Microsoft To Offer Windows 10 Free For Current Windows 7 & 8/8.1 Users.

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅22.01.2015 02:43:26

Today Microsoft gave the world a sneak peek at some of the features upcoming OS Windows 10 will have to offer. In a live conference leading members of the development team showed off new inclusions such as Cortana, an assistant which responds to verbal commands, and the welcome return of the Start Menu to the desktop environment. Many column inches will no doubt be devoted to them ahead of April's Build Developer conference, but there's perhaps just one announced facet of the new OS which consumers should be interested in right now.

Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson took to the floor early on to discuss the device ecosystem, but it was his final comments which immediately set the internet alight. Windows 10 will be free for a limited time to users of Windows 7 and 8/8.1.

Free Upgrade Offer

Great news! We will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year! And even better: once a qualified Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it up to date for the supported lifetime of the device, keeping it more secure, and introducing new features and functionality over time for no additional charge. Sign up with your email today, and we will send you more information about Windows 10 and the upgrade offer in the coming months.

That's a huge bombshell. In the past Microsoft have offered 'Upgrade' versions of their latest OS at a discounted rate, but a free upgrade has never previously been on the cards for your average PC user. The strategy mirrors that of Apple; however Apple has enormous hardware and software revenues to fall back on, whereas Microsoft are relatively constrained and can hardly view their OS as a loss-leader.

The offer is strictly limited, and apparently doesn't extend to OEMs or Windows Enterprise users, but it should reverse the most critical failure of Windows 8 - adoption rate. Windows effectively operates as a monopoly in that new releases only really compete with the prior versions; if the costs of upgrading outweigh the benefits few people will buy, and that's certainly been the case for Windows 8. A clunky desktop UI that differs too far from Windows 7/XP, as well as the same ~100 price tag, has turned too many people away.

This news also neatly undercuts one consumer worry - that the benefits of DirectX12 wouldn't be passed down to Windows 7 users. In all likelihood it still won't, but anxious gamers will be able to upgrade for nothing in the first year, and new systems will come with Windows 10 anyway. Microsoft can therefore concentrate on making the user experience as fluid as possible, rather than ensuring that critical features are ported to previous versions or facing consumer wrath.

No information was revealed on the release date of Windows 10, nor its pricing. As mentioned, more is to be revealed later this year.

Source: Engadget

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