The Latest Windows 10 Version Won’t Be the Last One

Ben Stegner Updated 16-07-2019

Windows 10 marked a big change in the way Microsoft offers updates to Windows. No longer do you have to pay for operating system upgrades when a new version releases. Instead, everyone can upgrade to the latest version of Windows for free.


But this doesn’t mean that the latest Windows version is so simple. Let’s take a look at what the latest Windows 10 update is, how Windows 10 changed this game, and what we can expect looking forward.

What Is the Latest Version of Windows?

Technically speaking, Windows 10 is the newest version of Windows. But this is only part of the story, because Windows 10 regularly receives major updates that significantly change it.

For instance, at the time of writing, the current Windows 10 version is the May 2019 Update, which is version 1903. Microsoft typically releases two new feature updates to Windows 10 each year, aiming for March and September.

Note that in addition to major versions, Windows 10 has many different builds as well. See our guide on finding your Windows 10 version How to Check What Version of Windows 10 You Have What version of Windows do you have? Here's how to check your Windows 10 version, find the most recent Windows 10 release, and more. Read More for more info and to see which one you’re on.

How to Upgrade to the Latest Version of Windows 10

Windows 10 Download Latest Version


If you’ve realized you don’t have the current Windows 10 version installed and want to update, it’s not difficult. While it will eventually come via Windows Update (head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update to check), you can trigger the update right away by visiting Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page.

Here, simply click the Update now button and you’ll download a small installer that starts the process. This will walk you through the update so you can get the latest version. Make sure you follow our tips for safely upgrading Windows 10 Do This Before Every Windows 10 Update or Installation Windows 10 gets major updates twice a year, plus monthly updates. We show you what you should do before running Windows Update. Now Patch Tuesday can come! Read More beforehand, though.

How Does Windows 10 Version Support Work?

It’s important to note that you don’t have to upgrade to the newest version of Windows 10 right away. Microsoft offers support for each major version for 18 months after it releases. And thanks to recent changes with the way Windows applies updates, you won’t be forced to upgrade to the next version earlier than you want to.

Taking an example, this means that the May 2019 Update will receive support until December 2020. Even though new versions will (presumably) release in March and September of 2020, you can stay on the May 2019 update until December 2020, if you like. At that time, Windows will prompt you to install the latest version so you’re not running an unsupported OS.


If you want to block future feature updates from installing, visit Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and choose Advanced options. Under Choose when updates are installed, change the box under A feature update… to defer them for a number of days. The maximum is 365.

Windows 10 Defer Feature Updates

While it’s a good idea to hold off on upgrading right away so you avoid any early release bugs, most people are best off updating to the latest version before long. They include new features that are often pretty handy—see our master list of new Windows 10 features The Best New Windows 10 Features in the May 2020 Update Here are all the best new features in the latest updates to Windows 10. Read More to check some out.

When Did Windows 10 Come Out?

Windows 10 first launched to the public on July 29, 2015. Since then, it’s seen several updates that have added new features, tweaked existing elements, and introduced quality of life changes.


Below is a brief Windows 10 version history list, including version numbers and common names. See Wikipedia’s Windows 10 version history page for more info.

  • Initial release (1507): July 29, 2015
  • November Update (1511): November 10, 2015
  • Anniversary Update (1607): August 2, 2016
  • Creators Update (1709): April 5, 2017
  • Fall Creators Update (1709): October 17, 2017
  • April 2018 Update (1803): April 30, 2018
  • October 2018 Update (1809): November 13, 2018
  • May 2019 Update (1903): May 21, 2019

Note that version numbers refer to the year and month of intended release, so version 1903 was scheduled to launch in March of 2019.

Did you know that Microsoft has separate Windows releases for businesses? This special lineup is called Windows Server, and you won’t find it in an online or offline store. Of course, Windows Server is different from Windows.

Why Microsoft Changed the Windows 10 Model

We’ve found out what the latest version of Windows 10 is, reviewed the history of Windows 10 versions, and know how the support lifecycle works. At this point, you may wonder why Microsoft switched to this model.


To answer this, we have to look at the history of Windows and how other platforms changed the model for OS updates.

The Old Model of Paying for OS Upgrades

Decades ago, buying an operating system upgrade was totally normal. Windows 95 cost $210 when it launched, and considering most home computers were at least $1,000 at the time, people were happy to spend even more to get the latest and greatest OS. Of course, Windows 95 was also a drastic improvement over Windows 3.1.

However, this expectation changed over time. Instead of getting excited for the newest Windows release, most people would instead buy a device and use whatever OS it came with until the computer stopped working. Why would you pay for an upgrade to Windows 7 when Windows XP works just fine?

windows xp end of support popup message

This mindset infamously led to the long life and painful death of Windows XP. Microsoft supported it for 12 years, even after it released Windows Vista, 7, and 8. The company had to spend time and resources to come up with patches for an ancient OS, which millions of people kept using even after it was no longer supported.

This also causes a big problem for software developers. They have to keep every Windows version (which can differ wildly) in mind when creating programs. This can result in software not taking advantage of the latest Windows features, so as not to alienate those on older versions.

And in extreme cases, if a developer feels that creating software for Windows is such a hassle that it’s not worth his time, he might decide to go elsewhere. A lack of great Windows apps makes Windows a less compelling platform, which Microsoft obviously doesn’t want.

The result of people never paying to upgrade is fragmentation across Windows versions, which is a major issue for Microsoft. With the rise of mobile platforms, a better way became clear.

