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 In essence: you’ll be left with an outdated OS, or no OS at all.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.