Microsoft Won’t Reward Windows Insiders with a Free Copy of Window 10, But They Should

Tina Sieber 23-06-2015

Everyone who wants to upgrade to Windows 10 needs to own a version of Windows 7 or 8 that’s eligible for a free upgrade 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 . Unlike elsewhere reported, there won’t be a free upgrade for Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview!


A recent blog post by Microsoft’s Gabe Aul was misinterpreted to mean that Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (IP) could upgrade to the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version for free, regardless of whether or not they owned an eligible Windows version. Microsoft subsequently changed the confusing wording and clarified:

“It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.” –Gabe Aul

The real important news was drowned out:

  1. On launch day, July 29th When Does Windows 10 Come Out, How Can You Get It & What Happens to the Technical Preview? Windows 10 is coming soon. Still confused about how the upgrade will work and wondering about the timeline? We have some answers, although more questions remain. Read More , you can upgrade from Windows 10 IP directly to the RTM version. This wasn’t possible before! With previous Windows previews, testers were forced to perform a clean install once the preview version expired.
  2. This also means that Windows Insiders unfortunately won’t get an early preview of the RTM version. Rather, they’ll have to get in line and wait for the final release on July 29th, like everyone else.
  3. Finally, Windows Insiders who upgrade from IP to RTM and upgrade the new build will be able to “clean install on that PC from final media.”

How to Go from Windows 10 IP Directly to RTM on July 29th

Windows Insiders who installed a dual boot or upgraded from Windows 7 or 8 to the Insider Preview 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 won’t see the Get Windows 10 app Get Windows 10: It's Not a Virus! The Get Windows 10 icon in your system tray is not a virus. It's Microsoft's official upgrade note prior to the official release of Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015. Read More because they are already running Windows 10. Microsoft has now published instructions on how these users can ensure they will be able to upgrade directly to Windows 10 RTM on July 29th. Briefly, the Microsoft account you used to register for the Windows Insider program must be connected to Windows 10.

Log Into Windows 10 Using Your Microsoft Account

To check how you’re currently logging in, navigate to Settings > Accounts > Your account. If you see an email address and the option to switch to a local account, as shown in the screenshot below, you’re all set–don’t change anything.

Windows 10 Account Login


If you only see a user name and an option to Sign in with a Microsoft account, you should change this setting. Just click on the aforementioned option and associate your Windows Insider Microsoft account with Windows 10. In case you don’t remember which Microsoft account you used to sign up for Windows Insider, check your emails for a signup confirmation from Microsoft or regular Windows 10 updates.

Install the Insider Hub App

In upcoming IP builds, the Insider Hub app will no longer be included. If you’d still like to give feedback, you can manually install the app. Go to Settings > System > Apps & features, click Manage optional features, then Add a feature, pick Insider Hub, and click Install.

Insider Hub

Why Microsoft Should Be Offering Windows 10 for Free to Everyone!

The discussion about whether or not Windows 10 will be free and which requirements or restrictions apply shows how passionate people are about the subject. If Microsoft could bring themselves to give Windows 10 Home away for free, they could really turn things around.


Their self-proclaimed goal is to get 1 billion people (not devices!) onto Windows 10 within three years. Microsoft Insiders only make up around 4 million (0.004 billion) people. Given that “only” 1.5 billion people use Windows today, of which around 0.25 billion won’t be able to receive Windows 10, Microsoft would have to convince around 80% of current Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade. Or they could make up the difference by selling new devices running Windows 10 pre-installed.

Only Microsoft knows how many people have pre-registered for the Windows 10 upgrade Can't See the Windows 10 Upgrade Notification? Here's How to Enable It. Are you also not seeing the Get Windows app on your Windows 7 or 8.1 devices? Let us show you how to enable the upgrade notification or cancel the upgrade in case you changed your... Read More . I would be surprised if the majority of Windows 7 or 8 users upgraded by July 29, 2016. Sure, people love free stuff, but they are also resistant to change and many will avoid the risk and challenge of upgrading their operating system.

Windows 10 Reserved

Windows is already the dominant operating system on the desktop market. By giving the Home version away for free, Microsoft wouldn’t lose anything. They would, however, allow people to try Windows 10 out and they would increase their chances of meeting their goal of distributing Windows 10 to 1 billion people.


Interested in Upgrading to Windows 10?

If you own hardware that is compatible with Windows 10, but don’t have an eligible Windows version to upgrade from, you could try to get a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license How to Get a Cheap Windows 7 or 8 License Now to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free Worried about the future of your old or pirated Windows copy? Now is the time to snatch a cheap Windows 7 or 8 license to secure yourself that free upgrade to Windows 10. We show... Read More . We have previously summarized the Windows 10 hardware requirements 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 and outlined how to dual boot Windows 10 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 .Windows 10 Hardware Requirements

If you want to get a feel for Windows 10 right away, become a Windows Insider and install the IP. The preview will be upgraded to the final release of Windows 10 on July 29th, provided you use your Microsoft account to log in, as outlined above.

