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So when does Windows 10 come out?” must have been one of the most asked questions since the Technical Preview was released in October last year. When Microsoft announced Windows 10 would be a free upgrade, people weren’t quite sure how exactly that would work. Meanwhile, testers have been wondering whether the preview will expire. Answers for all these questions are slowly becoming clearer.

Windows 10 Release Date

It was AMD CEO Lisa Su who leaked the information that Windows 10 is expected to be released in July 2015. While, a Microsoft programmer confirmed the leak to Gizmodo, Microsoft has yet to announce the launch date officially.

Meanwhile, at BUILD 2015, Microsoft’s corporate VP Joe Belfiore described the staggered rollout for Windows 10 as a “wave of benefit that starts in the summer and increases throughout the fall .” PCs will be the first to receive the “final release” of Windows 10, followed by Windows Phones, Xbox One, Arduino, and HoloLens.

Not all Windows 10 features will be available at launch, however. After all, Windows 10 is supposed to be Microsoft’s final major operating system release, which instead will see continuous updates and improvements. We have to retire the idea of a “final release candidate” because Windows 10 will never be done.

Free Windows 10 Upgrade

Microsoft is hoping for a wide adoption of Windows 10 Windows on Every Device - This Is How Microsoft Is Realizing Its New Ecosystem Windows on Every Device - This Is How Microsoft Is Realizing Its New Ecosystem Windows was never gone, but it's about to make a comeback nevertheless. You can currently observe how Microsoft is getting its flagship up to speed. Last week on Microsoft... Read More . By eliminating multiple versions of the operating system and uniting everything under one umbrella, they will increase brand identity, security, and ultimately their market. Since Windows 7 remains the most popular desktop operating system with a 58% market share, this is the prime audience for a Windows 10 upgrade Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Is Your Computer Compatible with Windows 10 & Can You Upgrade? Windows 10 is coming, possibly as soon as July. Are you eager to upgrade and will your system be eligible? In short, if your computer runs Windows 8, it should also run Windows 10. But... Read More .

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Windows 10 Upgrade

Upgrading to Windows 10 will be free Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More for one year following the release for users who own licenses of non-enterprise editions of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. The upgrade is being delivered through Windows Update How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update Windows 10 is offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. When you're ready to upgrade, you can use Windows Update and keep all your installed programs and settings intact. Read More . If you’re currently using an operating system that qualifies, you should be able to find the Windows 10 downloader, a recommended update named KB3035583, in your list of updates.

Download Windows 10

At this point, users can only download Technical preview builds via Windows Insider. Microsoft is expected to offer ISO file downloads, which will be free for users who own a valid license for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Details should be made available this summer.

Expiry Dates for the Technical Preview

Technical Preview Builds, now known as Insider Previews, will eventually expire. A Microsoft Support Engineer outlined the expiration dates for build numbers up to 10049. Two weeks prior, users will be reminded and asked to upgrade to a newer build. Once the license has expired, the system will automatically reboot every three hours. For Build 10049, that date is October 15, 2015. About two weeks after that date, the build will not even boot.

Windows 10 Expiration Date

Users who missed to upgrade and can no longer boot into their Technical Preview will need to download ISO files on a separate computer, create Windows boot media How To Make a Bootable USB, CD or DVD to Install Windows Using an ISO File How To Make a Bootable USB, CD or DVD to Install Windows Using an ISO File Need installation media to reinstall Windows? In this article we'll show you where to get Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 installation files and how to create a bootable USB, CD, or DVD from scratch. Read More , and run the installation.

Upgrading from the Technical Preview to Windows 10

When asked about this option, Gabe Aul replied on Twitter that it’s Microsoft’s intent to allow testers to upgrade directly from the Technical Preview. Aul first made this statement back in December and has repeated it several times since.

It’s unlikely that users of the Technical Preview will have to do a clean install, but it’s still a possibility. Even if users will be able to directly upgrade to the final version, testers might not get a free ride. They might still have to unlock the upgrade with the license of a qualifying Windows version.

