We told you not too long ago how it looked increasingly likely that anyone who was already testing the Windows 10 Insider Preview would be able to get a free copy of the operating system when it became available next month. That sounded just wonderful, especially to those who were not eligible for a free version as part of an upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8, but alas, things aren’t always as they seem.

Microsoft has now sort of backtracked from original promise, by updating the post on official Windows blog for the third time to make things a little clearer as far as free versions of Windows 10 are concerned, and while it’s still relatively good news for most, things aren’t entirely as wonderful as we thought they were just a few days ago.


According to Microsoft, while everyone currently running Windows 7 and Windows 8 will get free upgrades to Windows 10 when it becomes available to the public, those currently testing the beta releases of Microsoft’s next big software via Insider Preview Program will not necessarily get a fresh copy of Windows 10 for themselves unless they are eligible via the existing upgrade offer. Microsoft says that in order for those testing Windows 10 to continue to use it as a fully licensed, 100% legitimate install, they’ll need to agree to continue being the software company’s guinea pig. That is, they’ll need to continue testing Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates as part of its Insider Preview Program. As a result, anyone who is not part of that program will likely see their version of Windows 10 fall behind, becoming unlicensed in the process. Ouch.

Of course, most people will be eligible for a free copy of Windows 10 as part of the Windows 7 and Windows 8 upgrade program, that means anyone running genuine versions of those two are able to get a free upgrade so long as they do it within 12 months of Windows 10’s release. Some people were hoping to use the Insider Preview Program as a way of getting another copy however, perhaps for use on a completely new build or an old machine still chugging along with Windows Vista.


Unfortunately for them though, they’re out of luck unless they agree to continue testing Microsoft’s software.

Windows 10 is set for release on July 29th.

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