It’s official, folks: Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for existing Windows users—as long as you claim it quickly.
Microsoft operating system chief Terry Myerson announced that current users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to the new operating system for free as long as they do so within one year of Windows 10’s launch. It is expected to launch in July or August. Once you’ve claimed the upgrade, it’s permanent, and Microsoft will keep you updated for the supported lifetime of the device.
The decision to make Windows 10 a free upgrade for existing users makes sense. Windows 8 users have vocally expressed their displeasure with the operating system, prompting happy Windows 7 users to stay put. That hinders Microsoft’s ability to execute its vision for a service-centric, cloud-connected future for Windows; making Windows 10 free could spur more users into embracing a modern Microsoft operating system.
And hey, it’d be weird to charge for Windows 10 after Windows 8 flopped so hard, besides Apple has been giving away Operating System upgrades for a couple years now.