"Microsoft’s decision to give its next version of Windows as a free upgrade for 12 months"
It's apparently a chargeable upgrade with an up to one year evaluation period. After that you presumably must pay....
First the good news: Windows 10 will be free – for one year. Microsoft announced upgrades to its next-planned client operating system during an outpouring of PR love and vision on Wednesday. We won't claim the credit for Microsoft’s decision to give its next version of Windows as a free upgrade for 12 months to those on …
Exactly. A lot of folk will be hanging on to see what the "free" part of Windows 10 is going to be. It sounds too good to be true, and given MS' healthy income in the past simply from the OS one has to assume there will be a subscription aspect to it.
But maybe they are more worried about not getting their app-store to the unwashed masses then OEM fees, etc?
One also has to ask what the OEM terms will be, and are MS now on the back-foot with PC makers looking to diversify in to the cut-throat world Android tablets, Chromebooks, etc?
In respect to "It's apparently a chargeable upgrade with an up to one year evaluation period. After that you presumably must pay...."
I'm still sceptical but It doesn't sound like that from this from Terry Myerson:
"This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device"
Sounds more like "For the first 12 months after release you can upgrade for nothing, after that you'll have to buy the upgrade if you want it" but once upgraded, you're OK for the life of the product.
Or in other words "we need some cheap testers" ?
I wonder if this means that you need a W7 or W8 activation code to activate the "free" upgrade? Might be worth shoving an old spare disk into my W7 laptop to get the "free" upgrade loaded, then pop the W7 one back in while they work the bugs out of W10. When W7 finally dies, W10 will be ready...
This is why my desktop has changeable drive bays. Put in one hard drive - XP. Put in another, 7. Now I buy another hard drive, download 10 whenever it happens, and my computer will have yet another personality. On their proper drive, all the old (or new) programs will function just fine.If I get tired of it all, I pop in the Ubuntu drive. And it just takes adding a drive bay.
It's not that easy, with a laptop; it's even harder with a fondleslab. The desktop stays.
Surely it's easier to install all of your disks and disable them in the bios when not needed and/or use a boot loader. Which you can also do on a laptop by emptying the DVD drive bay. Downside is the extra draw of electricity and noise of disks spinning when they wake, upside you can access data from other system's disks.
"Or in other words "we need some cheap testers" ?"
No, when you tell people that they can upgrade for an entire year, it's not because you're looking for testers.
Based on the little bits I've seen of it, my bets are that Microsoft wants to get as many consumers to W10 ASAP in order to push the Windows Phone connections. If they throw in "free trial subscriptions" to Office 365, that can also be their hook to try to "upgrade" people using older versions of Office as well. MS may finally simply be turning Windows into the "free" core to increase sales of subscription-based items over the long term.
It means that if you hit the download button from a Windows 7/8/8.1 machine and the date is between the launch date and the launch date + 12 months then it the cost is $0. Otherwise there will be a price attached.
"We will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device" - just like XP/Vista/7/8/8.1.
If you think it's going to lock up after 12 months and ask you for your credit card number like Cryptolocker then you're barking up the wrong tree. It's just not legally possible to do that, the Windows you've got now is yours and can't be taken off you.
What they may possibly do is charge for updates after the initial support period is over, like many people said should have been done with Windows XP when it was EOL'd.
"It's just not legally possible to do that, the Windows you've got now is yours and can't be taken off you."
I suggest you read the upgrade EULA before clicking through, it's possible to give away your current rights even if MS cant unilaterally remove them.
You don't own your Windows install, you own a licence to it.
EULA != the law, consumer rights trump EULAs
What exactly does Consumer Law have to do with MicroSofts shady practices? Perhaps the Consumer, being forcibly bent over for the last time, will start to wise up and leave MicroSoft.
So while the EULA may not trump the Law, per-say I wish you nothing but the best of luck in fighting it. I gather MicroSofts Lawyers, are bigger then your Lawyers.
"So while the EULA may not trump the Law, per-say I wish you nothing but the best of luck in fighting it. I gather MicroSofts Lawyers, are bigger then your Lawyers."
