Here are the specific upgrade paths to get to all versions of Windows 10

If you have a device with an older version of Windows or Windows Phone, Microsoft has now revealed more information on the specific upgrade paths that will available to get to Windows 10.

The company first revealed the seven Windows 10 SKUs last week, and a new blog post on the Windows Australia Partner Network has more details on the upgrade paths for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, along with Windows Phone 8.1:

  • Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.
  • Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
  • If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
  • Excludes Windows Enterprise and RT devices
  • The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.

As previously announced, Microsoft's free upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users will only last a year after the OS officially launches. Microsoft has yet to reveal pricing for the full version of Windows 10. Surface and Surface 2 owners with Windows RT are supposed to get an update that will add some features of Windows 10, but specifics about that update have not been revealed.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab); Via: WinSuperSite

250 Comments
  • So if we don't upgrade to Windows 10 from WP 8.1 within a year, we have to PAY?
  • For desktop? Yes. Phone? Good question
  • For desktop yes, for phone, obviously no. I don't know why everyone thinks that they need to complicate this process any more. It is the same as it has always been, just desktop users get the opportunity to upgrade for free. Stop trying to make a problem out of a place there isn't one.
  • So, I upgrade my boxed copy Win8 pro to Win10 pro and suddenly it only gets updates 'for the life of the device'? So my retail edition gets converted into an OEM edition tied to the box it is in? Woah, big deal! Time to read the small print VERY carefully. Things are being worded VERY cunningly in these statements, I notice. I wouldn't assume anything at this point. I think they plan to force everyone on to W10 and a fee after a year will be the stick following the carrot for all editions. Though I can upgrade my PC devices and simply re-image back to W8 until W10 is properly finished for touch devices, but for the phone it's much more of a pain to switch back and I cannot image the W10 install so switching back would not help. No activation code and no drive imaging for WP means no way to claim a copy and hold it in abeyance.
  • I'm not sure where you read this?  It says OEM devices and nothing there has changed.  I don't see anything about your boxed copy.
  • 4th bullet point down in the article, if you upgrade, updates are pegged to the 'life of the device' which is the deal for OEM copies of Windows. Retail W8 copies are not device dependent... until you 'upgrade' to W10 it seems. Fine print.
  • First bullet point specifically says devices. None of this necessarily applies to a retail copy. Assuming your retail copy does get to be upgraded to 10, it being tied to a device still a lot better than previously not having any free upgrades at all. Right?
  • i'm still not seeing this fine print you are imagining.   
  • You are not going to lose your boxed W8. You can install it on otheer machines, if you like. You may not get an update on other machines though.  
  • I noticed that right away reading the article.
  • Let's see. You bought a boxed copy of windows 7. Did you buy a copy of windows 10? No you didn't. They gave it to you for free. So, no you aren't converting your retail edition windows 7. You can still install it on any PC. We will need more detail about what happens if the device crashes. It sound like you should create a backup because you will need to buy a new windows 10 retail if your computer crashes and you need to reinstall. WP won't have any fee. It is even free for OEMs. How easy is it to revert IOS or android to a previous version? It's not easy and very few people would consider doing it. So, I don't understand you wp argument at all. If you are worried, hold off on the update until you feel more comfortable. You will be able to upgrade wp anytime.
  • so then you buy an OEM copy of win 10 when it releases and your all set. then it don't have to die with the device.
  • Yes, the phone has always been confusing. And the same question arises for office.
  • Whats so confusting about it. You'll get an OTA update, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER PHONE IN THE WORLD.
  • Then why the hell they are saying it'll be free for one year for all windows 8/8.1 AND WINDOWS PHONE?
  • That means you have 1 year to upgrade on the PC for free. The phone upgrades will be free just like they have been. There's no way they could charge for a phone update because they would then risk being called out as losers
  • Because if they don't make sure to cut windows phone, you same dopes will think you have to pay for it on day one.
