(Also see: Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade, but New Users Will Need to Shell Out Up to $199)
The stance change is significant, as users can fresh install the Windows 10 Insider Preview build from an ISO file without requiring a licensed copy of Windows – giving new users a method to get genuine Windows 10 for free without paying a dime. The blog post also added, “Once you have successfully installed this build, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.”
To be precise, the blog post had initially read, “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.” It was updated on Saturday to remove the last three words. This implies at some point, Windows Insider users will have to pay to remain activated, and enjoy the full range of services – though what activation brings hasn’t yet been specified.
(Also see: How to Reserve Your Free Windows 10 Upgrade)
Aul adds that the Windows Insider Program for Windows 10 will continue after the release of the final build, and that Windows Insiders will continue to receive updates. Aul does not clarify however if activation is required to receive updates.
Another addition in the updated blog post was further clarification regarding the freeWindows 10 upgrade offer. Aul said, “It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.”
To recall, the Redmond giant had last month backtracked and clarified that Microsoft would not offer a free Windows 10 upgrade to users of non-genuine Windows copies. Instead a paid upgrade path will be provided.
(Also see: Microsoft Lists Features You’ll Lose When Upgrading to Windows 10)
Also detailed on the blog post was use of the Microsoft Account. Aul said, “Once available on July 29th, you do not need an MSA to upgrade Windows 10 on your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PCs if they are not receiving Insider Preview builds. You will not be required to use an MSA on new PCs that come with Windows 10 preinstalled or clean installed from media. Some features in Windows 10 do require an MSA to use, such as downloading apps in the Windows Store.