Skipping the Windows 9 name entirely, Microsoft has taken millions of pre-orders for their new Windows 10 because it is ‘free’.
The new operating system will be made available as a free download for many current users of Windows. But the free downloadable upgrade is only good for users who also download the new OS within one year of the official launch date.
This means many users will have to buy licenses. Either way, users of the operating system will have to pay. Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, Terry Myerson, announced in January that Windows 10 will be free for existing Windows 7 and 8.1 users for one year. After one year, users will need to pay.
Those not eligible for the upgrade program – users running on a non-genuine version or users running a version older than Windows 7 — Windows 10 Home will cost $119 and Windows 10 Pro will cost $199 per license.
Windows 10 will be available in seven versions, far more than one would have expected. While IoT, Mobile, Home, Enterprise and Professional were already confirmed, Mobile Enterprise and Education were unexpected. In comparison, there were only four versions of Windows 8.1 (five if you include Windows Phone 8) and one of them was Windows RT.
Microsoft clarified the free upgrade offer for Windows 10, adding that Windows 10 Home and Pro will be available for free to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users that have appropriate licenses (presumably, Windows 8.1 Home users will only be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Home).
Microsoft has already started the upgrade process for current Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. If your machine is up-to-date today, you will soon see a small icon of the Windows logo on your task bar next to the internet status icon.
Clicking it will open a window that details the upgrade process and will allow you to ‘reserve’ your free Windows 10 download by providing your email address. Presumably on or in advance of launch day, Microsoft will download the OS to your device and notify you when it’s ready to install.
The launch date for Windows 10 is July 29.
According to Microsoft, Windows is used by more than 1.5 billion people around the world.