Update: In a Twitter Q&A Gabe Aul clarified that Windows Insiders who are currently testing the Windows 10 Technical Preview will indeed need a qualifying Windows license in order to upgrade to the final version of Windows 10.

If you are testing Windows 10 TP on a device that stores licensing information in the UEFI BIOS, you should automatically qualify. How this will work in various other scenarios, for example if you are dual booting the TP next to Windows 8.1, remains unclear.

Interestingly, the final version of Windows 10 will continue deliver updates to Windows Insiders first, before deploying them to a wider audience.

It will be interesting to see how this affects Patch Tuesday as it’s neither in Microsoft’s nor its users’ best interest to make security relevant updates public and at the same time delay their global implementation. Our guess is that only optional and feature updates will be made available for beta testing to Windows Insiders before a final release.

Downgrading to Your Old Windows Version

Microsoft will encourage users to upgrade their old Windows operating system to Windows 10. If you’re smart, you’ll try Windows 10 before committing to an upgrade because it’s easier to dual boot Windows 10 3 Easy Ways To Install Windows 10 Technical Preview 3 Easy Ways To Install Windows 10 Technical Preview You can try Windows 10 Technical Preview for free and help Microsoft polish its new flagship operating system. Before you install it, make sure you choose the best method for your needs. Read More next to your old Windows, than to downgrade in case you don’t like Windows 10. Note that the option of installing a dual boot may expire once the final release of Windows 10 is out, so it’s best to try it now!

Windows 10 Build 10074 Desktop

Downgrading will be difficult, but not impossible, provided you have prepared boot media (see link above) and know the product key Four Places To Find Your Windows 8 Product Key Four Places To Find Your Windows 8 Product Key With Windows 8, finding the 25-digit product key got harder. But you still need it to download installation media or install on a machine that didn't come pre-installed with Windows 8. Read More of your old Windows version. Rather than removing the upgrade to Windows 10, you will probably need to re-install Windows 7 or 8, then opt out of the upgrade delivered through Windows Update.

Changing your mind will be rather inconvenient. That said, you’ll probably like Windows 10, so do give it a chance and try it now. You can even install Windows 10 on Linux How To Try Windows 10 If You're Running Linux How To Try Windows 10 If You're Running Linux Love Linux, but still depend on Windows occasionally? The Windows 10 TP is a stable test system. We show you how you can try Windows for free as a dual boot or on a virtual... Read More or try it on a Mac How To Try Windows 10 On Your Mac Free & Easy How To Try Windows 10 On Your Mac Free & Easy Even as a Mac user you might need Windows from time to time, be it at work or a public computer. Here's a chance to familiarize yourself with Windows 10 for free. Read More .

Future Updates to Windows 10

As mentioned above, Windows 10 will be the final major release and in Microsoft’s perfect world, all other versions of Windows, at least for desktop devices and consumers, will disappear. Of course Windows 10 will still require security and other updates.

Updates will be deployed automatically, much like in Chrome or OS X. Version numbers will probably be under the hood and major upgrades may be identified with popular names. Mary J Foley reported that a 2016 upgrade is codenamed Redstone. This was recently confirmed by Microsoft designer Jeff Fong, who shared screenshots of the upgrade .

Windows 10 Redstone

Any Questions Left?

Microsoft is trying to simplify things with Windows 10, applying a process which, for people who are used to the old ways, may seem complicated. It’s very straightforward, though. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s end game and it’s coming to a computer near you this summer. Will you be upgrading?

  1. Saad Rafique
    July 25, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Hello Everyone! I'm not perfect in English, so please ignore my mistakes and try to solve my problems. I've installed Windows 7 Ultimate SP1, I've activated my Windows with a KMS activator, all the important updates were installed yesterday automatically, but I'm still not getting Windows 10 app icon. Please help. Any help would be appreciated.

