When should an operating system become free? Usually when it’s no longer profitable, or based on open source tech. However, at their recent January 21st press event for Windows 10, Microsoft announced that for a limited time Windows 10 would be free for users of older systems – our second article of three articles looks in depth at just how this will be accomplished.
For the first year after the OS is released, upgrades from Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10 will be free – following that one year period upgrades may end up being charged for as with previous Windows products.
Free versions of the OS will be given free upgrades to next versions, according to Microsoft. “Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device—at no additional charge.” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems Group.
Windows 10 is getting marketed not only as a computer operating system, but as a ‘service’ says Microsoft. The product will be consistently upgraded as we said above, and it will no longer be the case that some users are running an older version of Windows 10. “With Windows 10, we think of Windows as a service… The question ‘what version are you running’ will cease to make sense.” Myerson continued.
One of the big surprises from the announcement of the free upgrade is the welcome revelation that computers running the Windows 7 OS, from back in 2009, would be able to get their hands on Windows 10 – over half the world’s personal computers are currently running the 6 year old OS, meaning that once the upgrade goes through nearly as many will be running Windows 10.
Meanwhile on the updates front, we’ve read that Windows 10 will be able to roll updates out to different users at a different pace, through user profile ‘channels’. Administrators will be able to choose the pace updates arrive on networks of user profiles, and then also there will be two channels that never get updated from stock and always receive new updates respectively.
This way one can use multiple user accounts to manage and control the flow of updates, as some businesses may have to adapt software prior to rolling out changes to Windows 10.
The Windows 10 Technical Preview is to go out to all users in the coming next few days – the program won’t be a finished version, but you can expect the features we have discussed above to be included, so feel free to check it out.
Via: Ars Technica