Promised as a free upgrade after various public beta tests, Windows 10 was supposed to be a cleansing reset on how Microsoft does operating system releases. Then on June 19, Microsoft’s Windows Insider blog published a poorly worded post regarding the upgrade process that left many scratching their heads. That post suggested that a free download of Windows 10’s final build would be available to all, but over the weekend that followed, that information was stripped from the post.
Confusing their Windows Insider users was likely not Microsoft’s intent, as there are just weeks left until Windows 10’s July 29 launch. The long-promised free upgrade paths do exist, but they have a few pre-existing requirements.
As of today, here are the official ways to qualify for a free copy of Windows 10:
- After July 29, 2015 and before July 29, 2016, install Windows 10 on a system running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 Update installed. You can reserve your free upgrade by clicking the Windows icon at the right side of your task bar and select “reserve your free upgrade.”