The Rise of Free Upgrades

Download macOS Mojave Free

Meanwhile, on mobile devices, new version upgrades are pretty much always free. When Apple releases a new version of iOS, everyone with a compatible device can download it on launch day at no cost. Android suffers from fragmentation with system updates, but you still don’t have to pay to upgrade.

Apple has done this with the Mac platform for some time, as well. Years ago, the company used a similar approach to Windows—you had to pay to buy each new version of Mac OS X when it arrived. But since 2013, when the company released Mavericks for free, all Mac feature updates are free to anyone with a compatible device.

When companies make the latest updates available to everyone at no charge, they can more quickly deprecate older versions. As mentioned, people have an expectation that an OS will work for a decent amount of time after they’ve paid for it.

Even after 12 years, some people were still upset that Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP. But nobody really cares when Apple stops supporting a version of macOS from three or four years ago, because they’ve already upgraded for free. Meanwhile, app developers can be confident that the majority of users have the latest OS version, letting them take advantage of the new features more quickly.

How Does Microsoft Make Money Now?

Buy Office 365

You might wonder how Microsoft makes money if it’s not selling Windows upgrades for $100 or more apiece. As it turns out, the company has many other sources of income.

Microsoft earns money when it sells Windows licenses to device manufacturers. Companies like HP and Lenovo have to pay Microsoft to put Windows on their devices, which you buy in the store ready-to-use. This is also the case with volume licensing, where large businesses pay money to run Windows on lots of computers and gain access to IT tools for deployment and other purposes.

Microsoft sells some hardware on its own, such as the Surface line of laptops. The company also shows ads in its Outlook webmail. And don’t forget about Office, which is still widely popular and brings in regular money through Office 365 subscriptions.

Aside from these, Windows 10 enables other revenue sources for Microsoft. While the Windows Store isn’t exactly the one-stop shop Microsoft hoped it would be, the company gets a cut of purchases made there. And Cortana’s search sends you to Bing if she can’t find an answer on your PC.

The Latest and Greatest: Windows 10

Windows 10 will continue to grow as time goes on. For the reasons discussed above, Microsoft doesn’t have any motive to uproot the “Windows as a service” model it’s set up. With the recent changes to forced updating, if they want to, Windows 10 users can stay on an older version for some time before upgrading to stay current.

There’s one last hurdle to Microsoft Windows 10 vision: Windows 7. Its support ends in January 2020, so you need to upgrade if you’re still using Windows 7 4 Best Ways to Upgrade From Windows 7 to 10 Before 2020 Windows 7's end of life is fast approaching. Upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 before January 2020, we show you how. Read More .

Related topics: Microsoft, Software Licenses, Windows 10.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Windows 10
    December 12, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Currently, the windows latest version is 1909 and it was quite good and it comes with latest security patch of Windows 10. This update came in probably October.

  2. John Foll
    August 22, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    They can also sell ads to you if you keep upgraded I think. That is why Google Chrome is free. Google has control over what Ads you see.

  3. Dan Rad
    January 10, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Almost as many Windows XP users and Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combined? I'm sorry but the graph shows Windows XP users at 15.93% of the user base and both Windows 8 and 8.1 combined is 14.66%. Apparently you don't need to be able to use a calculator to write articles for makeuseof.

    • Toby
      March 3, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Can you say ANAL Retentive... we knew what he meant DAN RAD

  4. Daniel Profit
    October 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    so many people look the other way about the US Constitution and Bill of Wrights the same way they do about operating systems that are written for and by the people and provided for free Really good Operating systems like LINUX and UBUNTU ! People need to open their eyes and stop Microsoft from creating an advertising monopoly and control system for the Elite

  5. Ascaris
    April 25, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Doesn't comparing Windows (while paraphrasing Myerson) to Facebook or Gmail strike you as a little... off?

    Facebook and Gmail are web sites. Even if you use them from smartphone apps, they're still web sites; those smartphone apps are nothing more than frontends for the same stuff you could get in a browser. It's not comparing apples to oranges; it is closer to comparing apples to orangutans. It's beyond silly for Myerson to suggest that Windows is anything close to being an "internet service." Even ChromeOS, the OS running on Chromebooks that are essentially useless without an internet connection, isn't an "internet service."

    Windows is still a product just as much as it ever was. If you pay once (or the OEM who installed it on the PC you bought did) and you get to use it forever (though it may not always be updated), that's not Software as a Service (SaaS). That's the same way it's always been.

    MS is trying to pull a fast one here. They think if they sprinkle in all kinds of buzzwords (or phrases) like "Software as a Service" and "the cloud," it will distract everyone from realizing that the product they are pushing with all of that marketing jargon is terrible.

    Nothing has "forced Microsoft's hand." For decades, the majority of Windows revenue has come from OEM sales, and that has not changed. Home users going out to buy Windows and install it themselves has been a rounding error in terms of Windows revenue since the 95 days. They aren't any more or less willing to "pay for" Windows; the fact is that they never were paying for Windows as a standalone product in any significant numbers.

    What's changed now is that the frenetic obsolescence cycle has slowed to a crawl. In the 90s, a PC was generally obsolete long before there were any worries about the OS being out of date. A new PC meant a new version of Windows, and in a few more years, it meant a new version yet again.

    During those years, Microsoft profited from the fragmented Windows market. They were the ones who fragmented it! They didn't have to keep releasing new versions of the OS every few years, but it made them a pile of money to keep charging people for the same product, over and over.

