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Windows 10 to be free upgrade for first year for users of Windows 7 and 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1

Today on stage at the Windows 10 event, Microsoft announced that customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 will all be eligible for free upgrades to Windows 10. Free upgrades will be available to users running those systems for the first year of Windows 10, and users will get updates for the supported lifetime of their device.

Microsoft also announced several upgrade numbers. About 200 million users upgraded to Windows 8.1. Additionally, over 650 million customers upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 7 SP1.

Be sure to stay tuned to our Windows 10 event liveblog for more.

173 Comments
  • I'll interject. WOOOOOOOO!
  • WOOOOOOO!!
  • *** Verizon users will have to get dev preview... I'm sure that's in the fine print somewhere.
  • Touché
  • After the first year of free upgrade for Windows 10 on phone will users be able to get free updates for flowing years?
  • Yay free! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Upgrades should always be free. You should only pay for Windows when you're buying a new device.
  • Agreed. I feel theirs a new windows every year now...
  • Except there's actually one every three years.
  • Eeeee I'd argue against that and I'm sure there's other people have some good points as to why not all software should be free. But if you want to define "upgrade" vs a new product, W8.1 was a free update to W8. Windows 10 is an entirely new product, so just because *you* are upgrading to it, doesn't mean that MS will consider it a "simple obvious small update to existing W8.1 users only free of charge". (Something that they've put a lot of money and effort in btw) I may get some free services and fixes (when applicable) when I buy a new car, but thtat doesn't mean in 3 years I get the next car for free!
  • This is a windows update, not a chocolate bar. If you bought the windows 7, 8 , or 8.1 you would get the newest update for free simple. You aren't renting a house or something.
  • That title scared me. Thought you could use it free for a year, and my brain was full of choice words for Microsoft. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Same. When he said it at the event I was like "Wait what?! First year!!? Subscriptions??" But, yeah, now I get it.
  • im getting it free on my windows 8 notebook or not ? hmmmmmmmmmmm
  • You are :) Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • I dint get it.what does it mean?
  • You get it on the release year and you have it on your device for ever, for free.
  • Dude I am Using Lumia 525 for more than one year and currently having windows phone 8.1, will I able to get upgraded to Windows 10 in my Phone for free... Plz ans it soon my head gonna burst..
  • Yes you will.
  • Omg I thought the same thing, I was like really? A one year demo?
  • I thought it meant you had to activate w8.1/7 within 1st year of release(like the office upgrade)
  • Wait! Does I'm getting it free on windows 7
  • that is really good
  • So that means wp 7 users have to pay. Posted via the Nexus 1520
  • Yes. By buying a new phone. Just the same as with Windows Phone 8.
  • Hmmm
  • That is a dead horse.  Yuo could not upgrade to Windows Phone 8... So why would you think you could go to Windows 10.
  • I'm not switching to windows 10 from windows 7.8 until they support a hardware keyboard.
  • They probably already support one.  Its just that no one made a phone with one. But I agree, someone should.
  • My first smartphone was an LG Optimus Quantum, which had a slide out keyboard.  I never used it though due to odd placement of the Shift Key, and also at the time, it was the only WP device available on my carrier.  Only went back to WP because of the new Word Flow feature.
  • Mine was a hand-me-down bb curve(edge) that I traded in twords a off contract se x1a(that never got the last update that its us unlocked counterpart got)
  • Dude they mean upgrade from windows 7 not windows phone 7.8
  • Of course, for phones, the thorny question is going to be: what interest will carriers have updating entirely new operating systems to devices that are probably coming out of contract (Lumia 920, 820s) or soon to be out of contract (Lumia 1020), or have simply stopped selling (Lumia Icon on Verizon, Lumia 1520 on AT&T).
  • Yeah, I cant understand it either
  • None.  So they won't.
  • That's a very good question.
    Microsoft is barely pushing Verizon to update their phones, so
    How they would do it??? I can't use clipboard and many others
    Apps because Verizon not updating my Lumia icon.
  • Is RT included? If not than my 2520 is at its EOL. Worse investment ever Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • If you've enjoyed your device, and I'm sure you have, then it wasn't a bad investment. Has it been doing everything they advertised it to do? Has it gotten updates?
  • Do everything? No.why I switched to Win8. Support for RT was a nightmare. Got better support by Google Search. Update yes till this. I wouldn't even mind paying for upgrade but RT is WP7 Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Yes, RT will be according to the FAQ at the end
  • Wat about Windows 8 users
  • Why are you still on W8? Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Lol
  • Windows 8 users can update to Windows 8.1 for free. Why aren't you already updated anyway? Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • For some reason I it slows down my PC so I'm stuck with win8
  • Here's a thought, why not troubleshoot the issue rather than stick with Windows 8?
  • After one year
  • Same question :|
  • Then it will cost.  But why would you wait longer than a year???