    • James Bruce
      July 25, 2015 at 8:02 am

      You need a legitimate install to get the Windows 10 upgrade, not a pirated one. If you can't afford a license, wait a few weeks after Windows 10 has actually been released, it will inevitably have been cracked by then.

      • Saad Rafique
        July 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        James Bruce thanks for your response. Now can you please tell me that after installing Windows 10 most recent build (10240), will I be eligible for upgrading to Windows 10 Full Version? Waiting for your response.

        • James Bruce
          July 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm

          In a word: no. The technical preview doesnt magically turn into a full copy and doesn't entitle you to a free licence. It will however continue running as a technical preview - a full, but BETA copy of Windows, with automatic (forced) updates forever. So you'll be testing new updates for Windows 10, and possibly breaking your machine in the process.

  2. drb drb
    June 2, 2015 at 4:03 am

    James, I'll look into Zorin after I read some reviews. Thanks, Dan

  3. dan
    May 22, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Any chance of Vista being included in the upgrade?
    Dan

    • Tina
      May 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Unfortunately no.

      • Saad Rafique
        July 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        Hey Tina! thanks for your response. Now can you please tell me that after installing Windows 10 most recent build (10240), will I be eligible for upgrading to Windows 10 Full Version as a part of free upgrade offer? Waiting for your response.

    • dan
      May 23, 2015 at 6:27 am

      Tina,
      Thanks for the bad news but I only ask since based on an article I read Win 10 is less resource intensive than Vista, so I'm guessing (unlike my failed attempt to upgrade to Win 8 when it was first released) it may actually install and run on a Vista PC. That's the least M$ could do for all the bad press it has received over the years.
      Dan

    • James Van Damme
      June 2, 2015 at 12:25 am

      Dan, if you're dying to keep the Vista look but improve the performance, try ZorinOS with the "vista" desktop. You can also change to other desktops. It's just Ubuntu with a different face, but I think it looks slick.

    • Tina Sieber
      July 26, 2015 at 12:45 am

      James' recommendation to try a Linux distro is sound. It's free and less resource intense.

      If you have enough space on your (hard?) drive, you could try a dual boot first.

      If you're eager to try Windows 10, why not upgrade from Windows 8 if you already have the license? If you don't have it anymore, you could try to get a cheap Windows 7 license; make sure it's a legitimate one! Also check whether your hardware is compatible with Windows 7 and 10!

  4. Jakk
    May 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    MicroShaft WinBlows SUCKS and always will. LINUX is the new dog in the neighborhood!! In Fact, BLACK LAB LINUX is superior in performance and NO NSA spying or the likes of any kind.

    • Jakk
      May 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      OH... and did I mention... it's FREE ???!!!

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      May 25, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      No but thousands of other people have mentioned it ad nauseum.

    • jakkhakk
      May 27, 2015 at 2:54 am

      What the hell does that mean?? Or are you simply just IGNORANT?? Thousands of people... and can you please list where these so called thousands of people are that have NO CLUE??

      • bbertrand007
        July 22, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        What it means is that YOU are the moron. Why not off the to a LL lounge (Linux Loser since you're ignorant). People who like Windows don't troll LL sites. Why do LL's feel the need to troll Windows threads. if you don't like Windows, good for you. I have friends who constantly like you try to shove LL down my throat (just like you try to do). I spend 10 hrs using my computer. They spend 9 hrs trying to get their LL applications to work as well as Windows and 1 hr actually doing the work at hand. Open Office - I've yet to have it handle reasonably marked up files, having to remove all formatting using OO (hey OO for LL). If I wanted that, I'd use ASCII editors. Yes there are some things I'd like to kick MS for doing - the boot process for one. LL's like yourself love to come onto Windows threads and say STUPID things like "been a while since I used WIND$OWS - I think you open a DOS Prompt". Ha ha ha - DOS Prompts and DOS haven't existed in Windows in decades. Do you open a DOS Prompt in LL? I'm sure LL's wouldn't accept Windows advocates going onto LL threads and telling LL newbies to "Open a DOS Prompt" - I'm sure LL's would quickly say "you mean a Terminal Window" - the same Linux Liars who spread BS saying DOS Prompt on Windows threads. And for those like you who could spends $1,000+ on a video card, but think that software developers should work for free, sorry - get a job. Free software = Communism. Aft4er all, if free software, why not free hardware. After all the hardware companies got free supplies from the silicon mines etc. The miners worked for free because they got free groceries from the grocery store, etc etc etc. An "everything is free" market - isn't that true communism? No one gets paid and no one pays anything?