I'll give you an example. Selling your used Windows license is/was illegal according to the EULA, but is legal according to the law of Finland. Microsoft's lawyers cannot do anything about it.
That all depends on which country you are in. In Australia, software is a product that you own, not a licence that you own.
Also, given that the EULA only pops up after I have paid my money for the product, this renders the EULA invalid under Australian consumer law, as you cannot impose extra terms and conditions after the point of sale.
What really interests me though is "the supported lifetime of the product". Given most of the regulars here are technically based folks, odds on at least 90% of us are supporting at least one device that went end-of-life with the manufacturer years ago, but that does not stop us from supporting it.
Companies and their lawyers like playing semantics, lets see how well they go when end users start playing semantics back at them.
The problem is that tricky phrase, "for the supported lifetime of the device". He could easily have said "for the lifetime of the device" if that's what he'd meant, but chose not to - and statements like that aren't made on the hoof, they're carefully prepared in advance. In the absence of any clarification there has to be a suspicion that at some point (when Windows 11 is launched, perhaps) the old hardware will be deemed inadequate to run the equivalent of a Windows 10 Service Pack, and that will be the end of upgrades for the "free" Windows 10.
'The problem is that tricky phrase, "for the supported lifetime of the device".'
I have a VM running W7. It started off as what seemed a reasonable size for a VM which only runs one application for which I don't have as good a substitute on Linux. However every time it got patched it grew and grew. Now, despite applying the "clean system files" option (or whatever it's called) firing up the VM brings up error messages about not having enough room for swap files.
So maybe "the supported lifetime of the device" means "the time it takes to bloat over all the drive it was installed on".
A VM is forever. I'm also a Linux user and only run Windows as a VM. You can move the VM to different hardware and different versions of Linux without Windows knowing it's been moved. All you have to do is make sure that the new VM is identical to the old including MAC IDs.
As for increasing the size of the virtual disk, that's easy. I've done it for an XP VM and it worked fine. Create a larger virtual disk, then in a Linux VM mount both the old WIndows virutal disk and the new larger disk and use DD to copy the old disk to the new one. Use ntfsresize it resize the partition. You can also resize with gparted.
>A VM is forever.
Unless the W10 upgrade invalidates the W7 license. Which would be normal in an upgrade. W7 was the first version of windows to successfully enforce the licensing, so comparisons with XP are likely to be misleading.
You'd have to be sure it never talked to the MS' license servers to make this work.
Your VM can't grow the drive size to something adequate? Sounds like a software problem to me.
While it is true that when Bill Gates uttered the infamous phrase that disk space was free it wasn't, these days is pretty much is. Even a cheap laptop comes with a 250G hard drive these days, and even at 81G for all of my installed apps and data on my work system, that's not even 1/3 of the available disk space.
True, you'll probably have problems with .dll rot and the like, but with MS shunning service packs, these days you'll get that no matter what.
"Even a cheap laptop comes with a 250G hard drive these days, and even at 81G for all of my installed apps and data on my work system, that's not even 1/3 of the available disk space."
Yeah, I say that to myself everytime I purchase a new hard disk, only to find six months later that I've managed to fill it up.
"The problem is that tricky phrase, "for the supported lifetime of the device""
There have been clarifications before from Microsoft - was it Office 2013 or W7 OEM or W8??. IIRC you could not re-install the software on the same machine in the case of a hardware failure - unless the machine was still under its supplier's warranty.
I could see that being a return to factory repair - but not for a home upgrade.
Office OEM for many years has not been re-installable. The activate stated that the licence didn't permit the new install.
W7 Retail certainly had more activation restrictions than XP. I fell foul of them when using the well tried XP method of cloning the original system disk - then experimenting to fix a problem using the clone disk. That meant having to experiment with the live disk - in the hope that the clone could be used to recreate the original if the fixes went wrong. Strangely the clone disk itself was accepted as having a legal licence after being on the shelf for 3 months.
