NOTE : Post updated on 24th June, 2015 as per Microsoft‘s clarification about upgrading policy.
Yes, you read the title correct! Windows 10, the last operating system of Microsoft‘s Windows series for desktops
can be availed by paying nothing at all. An update on Windows development blog says, there are some crucial changes for Windows Insider program policies. We all know that Microsoft introduced this program last year for Windows 10 beta testing and the people joined it helped Microsoft via their feedback to make Windows 10 bug free as much as possible.
The Redmond software giant now seems to be impressed by the feedback of Windows Insiders and is convinced to
offer genuine and free upgrade free and activated newer Windows 10 builds to these folks. This means in order to get free upgrade to Windows 10, following things are legitimate:
You can upgrade to final version of Windows 10 from Windows Insider or Technical Preview, the resulted OS will be activated by using your Microsoft account (MSA) which you’ve used to join Windows Insider program.
2. There is
no restriction a restriction that you necessarily have genuine and activated Windows 8.1 Update or Windows 7 SP1 installed, for the upgrade. On both these editions, Microsoft has already offered Get Windows 10 app to reserve the upgrade.
3. You don’t require a product key to activate Windows 10 at all. First thing is that Windows 10 builds are pre-keyed and second thing is that Microsoft utilizes your MSA to make your Windows 10 activated.
4. Once your Windows 10 is installed and gets activated, and in case if something goes wrong and you unexpectedly need to re-install the OS, you can re-install it from the ISO file. Only condition to remain genuine and activated is that you should keep connected your Windows 10 with MSA, which you used for Insider program.
5. Windows 10 will be free for the first year to all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users. This means, as long as you upgrade within the first 12 months (Free Upgrade Offer – July 29th 2015 to July 29th 2016), you don’t have to pay money for anything and it will be all yours for lifetime.
6 (new). If you continue to be part of Windows Insider program past 29th July 2015, and you’ve Windows 10 Preview installed, you’ll be continue to receive new Windows 10 builds but they are not exactly the RTM offered to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 genuine users. These builds will have an pre-determined expiry limit, however you’ll get delivered a newer build before the threshold limit to expiry of existing build reaches.
In case if you exit Windows Insider program after 29th July 2015, you’ll be rolled back to previous edition or you may be asked to get new Windows 10 license.
Here is what Microsoft‘s Gabe Aul (of Windows Insider program) says:
Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Home and Pro editions) with their registered MSA connected to their PC will receive the final release build of Windows 10 starting on July 29th. This will come as just another flight. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Windows Insiders about how this will work if they clean installed from ISO. As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated. Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.
So here is the complete scenario you need to perform to get Windows 10 for free.
How To Get Genuine And Activated Windows 10 For Free
1. If you’re on Windows 8.1 or 7 SP1 : Getting Windows 10 on these editions is simple. Follow these steps:
a. Reserve your Windows 10 upgrade with Get Windows 10 app. For reservation, you can use any valid MSA. There is no mandatory requirement to use Windows Insider’s MSA here, but you can use that too if you want.
b. When final version will be released, Get Windows 10 app will download it and prompt you for installation. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete upgrade. The activation will be carried forward by previous iteration’s activation.
2. If you’re on Windows Technical or Insider Preview : You need to take these actions:
a. Install the latest build of Windows 10 Preview and set yourself to receive newer build with Fast ring.
b. The builds you’re receiving will have a expiry date after which Windows may not work, so check for newer build before the time limit achieves and install a newer build.
c. Stay remain connected to MSA and be part of Windows Insider program, your system will be activated automatically, when you connect to Internet.
CAUTION : The newer builds may have certain bugs so always have a backup of your data on an external drive.
3. If you’re on Windows XP, Vista or any other Windows OS : A majority of public are still on these operating systems and Microsoft wants them to get on Windows 10. Please follow these steps:
(i) Way – 1 =
Upgrade your system to Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update (so that you remain genuine and activated) and then follow the steps mentioned in point 1.
(ii) Way – 2 = (For example, suppose you have Windows XP installed)
a. Create a partition of your hard drive such that new partition at least get around 25 GB allocated.
b. Install Windows 10 Preview to the new partition. Upgrade to Windows 10 RTM from preview version, as mentioned in point 2. Make your Windows 10 activated.
c. Copy all the stuff from Windows XP drive to Windows 10 using File Explorer. Say goodbye to Windows XP by formatting its partition. Finally, you now have a genuine, latest and activated Windows 10. You can also merge Windows XP‘s barren partition with Windows 10‘s partition to get more space.
In this way, you can get Windows 10 without paying anything. Please feel free to drop your queries via comments!