    Now that the market has shifted and the fragmentation they exploited for years is no longer the benefit it once was, we're supposed to allow MS to scold us for not upgrading on command when they gave us half-baked Windows versions like Vista and 8? No, sorry, that is not going to fly. If they want us to upgrade, they should offer something legitimately better than what we already have.

    For most non-techie type home users, Windows 95 was the first mainstream Windows. There was an excitement about it (as noted in the article), and people were eager to have the latest and the greatest. Win 95 was a big step up in UI and in many other ways compared to 3.1, but the stability was poor.

    Windows 98 was a lot more stable than 95. It's amazing that they sold so many people a very crashy OS in Windows 95, then had the audacity to charge them again for an improved version that crashed less. Then they did it again with 98 SE! But that was the era; people let MS get away with it, and they were happy to do so to have a few less "...has performed an illegal operation" messages.

    And then came ME. I never had any problems with it myself; I rather liked it, but for many it was a nightmare in terms of stability. People began to realize that stability was more important than having what was new and shiny.

    When Vista arrived, it wasn't really ready. XP was the dominant Windows version, and it had stability beyond any 9x version, and people were not about to give that up for the new shinies like Aero glass. Vista was slow and buggy at first, and people had remembered the lesson from the ME debacle: If what you have works for you, stick with it. MS was once again providing its users with a Windows they perceived as inferior to its predecessor.

    Vista eventually became a decent OS, but its name was hopelessly tarnished by then, but Windows 7 (which was really just an improved, leaner, faster Vista) was a hit. And then 8 came out, with its bizarre, poorly thought out UI, and people skipped it too.

    If anyone trained people to NOT upgrade, it's Microsoft. If the old product is demonstrably worse than the new, why should people upgrade? The irrational exuberance about having the new shiny Windows is gone; people just want something that works now. They don't want to learn new ways of doing what they already know how to do. They don't want change for the sake of change.

    That, in fact, is why Windows users are sometimes reluctant to upgrade. Some versions of Windows have been good products, but not all of them-- so when the users get a version they like, they stick with it, knowing the next one that comes along could be disaster.

    So now we have Windows 10, Microsoft's revenge for all of us users failing to dutifully buy Windows (again) on command. Rather than recognizing that the reason some Windows versions were rejected was because MS tried to sell them a substandard product, MS has resorted to the mainstay of the monopolist-- that is, to give people a substandard product and force them to accept it because there's no other choice.

    That's what they really are telling us when they say "it's the last version ever." Don't bother skipping this one while you wait for something better, folks, 'cause this time it ain't coming. MS has done all it can to promote the inevitability of 10, and even many of 10's critics in the tech media have reluctantly climbed on board, not really thinking they had a choice. That was just as MS intended.

    No one forced Microsoft's hand in this. They know very well how to build an OS people want-- they had two huge hits in XP and 7. If you give people a product they want, they will buy it. MS could have gone that route! After the failure of 8, it was evident that people wanted another 7 (designed for the desktop, attractive, stable, and intuitive), but instead they got another 8, half phone and half desktop, ugly, with constant rapid-fire updates that lead to a perpetual beta feel, with a UI that is only marginally more intuitive than 8.1), and with all kinds of other bad stuff thrown in too.

    Windows 10 is the Windows version so "good" that people would not take it for free... many went to great lengths to avoid having it forced on them, in fact. Microsoft would not have to resort to adware and malware-like dark patterns and sabotage of Windows 7/8 installations (the Kaby/Ryzen debacle) to try to force people into it if it was even somewhat decent.

    • figgley
      May 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Well said, Ascaris.
      I've just had a huge *spanner in the works* moment whilst attempting to draw up a list of hardware for my first home build:
      On a motherboard manufacturer's page in very small print near the bottom it states that Windows 7 x86 and x64 is not supported for the latest 7th generation Intel CPUs.
      Up until I read that, my imaginary computer was coming together rather well ! Windows 7 had been the first "component" to be included on my spec sheet.
      Oh well, it's back to the 10 year-old Vista laptop for now.

      • Daniel Profit
        October 13, 2017 at 11:37 pm

        LINUX main boot then run a windows 10 in virtual mode

        • Toby
          March 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm

          Why hasn't LINUX taken over the pc / tablet market like Android? I think their is a growing distrust of both Microsoft and Google, yet open source has yet to engage opensource marketing and branding talent. Technology will always be more than tech skills. I would love to tell Microsoft and Google to shove it up their butts but unfortunately their isn't a consumer friendly alternative. Linux is great for the hard core techno geek but isn't worth a crap for the small business owner or the one person home business person. Until their is collective OS / Tools that can support the consumer customer, Linux will be left to techno geeks and Web developers.

  6. TC
    March 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I wish Microsoft would just admit that windows 10 truly sucks! Maybe it was designed for the younger kids but being an older non geek and not being tech savvy, it is a nightmare to navigate and I'm just not adapting to it! Windows XP and Windows 7 are still user friendly and I don't have to run to Google search to find out where "My Documents" and "My Computer" are hidden. I have a desktop with Windows XP and I very frequently end up using that instead of my 3 month old laptop with Windows 10. Also, has anyone noticed that Windows 10 is a totally stripped cell phone like operating system? It won't open pictures, play DVD's or do almost anything that it used to do. You have to download an app to make it do the things that were already built-in to Windows. I refuse to download anything because in the past, anything I downloaded would many times end up containing a virus. So when I need to open pictures or do anything of that sort, I always run to my desktop with Windows XP because it's not a "dumb" computer like Windows 10 is. That is very frustrating!