  • Its free FOREVER when you download it during the FIRST year WINDOWS 10 releases.
  • I don't that's what it means windows phone 7 users weren't able to upgrade to WP8 and still wont get windows 10 for phones ​
  • Microsoft specifically said all WP8 Phones will get the update.
  • When I upgraded to 8 from 7 I got the blue screen of death lol had to get it fixed...will Microsoft kill my laptop again so ill have to buy another? Ugh
  • You could wait 3 months until someone with your Same hardware updates, then you'll have more help from the community
  • Omg omg omggggggggggodddddddddddd!!!!!
  • All my desktops and my Windows Phone get upgraded for Free, this is excellent. I will be installing the official day of it's release.
     
  • Don't do that. Wait about 3 weeks to a month, unless you have other devices you won't be updating. Breaking bugs seem to be a trend yah feel? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • I installed Windows 8.0 the day it was released, that and Start8, I never experience any issues, the odd one, but it was easily solved. :)  
  • It will be free, even after one year or what?
  • the news i was waiting for. .i guess this is the best time to be a windows phone owner :)
  • What will happen after 1 year? 
  • In my understanding, if you cant upgrade within one year of the release of windows 10 you wont get the upgrade for free
  • well if its true,its great,but if they do it like you will purchase W10 and licence will be only for 1 year,its bad,because you will be forced to buy it
  • No, if you upgradde in the first year it's free, period. If you wait over a year, then you have to pay. I don't doubt there will be people that will do that and then complain about how unfair MS is.
  • Hopefully your understanding is correct. It may be "You get Windows 10 for free for first year, then are forced to buy a license." Which personally means I revert back to Windows 8, and wait until I buy a new PC.
  • Yes I want it explicitly stated by Microsoft that if I update from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 on my 9 month old laptop within the first year that I will not have to pay to continue using Windows 10 for the life of the laptop. I expect to use the laptop for at least another 4 years. 
  • MS has intentionally made the wording vague enough that they can start charging a subscription (like Office 365) after the first year. In fact they even stated that they want to sell Windows as a service, not a product. Therefore, it is likely that they will charge and annual fee to use Windows 10.
  • I don't understand why people are having such a hard time understanding this.  If you have Windwos 7, 8 or 8.1 and wish to update to Windows 10 you will get Windows 10 for free (yes to have and hold and use forever for free).   The reason for a year limitation to update  is to get everybody moved over quickly as possible.  It is not because doing this update will make the OS only usable for free for that year and then forcing you to pay. it is not a year free but access to update your OS for free if you do it within the fist year. Microsoft wants people to move quickly to avoid as much fragmentation as possible and thus allowing their vision of the new more immersive OS to take hold more quickly.
  • Yeah what he said. They said all the time they want to start over with a brand new concept. One Windows for all devices. To do that they have to get as many people away from the old versions, so I dont think they will trick us.
  • A bit disappointing that it won't work for Windows RT users :(
  • Yep. Worse investment ever wasting money on my 2520. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • They did not say that.  Do you have 8.1 on RT?? then you will go to 10.
  • They did not say that either. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I think you will get Windows 10 Phone version on your Tablet
  • Relax bro Christ !
  • http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/about?ocid=WIN10_0_WOL_Hero_Home_Windows-10_Null_01 *It is our intent that most of these devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. ISP fees may apply. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1.   -from the disclaimer on the Windows 10 page, at the bottom, under the Answer Desk section.     
  • What does it mean free upgrade for one year even for a win phone 8.1?
  • Same question..... PC had paid software that's known . Windowsphone should have lifetime free
  • Its like you have to update to windows 10 within an year of its release.. If u dont then you will have to pay afterwards and get the update.. :)
  • Is that mean even phone users need to pay subscription?
  • No it's a free "Upgrade" to Windows 10 for a year after its release. Once you're on Windows 10 you keep it. After the one year, if you're not on Windows 10 yet you have to pay for it. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I think they meant; All free updates aside, will a person who owns a windows phone have to pay for the supported phone to update in the future.
  • Whoops, I replied to the wrong comment. How'd that happen? Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • So, for phone, you have to be running 8.1 to get the free upgrade. I sure hope that includes the PFD, because since I own an Icon on FUCKING VERIZON, who knows if I will have official 8.1 by the time 10 is released.
  • You have a full year after 10 releases to claim your free upgrade. So hopefully Verizon will step up in that year. Also, I do believe this is for the computer version of le Windows 10 Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • im not quite understanding this. So after 1 year if you dont update your Windows Phone 8.1 device to Windows 10 you will have to pay?
  • No.
  • 1 year, after 1 year we have to pay for renewal?
  • Nop, its the time period given to windows 8.1 users to upgrade for free if you dint upgrade before one year of its release than you will have to pay!
