Last week ended with the release of Windows 10 build 10130 to Insiders – the second test build released to those on the Fast Ring in a nine-day period.
This week kicks off with the official announcement from Microsoft that Windows 10 will be available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users to download for free on 29 July 2015.
With that confirmation from Microsoft there is now a lot more info available relating to this upgrade and I thought it would be handy to highlight a few of those items in one place.
- The free upgrade period for Windows 10 will expire on 29 July 2016 – one year after the offer begins as Microsoft has previously stated.
- The Get Windows App, which was an optional update (KB3035583) back in April, not only allows you to reserve your copy of Windows 10 but is also the mechanism that will pre-download the Windows 10 install files onto your Windows 7/8.1 system. That means when 29 July arrives there is no wait for the download and the upgrade can begin installing without a download delay.
- Under the specifications page for Windows 10 there is a list of items that will be removed during your upgrade to Windows 10 such as Solitaire, Windows Media Center because those items are no longer supported or replaced in Windows 10.
- That same specifications page also has a list of additional hardware that is required to run some features of Windows 10 such as Windows Hello, Cortana and Continuum.
- Windows 7 Starter/Home Basic and Premium upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
- Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
- Windows 8.1 (including Windows 8.1 with Bing) upgrade to Windows 10 Home
- Windows 8.1 Pro and Pro for Students upgrades to Windows 10 Pro.
- Any new computer purchased with Windows 8.1 between now and 29 July will be eligible for the free upgrade.
- Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise and Windows RT/RT 8.1 are excluded from the free upgrade offer.
- Reservations for the Windows 10 upgrade are not required.
Although we now have a lot more info than we did before this announcement there are still unanswered questions such as the upgrade path/options for Windows Insiders who are on Insider Preview builds, the cost of Windows 10 after the free upgrade period, when system builders can get their hands on an OEM copy of Windows 10 of any flavor and what, if anything, will Surface RT/RT 8.1 devices see in the form of an upgrade/re-designed UI as Microsoft has previously mentioned.
Right now I suspect Microsoft is focusing on the free upgrade offer and will not release these details until they are absolutely necessary.
For Microsoft getting users on Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10 in this first 12 months is critical – especially if they want to meet their goal of having one billion user devices on Windows 10 in the first 2-3 years.