Microsoft unveils Windows 10 upgrade paths coming from Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

Microsoft explains how users will upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Windows 10 demo at BUILD 2015

Microsoft blog unveils upgrade paths to Windows 10. It’s was recently when the software giant unveiled to the world the editions of Windows 10, which will launch later this summer, beginning with the desktop version of the operating system. However, the company still hasn’t officially share the upgrade paths details coming from previous version of Windows.

While such information is likely to be revealed as we get closer to Windows 10 RTM, the Microsoft Partner Network Blog hints how users will upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.

In the article, Alex Snelson from the Microsoft’s Windows product manager in Australia details the licensing and the free upgrade scenarios for most of the Windows 10 editions.

Windows 10 editions

If it’s still a little unclear Windows 10 will have six editions, below you’ll find a list of all the editions announced and licensing information:

  • Windows 10 Home for consumers and BYOD scenarios, available under the free upgrade
  • Windows 10 Pro for small and lower mid-size businesses, available under the free upgrade
  • Windows 10 Enterprise for Mid-size and large enterprises, available under VL
  • Windows 10 Education designed to meet the needs of schools – teachers, students, staff, and administrators, available under VL
  • Windows 10 Mobile for consumer, small, mid-size and large enterprises and academic institutions, available under OEM
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for mid-size and large enterprises with IoT scenarios, available under OEM (IoT), VL

Windows 10 free upgrade paths

Now, here is how the free upgrade path scenarios will work during the first year of Windows 10:

  • Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.
  • Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
  • If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
  • Excludes Windows Enterprise and RT devices
  • The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.

According to the information available, it seems that Microsoft will be delivering Windows 10 as an update through the Windows Update service, instead of users having to go through the Windows Store, which in the past caused a lot issues when the company tried to roll out the Windows 8.1 update.

Keep in mind that Microsoft will let genuine and non-genuine versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 10. However, only those properly licensed PCs can take full advantage of the operating system. Those running a pirated version of Windows 10 will receive a watermark message on the desktop alerting them of the issue. If you happen to be part of this group, Microsoft said that it will be offering a great deal to upgrade to a legit version of the operating system.

Source Microsoft via WinSuperSite

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].