    • Daniel Profit
      October 13, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      Taking control of your computer system and what you see or what you can access is no different or rather just another arm of control over we the the people by those Globalist Elites forcing their controls on everyone weather you want it or not that is why Anonymous Exists and will continue to grow on an individual basis as well as by groups that believe in a world of true free accurate information and news the sharing of knowledge and truths will set us free ! Globalism takes everyone's heritage, customs , cultures , history and truths and distorts it to support the way of globalists and one world Gov of control !!!!!!!

      • Jennifer Fritts
        January 27, 2019 at 7:48 pm

        i am om your side and totally agree with that trend of thought. But you can step away from the computer/internet and live a happy and successful life. cheers

    • Tech Man
      July 7, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Tell me about it! I'm a geek and Windows 10 is impossible for me to navigate! I'm just glad they haven't removed control panel yet. Yet...

  7. Tristan
    March 5, 2017 at 5:19 am

    By the way, XP still works, and you can legally get it free from Microsoft. this is being posted from a computer running XP.

  8. Akash Ramdial
    November 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Its not about security. Home users of XP use anti-viruses anx firewalls for security. They are fed up with purchasing a device that supposedly has an OS only to find out its a trial and you have to pay for the full version. That's fraud.
    More importantly XP is stable. Vista was crap. 7 is stable. 8 is crap. See the pattern? XP does not crash or give problems that requires one to contact Microsoft's help desk that is actually a non-help desk.


    • Zach
      November 7, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Let me be honest with you, I've contacted the help desk multiple times in the last few days and they helped me a lot. It was a stupid situation I got stuck in and they helped me free of charge. What happened was: The current Anniversary Update caused a lot of problems for gaming in general. Lots of FPS drops across the board for some games. Thankfully most of mine were ok. The ones it did affect, I never would have expected. They were low spec games but were really fun to play but would actually end up freezing and crashing or just running REALLY slow.

      I contacted someone from the help desk to help me get to a previous build of Win 10 as all of my efforts to roll back on my own had failed miserably. They helped me achieve that goal finally only to give me another issue. Build 1511, tho I didn't have issues with it BEFORE AU, now caused me considerable amounts of hell. Build 1511 broke in places I didn't even find conceivable. The Start menu broke (so there goes every feature ever), the search tool bar, Cortana, was busted and couldn't be launched (Ok so now I'm in REALLY deep crap) and so I was left with... quite literally nothing honestly. Win 10 even forgot I owned the OS. So I contacted the help desk again to see if we could fix the issue which was just go back to the AU. Everything worked out in the end, most of the games I had issues with were fixed but... the point is they helped me out a lot.

      That's not to say I didn't do extensive research into why all of this was happening. I even tried applying "fixes" to my problems and it gave 0 results so the help desk was a good choice.

  9. vft1963
    November 1, 2016 at 12:44 am

    in my 33 years of using/coding, windows 10 is the friendliest OS for users and developers, by far

  10. Jacques de Hooge
    April 6, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I don't think the reluctance to upgrade has much to do with costs. Every time I buy a new laptop I start with a perfectly working system. And with every upgrade something breaks. Until at last my sound doesn't work anymore, or my function keys, or the mouse pad on my laptop, or all of that and many other things. Moreover my computer becomes slower and slower and slower, until I feel forced to buy a new one.

    I am tired of that. I like to use things as long as they're good enough. I don't want to have to rediscover with every release where this or that feature has been hidden now. I don't want one of the many installed software packages to stop working.

    I understand that software companies want to make money. But make it by producing something that improves my life, not by forcefeeding me with needless bells and whistles.

    I can decide for myself if I need new functionality and will go shopping for it. I don't buy anything from people ringing at my frontdoor. And I don't install anything from companies stalking me over the internet with new versions that solve their problems, not mine.

    • Greg A
      June 14, 2016 at 1:36 am

      Well said!

    • HTD
      October 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      But the OS you use is not entirely your business. Others use it too and need different features. How to reach consensus over this? I have an idea - most features should be optional. Well - it seems like Windows 10 works this way. I can disable / uninstall most of the features I don't use. Some of it requires tricks, I'm not happy about it.

      OK. Some features require severe system-level changes. It's software development in general. New features cause some of the old features to break. The most common scenario - old feature uses deprecated technique, one of those causing BSOD-s from time to time, or let's say - security risks. The most common are device drivers. They have lots of bugs, some of them - mission critical bugs. They are often very badly written. So Microsoft says "enough". What was yesterday deprecated - now is unsupported. And this is how things break.

      You know what? I'm super happy I got rid of old, unsupported hardware. It's useless junk for me, since I know it always caused problems, like slow startup and crashes.

      Then - system architecture was very painful to make good software for it within reasonable time. Since Windows 8 it was vastly improved. You don't need it as user, but as user you need new software. New architecture helps making new good software easier. For you as a user - it means cheaper and better new software.

      Remember as in XP times programs conflicted with each other? You install program A, then program B breaks. Or - you uninstall program B, program A breaks. It's no problem anymore, since new system design enforces better design patterns.

      In XP times almost every hardware driver update required a restart. Now it's very rare. I can't remember a single case of having to restart the system after connecting a device, installing or upgrading a driver. Before it became possible - the old driver model was first deprecated, then unsupported. Some things broke. Then - blame manufacturers. If device manufacturer pretends the device doesn't exist anymore - well, I just dump it.

      Did you know ancient HP printers are still supported in Windows 10? But not so ancient SoundBlaster sound cards are not. Asus is infamous for not supporting their products if they are merely 1 year old! It's not Microsoft's fault they update their system - it's manufacturers fault they don't update their drivers and other software.