        Bye bye LL - because a poster didn't let you abuse and intimidate, you took a hissy fit. Boo hoo.

  5. Michael Pollard
    May 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

    *Sure* would like to be able to use a free upgrade to go from Windows 7 x32 to Windows 10 x64 without a wipe and reinstall. Too bad that in 10 years Microsoft *still* hasn't figured out how to do that.

  6. Michael Pollard
    May 19, 2015 at 10:19 am

    So, in 2025 we will install Windows 10 followed by downloading 200GB of updates?

    Or will this be like Apple with OS X, and they will still have new point-level versions and charge for them, just less than they do now? In two years we get Windows 10.1 for $49.99?

  7. George A
    May 18, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Will it also update windows media player to something more stable and easier to use?

  8. Dave
    May 18, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Is it possible to dual boot between 32-bit Windows 8.1 & 64-bit Windows 10?

    • Tina
      May 19, 2015 at 7:30 am

      I don't see why not. If your computer supports 64-bit, then this should be possible.

    • Matthew
      May 19, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      What I'm hoping for, but I'm rather hoping to see a new TP (as some of the leaks are looking better) before jumping in.

  9. Matthew
    May 15, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Interesting - if it's possible to update TP to final, then I may throw a dual boot on and start collecting any time limited deals on it that I'll want.

    Also want to move to W10 x64 - My Win7 is Retail (both) but installed x86 in the hope of better compatibility.

  10. Gordon
    May 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    A quick way to check if KB3035583 is on your system is to go to C:/Windows/System32 and see if a folder named GWX is present (Get Windows X - geddit).

  11. Oldunshavenone
    May 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Question:

    If, after upgrading to Winows 10, I decide to go back to Windows 7, can't I just do that easily by restoring a disk image backup of 7?

    • Tina
      May 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Yes, that should be possible.

  12. charmingguy
    May 15, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks Tina:)

    Um critical? As far as I am aware there are important, recommended and optional updates.

  13. charmingguy
    May 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks Tina. Well in general the reactions to 10 have been positive. It seems that it will be one of the better MS OS's.

    Yeah I have set Windows Update only to check automatically for updates. So I can decide. I basically install these only after I have checked computer websites if there are updates which are not so good like KB3035583. I also do not accept updated from other Windows services. As I do not use them. Like SilverLight and what have you not.

    Is this a good strategy?.

    • Tina
      May 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      You only really need critical / security updates, so you're strategy is perfectly fine.

  14. charmingguy
    May 15, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Oops I had hidden KB3035583 in April when it was an optional update. It seems that in May it is an important update.
    A German magazine wrote that it is a potential PUP. Several other computer sites (infoworld) including this site have also written negatively about it.

    Just do a search for KB3035583.

    • Tina
      May 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Ah, didn't spot that comment when I wrote the above. Thanks for the update!

      I agree that update KB3035583 is a PUP, i.e. a potentially unwanted program).

      We've received some backlash from enthusiastic Windows users when we pointed out it could be considered adware. The aficionados think it's great customer service to notify users of the free Windows 10 upgrade. I guess it depends on how that notification looks like. If I had no intentions to upgrade from a perfectly running Windows 7, I'd be very annoyed by a constant nag screen. We'll see...