  • There was a previous anouncement that WP is free. First of all, users don't buy a wp license. OEM's buy it. Microsoft made wp free for OEMs. Therefore, there will never be a fee for WP. There will probably be a point where your phone get too old and won't be able to upgrade anymore and you will need to buy a new device. However, that is the case for all mobile OS.
  • What exactly is confusing about office? If you have office 365 then you get the new version free when it is available. If you bought a set version of office, then you have that version until you pay for the new one. As for phone... ya, MS marketing at it's best. No doubt it will be a free upgrade, provided the carrier will update your device, and if your provider does not upgrade you in a year, then chances are you are not going to get the upgrade at all. But it is not such a big deal for phones as they are 2 year old devices, and the ones that may not get the update (like my ATT 920) are at or past the 2 year mark anyways and it is time for an upgraded device. All of the devices made in the last year should get the upgrade path without issue.
  • MS probably thought people would realize that they never paid for a phone OS on any device and that obviously the updates would be free as well as long as your device is supported by the OS. There is no retail version of windows phone and there is no way for a user to get it outside of buying a device with the OS preinstalled on it. Obviously, they were wrong to assume that people are smart enough to realize this and need to spell it out for everyone in simple terms. Even, if your carrier doesn't provide it, you can still get it through the developer preview. The only thing you need the carrier for is to get the firmware updates.
  • Why we then own Lumia devices as we have to pay for windows 10 better move on to iPhone or android ..
  • I'm struggling to decipher your comment...
    However, if I read it correctly, you are suggesting moving to iOS/Android because, after 1 year of idling, you would feel aggrieved at having to pay for the upgrade?
    Pro tip - devote 1 hour in those 365 days to download the Windows 10 update! It won't cost you a penny...and you won't have to jump ship!
  • I'm not suggesting moving to a different phone OS. I'm questioning Microsoft's decision on this. Or probably it might a mistake on their part.
  • They want to get a billion Windows 10 users in the first year. They don't want the usual upgrade tail that extends all the way back to people staying with legacy OS's...
    Money talks - so if people think they will lose out, they will upgrade!
    Also, just remember that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with Windows 7 or 8.1. They will still be supported IF people choose not to upgrade. However, if Microsoft's app model is to succeed, they need to compel people to be a part of Windows 10.
    It's a good move....and certainly not one to be concerned about.
  • Well said sir!
  • Lol. You're questioning them giving you a major OS upgrade for free??? I'm sure they will take a donation if you feel the need to pay. Newsflash - they want everyone to upgrade and be on the same OS. Offering free for one year will go a long way to help.
  • But what after that 365 days .. What will be the next step to be taken . Its worth paying l1520 as we need to pay for its is after one year
  • You don't understand.  The offer to upgrade for free is for a year after the release of Windows 10.  If you take the offer within the first year you get to keep it for free even after the year.
  • Wait, what?  
  • This is not saying that you have to pay for Windows Phone/Mobile Upgrades for a Lumia 366 days from release.  I suspect they will allow all mobile devices to upgrade for free so long as the OS was Windows Phone and that the phone has the ability to do it.  
  • Phones don't pay for upgrades. Never have and never will. You are missreading the article. For WIndows 10 (non mobile), you have 1 year to upgrade for free. If you don't, you have to buy a retail copy. If you do, the OS will be supported for the life of the device. That would mean when the device dies and you decide to build a new computer, you will have to buy a retail copy. If you buy a new computer, it will have the latest version of the OS installed.
  • Not to mention that this is probably wrongly worded in the article since I cannot remember any company charging for phone OS updates
  • Yes, the article is poorly worded. The whole is related to regular windows. THen on the paragraph below, he included windows phone in the free upgrade for one year statement. Windows phone shouldn't be included. It has always been a free update.
  • No charge for windows 10 for phone, or windows mobile as they call it now. They dropped the fee for windows phone about a year ago. That was for oems. Users never had to pay for an update. The fee is related to windows for PCs and tablets running a standard version of windows.