      I hope there will be no next Windows. I wish 10 would be the final one. But I also hope, it will evolve without versions as we know them. I expect big and bold updates. I expect old stuff to break. It's necessary. This is how IT was born and how it works. Constant improvements. Now we have systems which don't crash twice a day. It's a consequence 16-bit code is no longer supported. DOS and alike are not supported. And so on.

      Upgrades - yes. Paying for new versions - no.

    • TC
      March 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

      OMG! That completely states how I feel! Thank you for saying it and this makes me feel so much better! I frequently run to my desktop which is running Windows XP because I can't figure out how to find it or how to do it on my fairly new Windows 10 laptop! I'm older and a non geek and I'm just not adapting to Windows 10.

  11. Anonymous
    September 19, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Windows 8.1 will be My final version of Windows To use , Linux will be on all future machines I purchase , or chrome or android . I do not enjoy reading the forced updates microsoft is going with .If they force us to update a video driver through them and not through the manufacture of that card the driver will crash constantly . Unwanted and unneeded software I never download/update , I will not be forced into windows 10 crap . never EVER !!

    • Justin Pot
      September 21, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Enjoy Linux, do you have a particular distro in mind?

      • Anonymous
        November 10, 2015 at 3:30 am

        I agree with you Justin. There is a Linux distro out there that emulates Windows to a "T". It is Zorin OS. Check it out Jay. I think you'd like it.

  12. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Operating system upgrades for the iPhone have always been free.

    That is not true. Up until the iOS 4 upgrade you were charged $4.99 for an OS upgrade.

  13. Anonymous
    July 30, 2015 at 11:23 am

    For me, when XP reached end-of-life, I was ready for a major change. I'd had nearly 20 years of various M$ products, and wanted to explore the alternatives. Apple hardware was way out of my reach; but as I'm a born 'tinkerer', and constantly 'titivate' my systems to achieve the level of customization that I want, Linux was obviously the way to go.

    Started off with Ubuntu 'Trusty' last year. Was quite happy, until I discovered that Canonical's constant updates were slowly making my system more & more non-functional; mainly centered around the operation of the X-windowing system, and graphics in general. Canonical are doing a fantastic job with what they do, but unfortunately they're beginning to concentrate on the more modern hardware, I think in an attempt to seduce users of modern machinery away from M$'s dominance.

    I started to experiment with 'Puppy' Linux about 11 months ago, and, in April this year, I finally went all-Puppy, and am now running five Puppy distros on two different machines. The community support and encouragement are absolutely awesome.....and the Puppy developers have never forgotten their roots, and continue to make secure, usable versions that will operate quite happily, at decent speeds, on the oldest of hardware.

    It WILL be a long while yet before Linux is perceived as a viable alternative to Windows for the masses; but Linux has never been interested in becoming the 'dominant' global O/S that everybody uses. It's a good part of the way there already, without having to constantly extol its virtues in the media. Android IS a version of Linux/Unix; most of the world's supercomputers run on it, and the vast majority of machinery that uses any form of electronic control is already, usually, running some form of Linux-based embedded system.

    And you can alter, or change, absolutely EVERY part of any Linux system to make it do precisely what you want it to do.....

  14. Anonymous
    June 19, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I read "Windows 10 Is the Last Version of Windows. Ever." and got really excited until I read the article.

    • Justin Pot
      June 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      What were you expecting? Unconditional surrender to Linux?

      • Orlandus
        January 31, 2018 at 1:51 am

        In the fullness of time...

        Or there's that little customized version of BSD that Tim Cook sells.

  15. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 2:15 am

    The problem as i see it is new computers dont work with existing hardware allready installed in homes and businesses such as security systems, automation equipment, access control, variable speed controllers, PLC's (programmable logic controllers), lighting control, HVAC (air conditioning) so you see you are not just asking poeple to upgrade their PC's you are asking People to replace all existing equipment allready being used all over the world to make everything you are using and wearing so who will pay for that?
    I have been looking for replacement to my 20 year old laptop running win 97 with com port so I can continue to repair and alter the programming on security systems and electrical devices as i come across them in the field.

    • Justin Pot
      June 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Equipment that doesn't work with newer operating systems is a big problem, especially if the computers that run them are connected to the Internet. I don't know what the solution is.

  16. Just Me
    May 26, 2015 at 3:35 am

    doc: To boot straight to desktop in 8.1 follow this guide:

  17. A41202813GMAIL
    May 25, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Still Alive And Kicking.


    • Justin Pot
      May 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Be careful out there man.

    • A41202813GMAIL ..
      May 27, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      No Problem. --- In 20+ Years, M$ Caused Me A Lot More Pain Than All The Malware Put Together. --- Besides, I Do Not Use Machines For Financial Transactions, Period. --- In The Last Few Days, My Old Machine Was Becoming Too Slow. --- I Moved XP To A Dual Core Machine And With This Pace I Can Do A Marathon. --- If Need Be, There Is Always Faster Hardware, And I Know What To Do To Move XP To More Recent ( Custom ) Motherboards. --- Thank You For Responding.

