For those of you currently sitting on Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8/8.1, you’re probably wondering how you redeem that free upgrade to Windows 10, courtesy of Microsoft. Well, it turns out that the functionality to do so is right there inside Windows Update. Fully patched systems for either operating system will see this optional download become available and it can be ignored outright as well. This ties in with a new feature of Windows 10 Build 9926 that I’ve been seeing on the boot loader recently.
For users on the Windows 10 Technical Preview, there’s been an option added in recently to the boot loader which allows you to roll back to a previous release. This ties in pretty well with Microsoft’s plans to offer Windows 10 for now until an undefined day when they eventually roll into Windows 11 (or 20, if they’re feeling grand). The point is that they’re no longer focusing on versions and more working on the general user experience – that Windows should feel and look similar, but not entirely the same, on all available platforms.
Its going to be interesting to see public reaction to Windows 10 after people put it into the same “bad OS” pool as Vista and Windows ME. Microsoft is expected to release Windows 10 in October 2015 and it will be a free upgrade for a year to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 users with systems updated to support downloading the new OS.
For Windows 7 users it won’t be an in-place upgrade and a lot of your cheese is going to be moved. For Windows 8.1 users, less of your cheese will be hidden, so its mostly a straight upgrade that will have you sitting with a working system again within 20 minutes. As to how Microsoft plans to bankroll this or increase the adoption rate of Windows 10 no-one is sure, but it’d be swell if the drop the price of the OS to make it easier for everyone to pick up.