  • I see people walking away from Windows Phone if it comes true.
  • There's nothing to get true. Phone OS updates are free. The only people supporing a 'Rumor" of a paid update, are retards that can't figure it out.
  • U can read it on 3rd para u will get all the details ..wheater it will be paid or free
  • It's happening. Another, even stupider, rummor is being born. This time it; "You'll have to pay for windows mobile OS after one year". Wow, just wow.  
  • Agent K said it best in Men in Black "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it."
  • No!! We dont have to pay for Wp 8.1 after first year. That's only for the desktop version. Phone version will be free even if you upgrade three years later (although why wouldn't you?).
  • That I know dear till today we need not to pay for the mobile is but after windows 10phone after one year we need to pay it or u can roll back to Widows 8.1 back that's the only possible way
  • Where did you go to school? You have very little discernment, my friend.
  • "windows 10phone after one year we need to pay it or u can roll back to Widows 8.1 back that's the only possible way" why don't you see the january 21st event.
  • The windows central article is poorly written. The one year thing is only for windows for the desktop/tablets. Windows mobile will remain free.
  • Phones are always free... why would Microsoft charge for something they haven't since... who knows I remember getting updates on WM for free? even tablets with Windows "desktop" below 8" are free. so I am sure it's obvious Phone will be free as always. and Desktop will not be free after a year. end. I don't know why people overthink so much when we have gotten WinPho updates for free. and nothing should change that.
  • desktop will be free for lifetime if u upgrade to windows 10 with in a year.
  • Windows is free for devices 9 inches or smaller, so no. However, it's possible that they might pull support for some phones, particularly older ones, after a year, and the upgrade could be pulled. A year is plenty of time to upgrade anyway and many people will buy a new phone in that time period as well.
  • I wanna ask it too...
    About WP 8.1 to W10 pay within a year if we don't upgrade it.
  • Hi Ghet no Windows Phone OS Upgrades will always be free i.e. WP8.1 to W10 will be FREE always eaven after the first year just like the upgrade from W8 to W8.1 has alway been free.   if you have a device 9 inch and under Tablet or Phone the OS will always be free and free to upgrade ontill Microsoft stops supporting your device.
  • Not that I wouldn't upgrade, its just that in the random scenario of someone DECIDING to buy a WP8/8.1 device a year after launch of W10 and finding out he has to pay to go to W10, that this is intriguing. Although the chances of that happening are like 10 million to one :-)
  • Are we still going to get a WP8.1 device after one year from WP10 launch?  
  • Any supported devices will get a free upgrade. Supported devices currently are any devices that have windows phone 8.1 installed. I'm sure as we move forward, some older devices won't be able to get new updates. This happens with IOS and android. However, anyone buying a WP8.1 device after the release of windows 10, will be able to upgrde to windows 10. There is no fee for windows phone. Even OEM don't pay a license fee to use windows phone.
  • I read Windows 10 Home/Pro. They aren't talking about paying for Windows 10 Mobile
  • Yes you would have to pay because they are making it free to upgrade for the first year.....after that year they will charge for the os. They kinda did this with all other upgrades to the next, but it was usually at slashed pricing like $50-$120.....but with this one it will be free for everyone running windows 7/8/8.1 as long as they hit "upgrade now" within first year. Edit::: Soz.....for phone...it is free all the time. 8 device gets it free because it isn't desktop. Desktop is what is talked about for upgrade. Phone will be free for life of device/servers haha!
  • They are not going to charge for a phone update. I can't think of a time when there has EVER been a charge for a phone OS update. I wish people woould think before they post to the internet.
  • Apple did charge money for updating to some versions of iOS for some iPods touch.
  • Since when is an iPod touch a phone?
  • I've had an iPod touch since iOS 3. When did that happen?  
  • Yep. I was one of those people who paid to get the upgrades for the iPod Touch 2nd gen. While it is not a phone, I still agree that it is a semi-valid point. Not at all relevant, though, as Apple is not Microsoft.
