Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Upgrade to Windows 10?

Any time between June and September Microsoft will release Windows 10 ("this summer" is all we know).

Microsoft has officially said that users of Windows 7 and of Windows 8 and 8.1 will for one year be able to upgrade for free to Windows 10. There is a little bit of a disclaimer though: The footnote says "for the lifetime of the device".

Upgrade "for free"? That sounds (almost) too good to be true. Around Microsoft I have learned to be very cautious. Trying to find more information about this I found two very different interpretations:
  1. As long as it happens within one year after Win 10's official release you can upgrade to Win 10 for free "for the lifetime of the device".

    What if your well maintained Win 7 computer still runs great in January 2020 and you want to keep it running? Will you then have to pay for Windows 10? If yes how much? Upgrade or new license fee?
  2. As long as it happens within one year after Win 10's official release you can upgrade to Win 10 for free. After the first "free" year Microsoft will switch to a subscription model and you need to pay a monthly or yearly license fee to be allowed to use Windows 10.

    This would amount to a huge money grab. With your current system you have paid for the license to use the operating system; with Windows 7 until Jan. 2020, with Windows 8 until Jan. 2023. Microsoft wants to give you one year for free and then they will start to charge?

    Let's say you upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10; 2016 would be free but you would have to pay an additional license fee for three years (2017, 2018and 2019). For upgrades from Win 8 it would be six more years!
For my customers "the device" certainly is their computer. There is no better definition so I assume that "lifetime" is the time for which Microsoft supports the operating system of the computer. Win 7 support ends in January 2020, Win 8 support ends in January 2023.

The details of what really will happen are unknown. Currently my advice is
Do not upgrade right away, wait until the fog has cleared and we have answers to the questions above.
In another article in the near future I will outline the main "improvements" that will come with Windows 10.

Update 5-15-2015: My concerns about an eventual money grab were unfounded. Something up to now unimaginable has happened, you can read about it here.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

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