  • No it means that you have 1 year from the day that Windows 10 is released to upgrade from an older device.  After one year passes and if you have not upgraded that device you will have to pay for Windows 10 but if you have upgraded to windows 10 before the 1 year has ended you still get to use it for free for the lifetime of the device.
  • Yes, but why would you wait for a year? If you upgrade during the first year, it's free. Period. You won't ahve to pay anything after the first year. But, if you wait, you will pay. 
  • No
  • care to elaborate instead of posting stupid comments?
  • Holy s... What a bomb
  • Fantastic move... Developer's r u hearing this..
  • That's just awesome...can't wait to start all my upgrades!
  • Yes.
  • HECK YEAH!
  • One year?
  • The one year upgrade deal is a smart move by Microsoft. Most people get lazy about upgrading, and think they have forever to do it. This will light a fire under a lot of companies to get the upgrades planned, because it takes time to plan how to migrate hundreds or thousands of computers to a new OS. This gives them the time to do it, with the "1 year urgency" more people are more likely to do it. People think "if the offer expires, I better hurry up and do it." If it never expired, many would never upgrade.  
  • What about 8x ativ-s that still doesnt have 8.1? Or prev for dev?
  • For the first year mean Posted via the Windows Central App
  • #ShotsFired
  • So it'll be free for one year then you have to pay up?? I'm very confused Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No. You have one year to *upgrade* for free. After that year you have to pay to *upgrade*. You don't have to pay once you have Windows 10. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • For the first year?
    Means u have to pay for the second year?
    2015 will be free and 2016 and later will be paid??
  • Wrong. You have one year to *upgrade* for free. After that year you have to pay to *upgrade*. You don't have to pay once you have Windows 10. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I hope this is the case. 
  • Another question,will the system work even without connection to WP,i got another OS..... (i know,stupid question,but just asking)  
  • Yes, probably.
  • Will the technical preview be able to upgrade for free too?
  • If you installed it over a already active win 8.1 partition, yes. If you installed it on a virgin drive, then yes you are paying.
  • Doubt it. That would mean people could install the preview without having paid for Windows before. If you still have your Windows 8/7 key they'll probably let your Upgrade though. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I believe Gabe Aul answered this very question, yes the Tech Preview can be upgraded to the final release.
  • Not bad
  • Wooohoooo!!! Bravo Microsoft!!! :D
  • The author himself should have explained the meaning, hereby avoiding the whole confusion in comments. Anyway glad everyone now understands. Proud owner of Windows 8.1 on HP Envy, Surface Pro 3 and WP 8.1 on NL 820. :)
  • so windows phone 10 won't be free after that year?
  • That's my question. From then on out, will a windows phone user have to pay for his/her phone to update?
  • It's not free to *Upgrade* after one year. If you already upgraded it's free. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Sorry thought you were talking about PC. Windows Phones should always have free upgrades as long as your device is supported. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Still curious as to what's going to happen with RT.
  • RT is excluded from Windows 10 "Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1" Bottom of this page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/about?ocid=WIN10_0_WOL_Hero_Home_Windows-10_Null_01 Way to screw everyone over who actually bought and supported Windows RT. Seems stupid to me as Windows 10 would already have an ARM version.
  • To add to my comment above it seems as though it's just the free upgrade that it's excluded from for one reason, RT doesn't have a paid version available so it will get Windows 10 regardless.
  • What does it mean, "free upgrade for first year"? Is it free to upgrade within the first year or you upgrade and use it for free for the first year, but then have to pay?? The title/article is confusing. 
  • Free to *Upgrade* during the first year. If you haven't upgraded after a year you will have to pay. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I must study English language , to understand this article.... It have hidden meaning somebody help me..
  • Come on 2520 support!!
  • Actually it is a good move by microsoft.beacause noone wants to upgrade easily .it happen during win 8.1..if they give free update for one year atleast people donot wait more and update their devices.therefore microsoft vision will come to true ...even lot of user didn't update their phone to wp8.1 ,,,it is clear all the devices will get free update within one year .and if someone want to update it after one year they have to pay for it...
  • yeah, quite smart. not only people will upgrade coz it's free, they will upgrade to save money, even if they would never spend them
  • They didn't even mention RT, like it's a red headed stepchild, which leads me to conclude------they've Windows Phone 7'd it. Sorry Surface RT, Surface 2 and Lumia 2520 owners.  You can still view video, web browse.....and it makes a great sandwich and drinks tray too!
  • As I said further up: RT is excluded from Windows 10 "Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1" Bottom of this page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/about?ocid=WIN10_0_WOL_Hero_Home_Windows-10_Null_01 Way to screw everyone over who actually bought and supported Windows RT. Seems stupid to me as Windows 10 would already have an ARM version.
  • What if you have windows 7, but want a clean install. Even upgrading from 8 to 8.1 has nasty consequenses. Clean installs are mandatory. I can't believe that even with 8 to 8.1 Microsoft can't get the upgrade to work right.
