Microsoft Updates and Clarifies Its Windows 10 Plans
NEWS ANALYSIS: Most current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will get a free update to Windows 10, but there are some exceptions.Microsoft has tried a few times recently to explain the company's upgrade policy in regards to Windows 10 for a variety of users. In the process, the explanations caused great confusion and led to all sorts of speculation as to what Microsoft really has in mind. It was confusing partly because there's no single process that applies to all users. Everything depends on how you got your particular copy of Windows, what version it is and how it was purchased. For most users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, there's really not much of a mystery. If your copy of Windows came with your computer, or if you purchased it either from Microsoft or a third party, the update will be automatic. It will be free, and it will be delivered over the Internet. That will happen sometime after July 29, 2015. However, you may opt for delivery on physical media, which you can get from Microsoft, or which you can download yourself using an ISO file you burn to a DVD. The copy of Windows will be free, but currently, there's no word on whether there will be a cost for creating and shipping the actual media. If I had to guess, there will be a nominal charge for the physical media, but that's just a guess.
For users who are part of the Windows 10 Insider Preview team, which is a few million people already running preview copies of Windows 10, the update will also be free. The difference is that it will be delivered automatically just like updates to Windows 10 are already handled. The update will simply appear, and you'll find yourself with the released version of Windows 10.