    • A41202813GMAIL ..
      May 27, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      No Problem. --- In 20+ Years, M$ Caused Me A Lot More Pain Than All The Malware Put Together. --- Besides, I Do Not Use Machines For Financial Transactions, Period. --- In The Last Few Days, My Old Machine Was Becoming Too Slow. --- I Moved XP To A Dual Core Machine And With This Pace I Can Do A Marathon. --- If Need Be, There Is Always Faster Hardware, And I Know What To Do To Move XP To More Recent ( Custom ) Motherboards. --- Thank You For Responding. ---

  18. JohnTheDur
    May 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Well actually there are a lot of PCs out there with low-end hardware - and those are still fully functional - but they are too slow/weak to run newer versions of the OS. That's the main problem. Hardware guys are doing a pretty good job, software guys are writing backward portable software back to Win95, and these two things combined make a pretty clear situation - users DON'T NEED to upgrade. Everything is working just fine with their cheap PC and old XP. Being a software developer myself, I'm not saying that software shouldn't be backward compatible, but I am trying to say that a more compelling reason is needed to upgrade (for regular/simple users) than "security updates" and "new features". These users don't even know what "security updates" mean. Hell, I don't even know which security updates are downloaded. So, can Microsoft somehow fix this problem? Can they make a good enough argument for everyone to go BUY new hardware which will support the new OS, but being sure that the new hardware WILL NOT get outdated quickly? I don't think so. People are switching to mobile and that seems to be the way to go..

    • Justin Pot
      May 25, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      This is the exact reason Microsoft needs to do away with the idea of an "old version", altogether.

    • Clifra Jones
      February 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      The old argument that the "software" has outgrown the "hardware" is no longer valid. I refurbish older laptops for user by kids and installing Linux was the choice of OS to do this. But now even modern Linux can have issues running on lower power computers.

      newer computers should last for sometime as processing power has vastly surpassed OS requirements. I run multiple virtual machines on my hardware now. it is not the OS that causes the computer to slow down it in malware infestation. Far to many folks buy new PC when all they needed was to have the computer cleaned out.

  19. Rich Cochran
    May 24, 2015 at 4:36 am

    OK, I just want them to include all old systems free of charge. I started with DOS 1.0 and Windows 2.0. Tried just about everything under the Sun. Made all of it work. Found that the user is the biggest problem out there. "Keep it simple Stupid" is a motto to live by. So get it done and lets move on.

  20. VfishV
    May 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    So much butthurt in these comments. :)

    I love change. I can't wait to see what happens with this product.


    • Justin Pot
      May 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      People feel passionately about their computers, which makes sense: they use them almost every day. I don't understand how anyone can see free updates as anything but good, but I guess that just goes to show how people feel about Microsoft: they like their computers, but don't trust the company.

      • Cad Delworth
        November 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm

        Are you insane, man?

        'Free' updates are often the equivalent of free samples of heroin: designed solely to get you 'hooked' on The New Thing and keep you hooked. And by the time you realise (or someone else points out to you) what's happened, it's too late to back out of it.

        I wouldn't EVER use a system where the OS lives 'in the Cloud,' or might do so in future.

        I also wouldn't EVER use a system where updates are FORCED one me without me having any say in it.

        Free upgrade my ass: like iTunes, it's just another attempt to force you down a a particular route, and sorry MS, but I ain't playing. I'm sticking to XP and/or Win7, where I at least have SOME control over WTF is going on.

  21. Thomas Kainz
    May 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    It's "interesting" to say the least to see all of the comments here from everyone... especially those based upon hearsay and misinformation. Speculation aside, it WILL be interesting to see what path Microsoft does finally take. From my perspective, they do have to make some serious changes in their existing game plan. Personally if they do adopt a subscription based plan I wouldn't have any problems with it. I don't really mind paying for something as long as I feel that it is a good value. When MS recently offered their Office 2013/365 subscription option, I jumped at the opportunity. For me, with 5 PC's in the household to keep going, paying a monthly fee which amounts to not much more than a couple of Starbucks Frappes to have the latest full version of Office on all those PC's made sense. For Me!

    But...what does make sense for me may not make sense for others. That mentality extends itself to the various operating systems in general.

    For me... Apple is a good OS... but it's not the end-all and it's far from perfect. What I don't like about Apple is their expensive pay to play game mentality. Sure, the OS upgrades are free... but what's free? If a car dealership told me that a certain car had free lifetime service but I had to pay twice as much for that car up front... I wouldn't be impressed. And while Apple does put out a quality product, it's not worth what they charge for it. Ahh... the infamous 'Apple-Tax'. In my opinion, you're paying for the OS upgrades - just all up front as part of the hardware purchase..

    As far as those touting the virtues of the "free" Linux systems out there I would agree that they pose a viable alternative to Windows. That is.. in the not-to-distant future. BUT... IF, and only IF, the various disjointed groups can get on the same train to realize that they are soo close yet soo far and until Linux is de-geekified a little more and made to where the average user (not just us Geeks) can use it on a daily basis without ever having to enter into the realms of the command line, it will never really pose a real threat to MS. MS knows this and that thought may be - at least partially - behind their new game plan.

    What I think is also behind MS's strategy change is the realization that their dedicated consumers (including me) are about fed-up with being offered an inferior product with inferior support and at a premium price and that many of us are direly hungry for a "viable" alternative. Will that be Linux?

    So.. as for Windows 10.... I plan on giving it a go. I actually enjoy using Windows 8/8.1 and suspect, besides the anticipated issues which will be part of ANY OS upgrade, Windows 10 will be just as enjoyable... optimist that I am. I can say, that, for me, I've had fewer issues with 8/8/1 than I ever had with the previous versions - including the oft-touted wonderfully 'stable' XP.

    • Justin Pot
      May 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      I really like your optimism, and the time you put into this comment. Thanks for stopping by, let me know if there are any kinds of articles you'd like to see more of.

