Yesterday, Gabe Aul, the head of the Windows Insider program, put up a blog post which answers one of the most asked questions regarding the ongoing Windows 10 preview program. How will Windows Insiders get access to the final release of Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade? The answer is pretty simple: be running the Windows 10 preview and be signed in with the Microsoft Account used to register as a Windows Insider.

Even better, once you have upgraded, you can then do a clean install of the operating system from an ISO and you will still be active. The product activation will be tied to your Microsoft Account.

In preparation for the final release, there will be some changes to the Insider Program and how updates are delivered, and it will prompt you to sign in with a Microsoft Account if you have not done so. However Mr. Aul was very clear to point out that once the final release is available, it will not be necessary to sign in with a Microsoft Account on any computer with Windows 10 pre-installed, or clean-installed from media. There will of course be functionality missing that is tied to the account, such as the ability to download apps from the Windows Store, but that choice will be left to the end user.

Also, and this has been said before, the Windows Insider program will continue even after Windows 10 launches on July 29th, so if you want to always have the latest programs and features, you can keep active and provide feedback as well.

If anyone is running the Windows 10 Enterprise preview edition, make note that this version will not be eligible for the free upgrade, since Enterprise requires a Volume Licensing agreement. If you are running Enterprise on a device that won’t require Enterprise after July 29th, it would likely be a good idea to reinstall the preview with the Pro version instead so that it will be updated to the full release.

I think there are a lot of people who keep wondering what the trick is going to be, with some people thinking that Windows 10 will require future payments, but the trick will be on Microsoft if they can’t get people to update to a common platform, since their entire model seems to be revolving around a common app platform and store. At Build, they stated they wanted Windows 10 to be on 1 billion devices in three years, and it really seems like they are serious about that with such a big reversal in pricing. For those that want to buy Windows 10 after July 29th, it will cost $119 for Home and $199 for Pro. Of course if you have a licensed copy of Windows 7 or 8, you will be offered the update for free for the first year.

Source: Windows Blog

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  • _thalamus - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    No. It doesn't say that at all.

    The free upgrade offer for consumers, which they get the prompts to reserve their update for, is completely different to the free upgrade offer to insiders, which is pushed down as another build and is linked to your Microsoft account.

    I think the 'reminder' in that post about the genuine versions required is a veiled suggestion to anyone who doesn't have a genuine version to join Windows Insider so they get the upgrade for free.
  • BillBear - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    That is a change Microsoft silently made to their post after they made the original promise and it was confirmed by their own Gabe Awl on social media.

    Originally their announcement was as Brett described it in TFA. Now they have altered it.

    Pray they do not alter it further /sarcasm
  • mdbusa - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    i have the enterprise preview installed over a win 7 on a lenovo x240--if I want the pro version what steps do I have to take?
  • Brett Howse - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Wipe it out and install the Pro version from the Windows Insider program rather than the Enterprise preview program
  • mdbusa - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    how did i end up with enterprise edition??did i select that while installing?? so if i download a new iso I can reinstall and select the pro version?
  • lilmoe - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    You probably entered an Enterprise key... Use the default key if prompted (you shouldn't get a prompt of you downloaded the ISO from the insider program).
  • kgh00007 - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    This is still not very clear, I've been running the preview in a VM scince I found it too unstable to run daily. Will I get a Windows 10 activation key or not?

    One that I could use on a new build or not?

    Or is it tied to that VM?

    Right now this is not crystal clear.
  • Brett Howse - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Your VM will get the free upgrade as part of this, but assuming your VM is running on a licensed copy of Windows 7 or 8, then the host will also get the offer. We already knew that Windows 7 and 8 licensed people will get the free upgrade, but there was questions about those running the Windows 10 preview, and especially those who installed the Windows 10 preview as a clean install. If you are running Windows 10 preview, and using the same MS Account as you registered into the program with, you will get Windows 10 final.

    "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." - Gabe Aul
  • digiguy - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    I am in a similar situation. I have tested the insider preview in a VM in my Surface pro 3. Can I install a preview on a 2nd pc with the same MS account (over a Windows 7 OS)? Also, if I install the pro over a Windows 7 home premium version, will I keep the pro after that? If so, it would be a way to upgrade to pro for free before W10 is released
  • Mikemk - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Full or OEM license?

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