  • Plz re-read the third last point in the article
  • That means if u pay it within 12 months it would be free for lifetime that is for the first 12 months it will cost u very less after I would be costly ..
  • Yes... we will have to buy a box with a DVD for W10 mobile and install on the phone.....     /s this is more an incentive for people to upgrade as soon as possible to W10 from W7/W8.1 because they have an option to continue on the old OSs.. for WP you phone will be asking to upgrade as soon as the upgrade is available..    
  • The real question is why wouldn't you upgrade? Also, if you didn't upgrade in the fist year, you're probably not going to anyway unless you get a new device.
  • What I'm confused about is this line:   If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device   If i upgrade within the first 12 months, my device gets ongoing updates for free.. So if, say, in a year and a half from now, my PC breaks and I have to go buy another computer.  Obviously I have to pay for the computer, but do I then need to pay for future Windows 10 updates?  Because that computer was not "upgraded" to windows 10 in the first year it was purchased later.     That is where I am confused here.  Will they be charging for updates to the OS?  Such as 10.1 (if that is what they'll call it)
  • If you buy a new new PC it will come with an OS included in the purchase price. That OS will be the current version of windows. Updates to that new copy of windows. I think MS will provide these updates free as well. Putting old upgraded computers in a better position than new hardware is not in MS's interest. If you choose to home brew a "new PC" (case, motherboard, power supply, CPU, etc.) the question is can legally use your old RETAIL version of windows and free upgrade to 10 on the new home brew PC. I don't know. For most people, a new PC comes with a new OS so this is a not an issue.  
  • I am going to assume it is just like the previous versions of Windows and how it deals with the upgrades:   Windows 7: To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from and Windows 8: The software covered by this agreement is an upgrade to your existing operating system software, so the upgrade replaces the original software that you are upgrading. You do not retain any rights to the original software after you have upgraded and you may not continue to use it or transfer it in any way.  It is pretty much how they've always dealt with upgrade versions.
  • Somehow, I did not understand
  • I will probably buy a new laptop with touch
  • Love bullet number 4
  • Hell yes!!!
  • Why we windows 8.1 phone users need to buy after one year then why buy phone paying this much as we need to pay for the upgrade .. Better have other is devices like iPhone or android
  • I think the article said if you do not upgrade within one year after the launch of W10 you have to pay for it. So in other words do not delay in upgrading when it launches.
  • We don't have to pay for phone after one year. That's only for desktop.
  • Yeah you're right. You got it
  • Who told u dear read the first point carefully ...
  • Your problem is, you don't english well.  
  • THey have windows phone listed. However, there is no way that there will be a fee for windows phone. They eliminated they licensing fee a year ago. No one has ever paid for an update to a mobile device and there is no way microsoft will charge for it. Even it the first point is worded poorly, common sense should dictate that the fee after the first year refers to windows 10 and not Window Mobile 10.
  • You won't have to pay for the desktop Windows 10 after one year either, unless you're an enterprise.
  • Maybe Windows Central needs a multi lingual version to help with some of the misunderstanding...
  • Haha, yes :-)
  • Read it carefully. You do not have to pay for Windows phone updates. Just desktop version. I swear MS needs to put out an annoucement for idiots.
  • Thn u should clear the doubt over first point ..
  • Yep wouldn't make sense. Though they did play with the idea before releasing wp7 to offer pay to upgrade
  • Plz read the third last point in the article again
  • Good
  • Microsoft already have had a 'HOME' edition in Windows 10 build 10074
  • And if we have to reinstall our Windows 10 after this one year period?! I see what Microsoft did there. Then users will get used to it install their previous version and eventually pay for Windows 10. So free means nothing here its just like an Demo :) "here you can have it but pay after you reinstall it". Or will it be handled different?
  • In your case and probably mine, backup everything and make an image before and right after windows 10 installs
  • I don't think that will be the case. Mostly, they would give an upgrade key that will allow you to reinstall. It has always been like that.