  22. Diana
    May 23, 2015 at 5:09 am

    They failed to mention to log on you have to use biometrics and I refuse to do that.. with windows live either. I will go to linux first! I have been using windows many years but Biometrics is an invasion of privacy, among others they have abused over time.

  23. Aiden
    May 23, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I don't upgrade because I happen to like Windows 7 more than anything they have made since. I think windows 8 is okay once you get used to it and I think Windows 8.1 is utter crap because the update broke a lot of my hardware drivers, and a lot of my games and program quit working because of lack of compatibility with the OS.

    I downgraded back to Windows 7 and happen to like its use and features more.

  24. doc
    May 22, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I'll believe it when I see it - but I am hopeful...
    XP was a really good system and I was loath to upgrade until my XP machine died (Though my DJ box still runs XP it's not connected to the network so I don't believe I'll have problems with malicious software).
    I purchased a new machine with Win7pro. OMG!!!! M$ FINALLY got it right. I love 7.
    I also have another new machine running 8.1 and I like it, as long as it is in "desktop" mode (windows 7). The biggest fault I find with 8.1 is you don't seem to be able to set it to boot to the desktop instead of that crap panel screen a la 8. It may be great for touch screens, but it sucks with a mouse.
    I just bought a new machine (cheap) running 7pro so that when the upgrade to 10 is available I'll be able to test it before committing my main machine (Lenovo T530).
    I don't want to get into the problems of 7 to 8.1 that doesn't copy over everything (apps etc. need to be reloaded so you really have to go from 7 to 8, then to 8.1 if you want it to be a "transparent" upgrade)
    It will be interesting to see how they monetize the new philosophy, but I'd have to agree with others that a subscription service will be putting a gun to their heads and pulling the trigger.
    I also have a machine that dual boots Ubuntu and WinXPpro and love Ubuntu.
    We'll see how things shake down, being an optimist, I'm hopeful...

  25. Bob Johnson
    May 22, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Ohhhhhhh,poor poor Microsoft,upset that we don't want to pay to upgrade something that we already paid too much for ....ohhhh......

    • Justin Pot
      May 22, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      The problem has more to do with having to maintain various versions of something longer after they sold it, with no continuing revenue to pay for that. Giving away updates is a good solution for that.

    • Chris
      November 28, 2015 at 3:31 am

      Haha your name is Bob Johnson...

  26. javakrypt
    May 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I'm not sure I agree with it being a case of 'not wanting to pay' or upgrade. It's more of a case that the OS that comes on the computer is what is working for them. I know a lot of people through working in IT who think because their computer came with that OS, it has to stick to that OS. They can't wipe it or install something different.

    Most people, old, middle aged or young generally see just 2 versions of OS. Windows that comes on most computers and is expected (and not necessarily upgradable or changeable because of warranties or incompatibility of some sort) and Apple. Not even MacOS, just Apple. But most people realise they can upgrade their Mac to a different version and I think it comes down to features.

    MacOS is generally released in iterations (it also helps It's just called OS X something but still version 10, something general users don't think of - I know people who just call it X not 10) because MacOS upgrades incorporate new features that normal and power users can take advantage of (even if they are just filler and not that good...) And they're generally not small changes, such as Snow Leopard to Lion, having Mission Control, notifications, Launchpad. Then Mountain Lion included Notifications, Messages, Game Center etc. Big noticeable changes.

    Windows is quite stagnant, what you get when you first install is what you get. I think this is a good move for Microsoft but I'm not sure how they'll monetize it or expect users to pay something (unless it's bundled with Office 365/OneDrive subscription, which might work and be less hassle for end users). They best not have adverts inside system apps again like they did with Windows 8 when it first came out. That's a massive joke.

    • Justin Pot
      May 22, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      I don't think they can monetize updates, but they do stand to cut costs considerably and make life better for developers if as many people as possible are using the same system.

  27. Luide
    May 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    This is great to hear. The more I read through it, the more it makes sense. OS upgrades nowadays are always expected to be free on mobiles, so why not desktop?

  28. Bruce Barnes
    May 22, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    If Microsoft is sick of us not upgrading then they need to take a long look at their track record. They have produced several poor operating systems along the way. (remember Windows 98.1, ME, Vista, and 8. It's the attitude of a monopoly to expect people to upgrade to a poor operating system. Sure, 98.2, XP, and 7 were good but it has been a crap-shoot, deciding whether or not to upgrade to their next version. They always tell you that the new release is the best yet. Well, "once bitten twice shy". I for one am sticking with Windows 7 until something better comes along, if something better comes along. Meanwhile, I use Ubuntu for everything I can. It's clearly better than Windows.

    • Justin Pot
      May 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Yeah, a lot of people feel the same way you do, but the vast majority of computer users just don't think about which OS they use. They stick with what their computer comes with.

      Seriously, though: you won't take MS up on the free upgrade to 10? You're not even curious?

    • Bruce Barnes
      May 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      From what I could learn the so-called "free upgrade to Windows 10" only applies to retail copies of Windows and not to my OEM install of Windows 7. Am I wrong about this?

    • Mark
      May 22, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      From what I understand, it applies to EVERY copy on windows 7 and 8. Even pirated copies in an attempt to get the mass of Chinese OS pirates on a legit system.

    • Justin Pot
      May 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      There's been mixed messages about the pirated copies: it seems like they'll offer a free-ish upgrade that will later ask for money, but we're not totally sure.