  • What is meant by first year?
  • This is huge
  • !!!!!!
  • Q. I do have windows7 sp1 on my crappy old laptop so do i get an upgrade directly? Just like normal time-time updates.
  • It will be a subscription.  The first year is free.  They may not disable the OS itself if you fail to pay the subscription fee, but all those nifty services like cortana, the photo hub, onedrive, office, bookmark syncing, reading lists, web markup etc will almost certainly be affected if you decline the lease fee. The tell was Terry Meyerson's early comment http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/21/microsoft-windows-10-event-liveblog/#!post=74537: 
    "We think of Windows as a service," Myerson says. One of the largest internet services on the planet, he adds.
    SAAS is based on a leasing model.  Microsoft Windows has supported the lease sales model for many years, it's just not usually sold like that in the US. The first hit is always free.  
  • Is it the life time upgrade just for a particular device or all device with personal Microsoft account?
    I mean like sometime our pc's HDD will spoil, so I'm allow to upgrade again with my Microsoft account or not?
  • very surprised, I was expecting a free upgrade from 8/8.1 but not 7. I suppose MS don't want a fragmented market, with corporate stuck on 7. for me I am all 8.1 but my company with 1000 plus PC's all still in 7 like many other companies and institutions this should bring a unified OS a big boost which will bring benefits to its domestic and WP users.   way to go Microsoft
  • "Windows 10 to be free for first year" what does it mean. Will it be charged after a year? ;)
  • what i am confused about is for PHONES? why would you want people to pay to upgrade after 1 year? which thick bastard thought of that?
  • So I can take my 1020 to att an walk out with a W10 phone ?
  • What?! Win 10 for phone is a paid update after 1 year???
  • I have w7 and is this in place upgrade or do you get new key and you are able to do fresh installation of w10?
  • OH MY GOD Thank You Micorosft!
  • Wow this is awesome!!
  • What do they mean by "first of the year"?
  • He said windows as a service and then said it's free for a year. Did some one from Microsoft confirm that it's free for life, but you shouldn't be stupid enough to not
    download the update for a year?
  • nice move Microsoft!
  • I am not tempted to upgrade my surface pro to windows 10. I have not seen the improvements expeted to improve my productivity yet. I have seen some odd decisions made about what is considered an improvement in windows 10 for the surface pro experience. There are small things worth considering an upgrade, but they are currently not enough to swing me over.
  • Wow my L520 will get windows phone 10 that means??? OMG!!!
  • Thats awesome. :)
  • I wonder if they will let people with bootleg copies of Windows 7 upgrade also
  • I for one genuinely hope so.
  • My Windows 8 PC refuses to upgrade to 8.1, what does that mean to me one others like me?
  • I don't condone this but if you have a legit key for Windows 8 then you could.... obtain an ISO for 8.1 and do a clean install.
  • Hmm I wonder if you have to upgrade or can do a fresh install?
  • Those of you questioning if you have to pay for it after a year need to read: "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." Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/about?ocid=WIN10_0_WOL_Hero_Home_Windows-10_Null_01  Note the "...no additional charge." in there i.e. free for the lifetime of the device. 
  • Smart move! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my BlackBerry Passport
  • So I have a question.  I'm currently in Windows 7 for my PC and after I upgrade to Windows 10, if for some reason I had to format my PC after the free upgrade offer is finished, what will happen?  Will I lose the Windows 10 or will I be able to reinstall them again?
  • Windows10 will make Microsoft successful, again, after a long slump.  It really is Windows 1.0 it's going back to the roots.  I wish Apple would begin to take a dive, never say never ! Windows loyalist, that means, you don't own an Andriod or a iPhone will rejoice.  
  • "getting updates for the supported lifetime of the device" this is a very tricky phrase. It could mean that some old machines might get nothing at all! We need more information about this.
  • Please not the subscription software, it must be a standalone software!
  • Anyone know if my Alienware 14x R2 laptop can run Windows 10 alright? Because I'd love to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
  • This is awesome!
  • Is there any chance that MS will give some kind of credit to those if us who spent $49-99/license to upgrade Windows 7 machines to Windows 8? Now that will be free??? Store credit maybe?
  • in hindsight, I should've waited too. LoL
  • or can we downgrade our PC back to win7 and upgrade that to win10, and also keep the win8 license and install that on another PC and upgrade that to win10? that's be a win-win, if it's possible
  • any word if the upgrade will allow the move from x86 to x64? thanks! *I currently have TP installed as a partition in an x64-based laptop that runs win8.1 pro (x86), which was previously win7 (x86); and the RAM difference access is noticeablybetter on 64 bit
  • so no mention of windows RT getting an upgrade ?????
  • If I download windows 10 when it comes out do i keep it forever or not.