If you think it's going to lock up after 12 months and ask you for your credit card number like Cryptolocker then you're barking up the wrong tree. It's just not legally possible to do that, the Windows you've got now is yours and can't be taken off you.
Isn't amazing what a few lines of EULA can do? While on the face of it, as things currently stand. You are correct. But, the "Problem" is, that Windows X hasn't hit yet. And, NOBODY, besides their Marketing-Droids know what will happen. If anything this may be their way of holding up a moistened Finger up to see which way the Wind is blowing.
But, when has that (TIFKAM), ever stopped 'em from making poor decisions before? The simple fact of the matter is that MicroSoft has had a perpetual hard-on for Windows as a Service, for Years now. And its absolutely correct to be paranoid about that.
The Ultimate Question.... Will be if they can get away with it.... The Answer will of course be no! But, bless their little Hearts for trying anyway.
If I had actually wanted an OS as a Service.. I'd have gone with a Chrome Book. If this is all the Future has in store for us... Then thank Zarquon for Linux!
Of course it's not going to lock up after the Support period ends. That would be very unhelpful.
What could happen is Cortana will remind you every so often (every day, unless you boot up more frequently, in which case it'll be a couple of minutes after you login), every time you login) that your support period has expired and that you should renew as soon as possible. This will be Cortana being helpful, and probably count as a 'feature'.
Microsoft realise that the inevitable chaos that would follow any "12 month upgrade trial" expiry, would be a PR and legal nightmare of epic proportions.
There is no way they are going to entice users off full Windows 7 & 8 licences, and then pull the rug out from under them a year later. It's just not going to happen.
>There is no way they are going to entice users off full Windows 7 & 8 licences, and then pull the rug out from under them a year later. It's just not going to happen.
The question is "who will qualify" - is this just W10 Home Edition? People on W7 don't feel the need to upgrade, so no sale there anyway. If MS start rolling out one version of Windows per year, after one or two years you might lose security fixes without a subscription. That means people on W7 will have had 4-6 years on windows without paying for an upgrade - probably about right, in MS' thinking. The question is, how would MS degrade the experience in general, even if people knew they were buying "W10 as a service"? Drop the screen resolution to 800x600? Nag dialogues every 5 minutes? I can't think of anything acceptable to great-aunt Ethel.
I can't believe people (even the ones here) think that MS would ransom machines to get a fee, one time, and then never get another sale.
Not only are the statements fairly obvious, only misconstrued with malice as far as I can see, they have several plain purposes:
1. A PR coup to make them look good.
2. Removal of Windows 8 almost entirely since most will just see it as a normal upgrade (which it is after all) and install it.
3. Seriously reduce the Windows 7 end of life issue.
4. Create a lot more possible app purchasers.
There are more I imagine but that would be enough in my book.
Bear in mind that most Win7 machines will be long in the tooth soon after and the owners will be looking for new hardware, running, what else? Win10.
I know, I am one of them, my laptop is already three years old but this will give it a new lease of life, for about a year perhaps.
If you think it's going to lock up after 12 months and ask you for your credit card number like Cryptolocker then you're barking up the wrong tree. It's just not legally possible to do that, the Windows you've got now is yours and can't be taken off you.
Sure they can do that. You don't own Windows, you get a license to use it. They dictate the terms of the license, which can expire. Perhaps after the free 12 months is up, you can't use Windows anymore (although I doubt they would keep you from copying off your data). Or maybe they have a different plan in mind, but they do say they're going for "Windows as a service" which strongly implies limited term licensing like Adobe's doing.
Apparently I was incorrect in the second part of my comment; MS has confirmed (according to http://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-windows-10-will-not-be-sold-as-a-subscription/) that it's not going to be a subscription license. Not that they couldn't do that, but as others have pointed out, it would be too confusing for the average user.
So I'm a bit confused as to what benefit MS gains giving away Windows 10 for the first year. Granted, it's not to all Windows users, or even to all Windows 7/8/8.1 users, but it would still represent a significant loss of potential income. They're a corporation, so bottom line is the main concern. Free word-of-mouth advertising from the early adopters?