  29. maven2k
    May 22, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    The ONLY reason I have a box with Windows 7 on it, is for the Media Center DVR. I use Ubuntu for my every day computing and if I were smart enough to get get a functioning media center-like experience from it, I would in a heartbeat.

    • Justin Pot
      May 22, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Ubuntu is pretty fantastic, and if you want DVR software there are a lot of options. Maybe I should write a guide someday.

    • maven2k
      May 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      I agree with both of your statements! I've fiddled around with MythTV, Mythbuntu, and XBMC to no avail. I'm going to chalk it up to inexperience, but also, I haven't found a good guide in plain English for noobs like myself.

    • dragonmouth
      May 23, 2015 at 12:27 am

      You say that Win 7 is so much better than XP but then you recommend Ubuntu for a Media Center. OpenELEC distro is the Win 7 to Ubuntu's Win XP. OpenELEC is designed specifically to run home media centers.

    • Justin Pot
      May 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      7 is clearly superior to XP, in what was does believing that preclude me from thinking Ubuntu is great for media centers? OpenELEC is also quite great from what I understand, but I don't have as much experience with it.

  30. F-J Harmych
    May 21, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    It has nothing to do with paying for upgrades. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that XP is the best OS Windows has had, and THAT is why people don't upgrade at home. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And Microsoft just kept fixing it.

    • Justin Pot
      May 22, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      I'm sorry but Windows 7 is superior in every way to XP.

    • AriesWarlock
      May 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      What? Windows 7 is so much better than Windows XP it's not even funny.

    • Common Sense
      May 24, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Windows 7 is slower than XP, and much slower than XP 64 bit. That's inferiority, not superiority.

  31. dragonmouth
    May 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Let's not kid ourselves. M$ is doing this for one reason only, to guarantee themselves a stable, steady revenue stream. User will have to update when Microsoft says to update, not when users feel like it. Users who miss a payment will be left with a useless system.

    Unfortunately for Microsoft this is not the late 1980s, early 1990s when they had a virtual monopoly. Today there are viable alternatives to Windows and other Microsoft products. Not only will MS not regain market share but it is possible that it will PO a substantial number of users who will switch to the alternatives.

    • Dude, what?
      May 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      "to guarantee themselves a stable, steady revenue stream"

      Which is exactly what they're supposed to be doing? Microsoft is a business, not a charity. As someone who reads MUO I'm certain you're well aware of the various awesome and *free* distros of linux.

    • Justin Pot
      May 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Microsoft officials have said multiple times that there won't be an ongoing subscription fee, Dragonmouth.

    • dragonmouth
      May 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      You're right. I did not express myself clearly.

      I am not against a company making a profit, even an obscene one. After all, Apple and Exxon have been raking the money in for years. What I am against is monopoly and lock-in. With subscription software, Microsoft is trying to recapture the late 1980s when they were virtually the only game in town. To use the hackneyed car analogy, Microsoft is trying to rent you a car in which EVERYTHING (tires, fluids, car wax, battery, gasoline, replacement parts) is proprietary and can only be obtained from them. This car will roll into a Microsoft dealership for maintenance whenever M$ feels like whether the user wants the maintenance or not. If the maint is not performed, the car will cease to function in a very short period of time. Would you ever consider getting that car under those conditions?

      • Cad Delworth
        November 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm


        And this is also PRECISELY what Apple have been doing since, oh … the Apple II. Lock you in, strap you down, tell you that you WILL enjoy this experience even if they have to jam your eyelids open and torture you into saying 'yes yes I agree! this OS is brilliant!'

        The truth about Apple is that their OSs have always been ripped off from other people, then dumbed down so that you can't cut yourself on any sharp corners. Don't like the way it works? Then you'll be shouted down by the Apple fanbois, or told sweetly that this is 'better' than the alternatives. Whilst still being strapped down with your eyelids jammed open and screaming 'PLEASE STOP!' at the top of your broken voice.

    • dragonmouth
      May 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Please excuse me, Justin, if I am a bit sceptical about there not being an onging fee. I'll believe it when I see it.

    • Luide
      May 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Dragonmouth, I'm sure, as they've said, selling the software to manufacturers will be more than enough for them to make decent revenue. Plus, it should be a way of urging Microsoft to diversify their product offering. Just look at Google now.

    • Mark
      May 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      There is no way they will charge a subscription fee. Despite your Microsoft hate, they are still intelligent business people and they know charging a subscription fee for their operating system is equivelant to business suicide. They are in the business to make money, and a consumer subscription fee is NOT a lasting source of money in this environment.

    • dragonmouth
      May 23, 2015 at 12:02 am

      FYI, as far back as the late 1990s, Bill Gates was talking about switching Microsoft to all subscription software. Of course, in those days when MS had a virtual O/S monopoly it would have made more sense than now when users have viable alternatives.

      BTW - I may dislike the way MS has conducted business in the past as well as their corporate policies. I may not see Windows as the greatest thing since sliced bread. I may see Windows as a basically flawed and insecure O/S but I do not "hate". Both Microsoft and Windows are not important enough in the grand scheme of things to warrant my "hate."

  32. Craig
    May 21, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Does this mean no more 'service packs'? How will this work with dll versioning?

    The idea is good in principle, but there are a hell of a lot of software products out there that are dependent on peculiarities of one single version of windows. Products like that could no longer exist in this ecosystem. Android works as applications run in a sandbox provided by the OS. This provides a level of consistency.

    • Justin Pot
      May 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      I'm not entirely sure, but I believe some level of sandboxing is on the way. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft pulls this all off regardless.