  • I know with the $15 w8 pro they forced backup media purchase(not that I have a problem with that as copying the decrypted install wim was time consuming for 8.1) so hoping they will still offer the option to get backup install media from them
  • I would assume that you would receive a validation code just like you do everytime you install a new version of Windows. You should be able to write that code down and use it again if you need to reinstall it on the same computer.
  • Yes but i dont know how they will manage the licence later, i have one fro Win8.1 Pro and i will update to win10 for shure as i use it already, but i just ask what happens after an PC crash or soemthing else, i install my Win8.1 Pro and then i have understand it this way that we pay then for Win 10?!
  • I am sure there will be some kind of key or way for them to know you are reinstalling. And i did not see anyplace that said after one year you will pay for updates. It says after the first 12 months that (windows 10) is out if you did not upgrade during that time you will have to pay to do so
  • Windows 10 will undoubtedly get registered to your Microsoft Account. My Windows 8.1 is. I had to reinstall it and I was able to reuse the same key. Windows 10 will probably be the same way. I don't think they'd screw people over like that.
  • Now im happy to hear this because i dont know how this was handled as users also upgraded from 7 to 8.1. great. thanks.
  • its handle at the license key level... you license will be upgraded to Windows 10... not fee if you have to reinstall... unless you loose the license key...
  • The way it has always been. People are freaking out, but all they are saying is if you are an early adopter you get the reward of a free OS. Take the freebie and run with it, you will not have to pay later.
  • I doubt that very much. Licenses are tracked and your update would be logged as happening before one year. Or you could just be smart and image your drive and not have to worry about it.
  • i will have to backup my drive from now on. And i think even if it would be paid then it will not be much. there are always this good sales on each OS start :P
  • Your Microsoft account is the key I guess. When you upgrade to windows 10 and login your account then after reinstalling it and SIGNING IN your Microsoft account your windows 10 might get activated. I think it works this way
  • oh god, why
  • win 7 key will work on windows 10.
  • Free Updates for life? So if you don't take advantage of the free year to get free updates it'll cost you to get updates after the year?
  • That's exactly how I interpreted the article
  • Nope. After the first year you'll have to buy windows 10 just ONCE and then free updates for life (or until the device dies).
  • What!?
  • I wouldn't get my hopes that high! MS needs to make money for all the work that went into w10. I wouldn't be surprised if after one year of free upgrade MS decides to make the w10 on a subscription basis similar to Office 360!
  • Well that could explain the jettisoning of the much more affordable technet which unlike msdn was reasonable for hobbyists
  • It's the last version of Windows. They're switching to an OSX style release. People will continue to purchase devices with Windows, and that means they're still paying for Windows licenses.
  • FML. I cannot understand how people are so confused by this!
    --> Upgrade in the first year, and you get Windows 10 for free, along with all associated updates for the life of Windows 10.
    --> Stay with Windows 8.1, and you will get your free updates for the lifetime of that OS, but you will forgo the chance to get W10 for free.
    If you choose not to upgrade, then of course you will have to pay for a Windows 10 licence and the associated ongoing updates that it includes.
  • "the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device" How hard is that to understand?
  • Probably good once you install it once and it is encoded to your windows key. Just like the upgrade from windows 8 to windows 8.1.
  • Ok!!
  • Would it stop pirated WINDOWS USERS?
  • Yes. Sorry about that. Looks like you'll have to buy an actual licence ;)!
  • Not at all! I use genuine OS whether it is Windows or Linux. :) The reason behind my question is about piracy in India, every computer shops usually use pirated version of Windows there until User asked about Genuine Windows...
  • Non-genuine Windows users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, but they'll still be non-genuine.
  • No, it won't stop them. Microsoft realizes that people won't pay for it, but they also know that a lot of people need support, and they know that a lot of people buy second-hand Windows machines without a license.
  • My question is how do I prevent users on my domain from installing this if it is delivered through Windows Update?