Windows 10 Will Be Free, But Not for Everyone

If you’re still wondering whether you should ugprade to Windows 10 Should You Upgrade to Windows 10? Windows 10 is coming, but should you upgrade? Like almost every change it's mostly good, but also comes with drawbacks. We've summarized them for you, so you can make up your own mind. Read More , my advice is to try the Windows 10 IP while it’s still available, probably until some time in July. If you’re already running the IP, make sure it’s set up to receive the RTM upgrade on July 29th.

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Here's the thing, though...Microsoft doesn't even have to give away the upgrade. They could charge for it the same way they have in the past with XP to Vista, Vista to 7 etc.

    It's amazing how MS takes a step forward, and all the sudden people find a way to make that a bad thing.

    Like Read and Share said above, most of the people in the Insider program likely already have a valid 7/8/8.1 license, so they'll get their free upgrade anyway.

    • Anonymous
      June 25, 2015 at 12:49 am

      "Like Read and Share said below*..."

  2. Anonymous
    June 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Having at first sounded like it would be free to testers, they should have said yes, but only to those already on the preview.

    I'll be happy if I can upgrade a dual boot though - also want to shift to X64 for Win10 ... Win7 is in 32 bit because I expected compatibility to be better (Retail, so I had both available)

  3. Anonymous
    June 24, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    A little too much use of the word "Thieves" IMHO

    • Tina Sieber
      June 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Where did it say anything about thieves?

  4. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Android and Mac OS X upgrades are given away free, so why not give away free Windows upgrades?

    • Tina Sieber
      June 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Good question. Maybe they aim to provide a different level of quality?

  5. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Seriously, how many 'Microsoft Insiders' don't also have a copy of Win 7, 8, or 8.1? They will all get Win 10 if they want, correct?

    • Anonymous
      June 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      I meant 'Windows Insiders'.

  6. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    "Why Microsoft Should Be Offering Windows 10 for Free to Everyone!"

    1) Remember this is not Google android and or Chrome, Not every company with software services should adopt Google's free Os Model. It works for Google not necessarily for others.

    2) Windows 10 will be free for everyone to upgrade to in the first 1 year of release and will be valid for the life of those devices. Note: You can only upgrade for free as mentioned above with NON-Pirate Copies of earlier Windows. Unless you are advocating that Windows 10 should be free because of those 0.25% of thieves. (I call them Thieves because the pirated copies were not sold by these thieving pirates for free, they were making money at MSFT expense and now they should be rewarded or just follow Google Os model because of these thieves.

    3) It is not fair to use MSFT target distribution in the next 3 after windows 10 debut of 1B+ goal as justification to reward thieves. As you have already noted, that these thieves are ~0.25% of 1.5B (That is 3.7million Thieves), If they do not get to upgrade why would that hinder the distribution goal. Unlike your thought process that they are not much of these thieves in the scheme of thing and that should not cause any financial burden to MSFT. I saw They small enough to make them sweat it and rip what they sow for being thieves that MUST NEVER BE REWARDED.

    • Anonymous
      June 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Alfred you learn a new word and had to use it? Seriously you must have stock in MS to be so butt hurt or too stupid to get a free Win7 / 8.

      As long as Windows has been around people are and can use a pirated version.
      3.1 came on a floppy, all you had to do was make a copy. 95 was basically the same thing, make a copy of the cd and use any legit key. XP all you had to do was remove WGA check and your set. Win7 KMS service, and same for 8. MS should give pirated users a free year trial, they would then have a year to win the pirated users over and have them buy a legit license. It would also slow the eventual pirated win10 release as there would be no current demand for it.

      Anyone who took the time to join MS IP and beta tested Win10, should get either a free or discounted copy. People took the time to download it, install it and test it. They should be rewarded in some fashion for there input/time regardless of a legit Win7 /8 license.
      People who did not participate should only get a free upgrade if there current license is legit.
      Pirated users should get a limited time upgrade to try it then buy it if they choose.
      MS pockets are deep enough that they could afford to offer a trial period to win over the pirated user.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 28, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts and the clarifications, Alfred!

      I agree, thieves should not be rewarded.

      My thought process was more like this: To compete with the likes of Apple and Google, why not make Windows 10 free for everyone, thus eliminating the possibility for anyone to even become a thief.

      Since most people who buy a laptop will get Windows 10 anyway, pre-installed on their new computer, what damage could it cause?

      People who already own a Mac and get Windows 10 for free to try it on their Mac won't diminish their business. On the contrary. Anyone not yet owning a Windows device and thinking about a new purchase might consider buying a Windows 10 device because they could experience Windows 10 for free and see how cool it is. If they end up buying a Surface or maybe a Lumia phone, it'll be money in Microsoft's pockets.