In case you have been practising the Luddite lifestyle, participating in an experiment simulating life on Mars, here’s a news flash for you.
Windows 10 is about to ship, and you may already be entitled to a copy.
Users with a licensed version of Windows 7 or 8.1 home or pro will be able to upgrade to the same version of Windows 10 through Windows Update. Here’s what else you should know.
1. Is it free?
According to Microsoft, the Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own.
Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier.
Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required.
In other words, if you currently have a licensed copy of a retail version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 (but not Enterprise) then you can reserve your free copy.
2. How long is free free?
For the supported lifecycle of Windows 10. This is not a trial, or a one-year subscription, or anything like that. This is the full and fully supported product.
3. When will the upgrade be available?
You will be able to download your full version starting July 29. Make sure you have a good connection, as it will be a roughly 3GB download.
4. Will the previews convert to the full version?
No. If you are currently running one of the CTP (Community Technology Preview) versions, it will not upgrade to the final release. You will have to download that and install it fresh, or to an eligible Windows 7 or 8.1 system.