choose to send a report to a trusted adult if they see fit to do so.

Blurring photos is just one of several aspects of Apple’s Communication Safety suite, a feature that aims to prevent child sex abuse by making it easier for children to avoid and report predatory content.


Child on electronic device- iOS 15 beta that will allow blur nude photos should protect children.

Another feature that Apple has tested – but not released – is their Child Sex Abuse Imagery Detection (CSAM-detection), which scans and reports iCloud content that shows child pornography or abuse to Apple moderators for further review. As one can imagine, the feature drew mixed criticism, the majority of which came from privacy advocates.

While the vast majority of humanity can (hopefully) agree that fighting against child exploitation is a noble cause, these groups argue that scanning and reporting individuals’ personal photos via an algorithm opens the door to government interference and increased surveillance. Switching the algorithm’s baseline to scan for things like anti-government content, for example, would be easy, these groups posit, making the feature extremely dangerous in principle.

There is no current release date set for any of these aforementioned features, though iPhone users can reasonably expect them to drop at some point during iOS 15’s development.

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Tech News

Amazon Music debuts synchronized text transcripts for popular podcasts

(TECH) The first feature to hit Amazon Music is auto-generated and synchronized text transcripts for their most popular podcast shows. Sign us up!



Amazon Music Transcripts

Amazon set out to accelerate the growth and evolution of podcasts last year by acquiring the podcasting network, Wondery. Now, the company is doing just that with the launch of its auto-generated and synchronized podcast transcripts feature on Amazon Music.

According to an Amazon Music tweet, with this feature, you’ll be able to “Roll it back, jump ahead, and follow along” with the podcast you’re listening to. For instance, you can scrub through the transcript to find that line of text with that quote or movie and book suggestion you can’t quite remember. When you tap on a particular line of text in the transcript, you’ll be able to jump straight into that specific part of the podcast. I can already see all the time saved! But, if you just want to read along as you listen, you can do that, too. The transcript will match the audio as you’re hearing it.

Right now, the company is only rolling out podcast transcripts in the US on both iOS and Android devices. When it will expand to other countries isn’t known, and the feature isn’t available for all podcasts yet. For now, it is only available on a selection of popular podcasts like Smartless, Crime Junkie, This American Life, Uncommon Ground, and Modern Love, but more are coming.

Amazon Music Homescreen

To use it, all you have to do is open the podcasts tab on Amazon Music and select one of the podcasts you’d like to listen to. Of course, you’ll need to select a show with the podcast transcription feature to see it. When your show is playing, on the top of the album art and in fullscreen mode, the transcriptions will be available for you to read along to.

Oh, and if you’re worried about having to read through the ads, you have nothing to fret about. Ads won’t be transcribed. Instead, the transcription will read “audio not transcribed” when they are playing.

So far, Amazon seems to be going strong in the podcasting game with the release of podcast transcripts. The feature makes it easy to search and find what you are looking for in a show. And, for those on a long and noisy bus and subway ride, you’ll finally be able to read the information you previously couldn’t hear.

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Tech News

UX design: If you don’t have it, get yourself an audit made easy

(TECH NEWS) UX design is important. By conducting a simple audit to make sure your site is accessible, you can minimize the number of people that quickly go away.



Two UX design people standing in front of a whiteboard with a UX map.

A good UX design is essential in attracting and retaining customers. A seamless and positive experience will keep customers happy and bring your business many benefits, like increasing audience engagement and sales.

But, how do you know if your user experience is in need of help, so people don’t bounce away quickly? Well, if UX is not your forte, the best thing to do is to hire a good UX designer. Unfortunately, sometimes hiring one isn’t always within the budget.

So, what do you do then? The next best thing is to conduct a UX audit of your website or app. Not sure where to begin? Fulcrum’s Do It Yourself UX Audit kit is one place to start.

According to the website, this DIY UX audit “can help you gain valuable insights about the usability of your product.” The tool detects problems in your UX, prioritizes them for you, and finds out how you can fix any existing issues.

The tool is made out of free easy-to-use Notion templates. These UX audit checklists are all customizable, and you can print them or save them on your Notion dashboard to use later.

Inside each template, there are cards with descriptions and examples. Depending on if you meet certain criteria or not, you drag and drop the card into the “Yes” or “No” column. When you’re finished, you will easily see what issues you have, and you can work on fixing them.

The templates are divided into Junior and Middle-level templates.

The Junior level has templates for things such as field and forms, login, mobile UX, and architecture. Most of these templates help make sure you cover your basic UX bases. For instance, it looks at whether your website is desktop and mobile-friendly, and if each element makes sense and is easily identifiable.

The Middle Level dives in a little deeper. The “Visibility of system status” audit checks if you are keeping your audience informed on what’s going on. Things like battery life, loading, or Wi-Fi connection indicators can make a huge difference. No one wants to stare at a screen with no clue if what they clicked on is working or not.

If you can afford it and want a UX virtuoso to do the work for you, you can get a UX audit from Fulcrum. The experts will conduct a full-fledged UX audit and create wireframes with solutions for your UX issues.

However, no matter how you go about it, a good UX design is important. Higher rate conversions and user retention won’t happen if your product is just pushing people away.

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