Microsoft has finally offered more information about how users can receive a free copy of its upcoming Windows 10 operating system in a blog post published on Monday. Apparently, users who are beta-testing the OS will receive a free licensed upgrade on July 29th, but only if they are owners of valid Windows 7 and 8.1 licenses.
To be eligible for the free licensed upgrade, users must be running a Windows Insider preview build with a Microsoft Account tied to it. Those who currently have the beta build with the account will continue receiving preview builds and will get the same build as other customer starting with July 29.
Windows 10’s beta program started in October 2014 and is publicly open to anyone for sign-up, free of charge. However, preview builds might be unstable or buggy, so if you aren’t running it right now and not want to deal with these problems, you can still get a free upgrade if you’re a Windows 7 or 8.1 licensed user.
However, this does not extend to older Windows versions such as XP or Vista; if you own one of them and are testing the Windows 10 beta, you will get updates and a version which works almost the same such as the main build at launch. Microsoft has not went into details to specify what this meant exactly or if this build had any limitations, but it is clear that it will be non-licensed.
Microsoft’s policy in relation to pirated version was still not clearly laid out, with some contradicting and ambiguous statements settling in the general direction of Windows 7 and 8.1 non-licensed users also getting upgrades to Windows 10, but only non-licensed.
The complicated affair which is Windows 10 will probably be totally clarified at its worldwide launch July 29th, but one thing is for certain – this will be the last major Windows service. This means that from now on all future updates will build upon this version, rather than launching as different operating systems as until now.
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