  15. charmingguy
    May 15, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Well I certainly will wait at least 6 months after it comes out.

    I never saw KB3035583 on my Windows update list. Anyway some have said it is nagware.

    • Tina
      May 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

      It's an optional update, you may have those disabled by default.

      Waiting is smart, but if you have a spare computer with a qualifying Windows license, do give Windows 10 a try. It's a very nice operating system. It does come with strings attached, however.

  16. Laur Florin
    May 15, 2015 at 8:16 am

    so... after you install windows 10 and decide not to enable updates... would you get a continuously out of date system? MS would at least try to release some snapshot images with the current update status of windows 10.

    Given that not all people have fast internet connection or simply don't want windows update, in time, they would find an even harder time keeping the pace.

    What will happen after ... 4 years say? Windows 10 will still be, according to what MS says, but... if for any reason cannot be updated, isn't there any way to manually do this?

    • Tina
      May 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

      That's the catch: You probably won't be able to opt out of updates in Windows 10.

    • Zero
      May 19, 2015 at 1:25 am

      I would think you will still have Service Packs and still be able to setup Windows Update Services. Bigger organizations won't let workstations update individually.

  17. RALPH
    May 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    IT IS FREE FOREVER NOT JUST ONE YEAR! RIGHT?

    • RG
      May 15, 2015 at 1:27 am

      Free forever. It will be available free for one year but once you have it it will be free forever.

    • Tina
      May 15, 2015 at 11:16 am

      The upgrade will be free. That copy will remain free for as long as your device holds out, but if I understand the upgrade model correctly, you won't be able to transfer it to a different device.

      Right now it looks like Microsoft will continue to sell Windows 10 editions.

  18. Anonymous
    May 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Just to clarify, when you say "If you’re currently using an operating system that qualifies, you should be able to find the Windows 10 downloader, a recommended update named KB3035583, in your list of updates." I presume you mean we'll be able to find it when the time comes, not now. Also, is it the case that upgrading from 7 or 8.1 to 10 will be less a clean install than an update, or will it still be necessary to back up and re-install programs and files?

  19. Alan
    May 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    The real question should be As Windows 10 is to be the last main upgrade will we have to pay a subscription of sorts to use Windows in the future.

    Microsoft seem to be vague with their answers to this question.

    • blackroseMD1
      May 15, 2015 at 5:12 am

      I'd hope that Microsoft is smarter than that. Making an OS a subscription service would drive a large portion of the user base to OSX or Linux.

    • Walker
      May 15, 2015 at 6:21 am

      The only time they would need to clarify this is if they are going to make it subscription based. If it is business as usual, there is no need. Did they have to announce this before windows 8 or any prior version was released? On the otherhand, if they realease it and after the fact start requiring a subscription, they will bring the wrath of everyone (including myself) down on them. To me this whole question is a red herring. It is a quest for a problem that probably doesnt exist.

    • Kevin M
      May 21, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Alan is dead on with this one, we can expect to start getting raped for subscription fees shortly after they have suckered as many people as they can into this new roll out. Like with most of us who can read between the lines, Windows 8.1 will be my very last Microsoft OS (I have been waiting for years to say that and mean it).

      We have entered into an era where SaaS is going to be the norm and we will soon start seeing apps roll out that we will need to keep track of all these monthly services that are being shoved down our throat. Funny that it has taken MS this long to jump on the software as a service boat but Windows 10 will be using this model and you can bet your bank it will cost more per year to keep a subscription than it ever was for the most expensive MS release. I would not be surprised if those trapped by this bloatware company to be spending upwards of $300 per year just for the privilege of running the biggest beta software program of all times!

      There are a lot of critical questions that Microsoft is dancing around and not answering. This should be a clue to everyone that MS is planning to implement the biggest SCREW it has ever delivered and one that will have no end to how many times the big Microsoft screw driver can turn.

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