  • Because you need admin privileges to install so it wont effect your domain
  • Systems on a domain will not get the free upgrade.
  • What about if I need to reinstall after 1 year?
  • The Windows licence key will be updated from 8.1 to 10, as always happens when you upgrade Windows licence keys. So when you reinstall, it'll consider you to be the owner of a Windows 10 licence, even if it was a Windows 7 one to begin with.
  • Who cares? I'm buying a new PC preloaded with 10 when it comes out.
  • Money bags
  • I'm not rich, it's just that my current PC is starting to age..
  • and you're overpaying for a PC loaded with crap you don't need. Congrats
  • I ain't a dumb ass, trust me. I know what I buy.
  • 1 little question, what do us poor souls with Windows 8.1 with Media Centre (or whatever the proper title is) get? Is that edition classed as Home? Or Pro?
  • I went from 8.1 pro to tp. What about me?
  • Media Center is only for Windows 8.1 Pro devices, so yes, Pro.
  • Go to the desktop and press the Windows + Break keys together, it will tell you what version you have installed.
  • windows 8.1 home with media center ou windows 8.1 pro with media center? probably you have the home edition.. the media center is just an add-on and will be windows 10 without media center... they aren't making a new version for it
  • What is the upgrade path for everyone on the Windows Insider Program?  Will we have to uninstall the preview builds, go back to win8 or win7 and then do the upgrade?  Or will we get the final version as part of the update program?  Has anyone heard anything about this matter?
  • I don't have a source, but they have reported you will be able to upgrade from the program, you shouldn't have to roll back. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  • You can upgrade, but that doesn't mean you can use your old license to activate Windows 10.
  • There's an article, from like thursday or friday, on here that explains you just update directly from the preview to full windows 10.
  • Yes I read that, but there was one interesting bit in there.  The quote was from Terry Myerson, which he said: "people on the preview program will continue to get updates up to launch."  Notice he did not say: "They will get updated up to and INCLUDING RTM..."  That is why I asked.
  • Uninstall preview, reinstall Win7/8, upgrade to Win10.
  • "As previously announced, Microsoft's free upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users will only last a year" Wait wait wait wait, stop ypur horse's, you are telling me that if for some reason i don't upgrade my phone during the first year, i will have to PAY for an OTA? If this is true the f u c k you MS neither google or apple pulls t h i s kind of s h i t
  • Stop being so pathetically melodramatic.
    Just install it within those first 365 days!!! It's surely not that difficult?!
    (P.S. You're right. Apple completely cut off support for legacy devices, and most Android devices fail to even get any notable updates at all!)
  • All those Windows Phone 7-7.5 devices didn't get cut off?
  • Hold on, before you pillage a village you might want wait around for more details.
  • I highly doubt it. It's just the usual communications clusterfuck that is part and parcel of the reporting on MS issues.
  • The free offer is for a year, but if you take the offer within the first year you get to keep Windows 10 on that device forever without paying anything.
  • Windows licenses are free for devices with screens smaller than 9" (which includes phones, just in case it isn't clear). This was announced in April last year.
  • ^ This.
  • If your carrier does not upgrade you in a year then it is probably going to be time for a new phone anyways.
  • Wait, no Windows 7 Starter?
  • Windows 7 Starter was mostly installed on netbooks, their low screen resolution is lower than the minimum specification required for Windows Store apps, I suspect that this is the main reason behind the decision to not allow the upgrade.
  • But why? I can open the store w/o problem
  • I guess you'll have to ask Microsoft that question, send them a message on Twitter and see what happens.
  • Pretty sure Starter will get the Home edition.
  • Does anyone have any idea about clean install process? I have a Lenovo desktop with windows 8 licence, together with the restore DVDs. Does anyone know if the DVDs will be available to be bought for free, paying the shipment only, like it happens now, in case you lose them? I will update via Windows Update as soon Windows 10 is available, by when a new OS comes out, I like to have a clean