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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  • Computer Bottleneck - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Downloaded the Windows 10 Preview ISO (MS gives a product key). Then transferred to usb stick. Installing right now.
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Always funny to read what hoops people appreciate to jump through for just a free license of Windows.
  • quidpro - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Hoops like...installing it?
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Yes, like becoming part of the Insider program and installing a Beta version which also means to waive a lot of privacy because the "Insiders" have to grant Microsoft the rights to record any user activity done on the Beta versions and transmit it to Microsoft servers. Also the final version only runs dongled to the email address used to access the Insider program. That's a lot of crap to swallow for a stupid Windows license...
  • Murloc - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    who says you have to use it?
  • Computer Bottleneck - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    I doubt a person would need a Microsoft account to operate the Preview OS once it upgrades to the final version.

    The Microsoft account can always be deleted off the computer.
  • BillBear - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    Microsoft also requires some very personal information, like your phone number.
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    I never gave them my phone number.
  • BillBear - Monday, June 22, 2015 - link

    That is part of the information required to create a new Microsoft Account now.

    You have to respond to a confirmation email to even create the account and a separate confirmation text sent to your phone is required to activate certain features inside Windows 10 after you authenticate to Windows 10 with your Microsoft Account.
  • LordConrad - Sunday, June 21, 2015 - link

    I'm glad my upgrade to the release version will be free, because I don’t want to pay for this crap OS. I will be forced to keep a copy in order to help my customers (VM only, of course), but I sure as hell don’t want to pay good money for this turd. I’m not that crazy about Windows 8.1, but at least you can make it look and work almost exactly like Windows 7 (thanks to Start8).

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