It has finally happened, folks. Microsoft has ended the free upgrade promo for Windows 10, so if you didn’t perform the switch to the new operating system before July 29, you can’t get to use it without paying for the license.
Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 on July 29, 2015, and decided to offer it as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8.1 users for one year. This means that everyone who performed the upgrade to Windows 10 during the first 12 months can continue using it without paying a single cent during the entire lifetime of their device.
The campaign was possible with Get Windows 10, a highly criticized app that’s no longer available and that was responsible not only for helping users upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10 but also for forcing the new operating system on a number of PCs without owners’ consent.
In fact, this unexpected behavior, which Microsoft has denied from the very beginning, has brought the company in court, with allegations that Redmond forced the Windows 10 upgrade on some PCs even though users specifically refused it.
Right now, if you want to move to Windows 10 from Windows 7, Windows 8.1, XP, Vista, or from a non-Windows platform, your only option is to purchase a license. The Home version costs $119.99 while the Pro is up for grabs for $199.99 - these are the US prices, because pricing in the rest of the world varies by taxes. Microsoft says that Windows 10 has the same pricing as Windows 8.1, though.
The company’s latest figures indicated that there were 350 million devices running Windows 10, but this probably improved by the end of July, so new data is very likely to be provided on August 2, when the Anniversary Update goes live.
This is Microsoft’s next key milestone before starting work on Redstone 2, which the second major update for Windows 10 expected to see daylight in spring 2017.