Your assuming that all the Windows licensing revenue comes from the consumer and it doesn't even come close. The real revenues come from new computers (OEM), business, and enterprise (there's a bit of distinction between the last two). As the enterprise editions of Windows aren't part of the whole free upgrade process, which may or may not extend only 12 months after release, we really are looking at the first two and not even all of just business customers. Market segmentation 101. Face, most people up until now have waited for yon computer to die and get whatever new version of Windows on it as part of the upgrade. There aren't very many consumers that spring for such directly. I know I'm a pretty rare beast for buying retail Windows. The others I've come into contact with all built their own computers.
What Microsoft the firm gets out of this is moving the consumers onto their Cloud-First/Mobile-First flavor of Windows at not much loss in revenue thus unifying the split code-base and definitely giving a shot in the arm of methamphetimes to the Windows Store. Do recall one of the selling points (err, features) of Windows 10 is having the Windows Experience follow you from device to device. Hell, I just thought of it actually following you right into your vehicle then into the office, or wherever, as well if it runs Windows as well. (Hear that Google?)
It's not for me, but I can definitely see the possible synergies (Execs, especially marketing execs, love that word) and I'm sure there are more than a few that we haven't heard all about yet. Don't want to tip off the competition too much, now do we?
And that calls for a pint.
> It's just not legally possible to do that,
Sure it is. This was standard practice for large server operating systems at one time.
I've been witness to the OS license on a server expiring.
It's something that may cause a massive consumer backlash if applied to a Microsoft product, but it's perfectly legal and has been done before.
"It means that if you hit the download button from a Windows 7/8/8.1 machine and the date is between the launch date and the launch date + 12 months then it the cost is $0. Otherwise there will be a price attached."
Whoa, whoa there. If this means yet another 3Gb+ download for the upgrade for each and every machine, they can get stuffed.
"If you think it's going to lock up after 12 months and ask you for your credit card number like Cryptolocker then you're barking up the wrong tree. It's just not legally possible to do that, the Windows you've got now is yours and can't be taken off you."
Windows 10 is FREE* for 12 months.
*Your Windows 10 subscription is $9.95 a month with the first 12 months free, you may cancel your subscription at any time and your computer will switch to Really Annoying Mode with full screen video ads.
That would be legally possible I think.
"Windows 10 is Microsoft’s make-or-break operating system and Microsoft needs to do everything it can to kick-start adoption and move PC customers on. If Windows 10 goes wrong and people don’t upgrade, that’ll be two Windows busts in succession. That would be terrible for business and for Microsoft."
This articles whole premise seems off. I've worked for 5000+ organizations as well as startups. At neither did they upgrade the OS's on existing machines when a new version of Windows came out, with the exceptions of a few key machines. The issue when a new version of Windows came out was what to specify when new machines were purchased. Since machines were replaced after they were a few years old (maybe even as old as 5 years old), the "move" to the new version of Windows was really via the OEM route. I'd like to see a revenue breakdown for, say Windows 7, between revenue for OEM licenses of Windows 7, site license upgrade licenses, and over the counter (consumer) upgrade licenses. My bet is that OEM licenses are basically the whole enchilada.
So yes, Microsoft needs Windows 10 to take over, but it's not like they are not charging for OEM Windows 7 licenses if people order machines with Windows 7.
I know in my organization, no one is going to order Windows 10 if it uses a subscription model. We already moved away from Adobe products for that reason, and we can't be happier to not be constantly paying Adobe mafia-like "protection money".
Let me get this straight: at an enterprise you once worked for, with over 5k employees, the IT department supported whatever OEM instance of Windows happened to arrive on the box when it shipped. There was no single image used for the fleet? Did they also light the place with table lamps and heat it with box heaters? Did the cafe serve 100s of different 'specials' each day?
"HOWEVER, If UK, Europe, Australian Governments, Made a Linux dist standard @ all Schools & Uni, in a few years, NO MORE MS royalties, wonder how much that would save TAXPAYERS, BANKS, Business in General ?"
Nothing or likely more - you would pay for the migration, support and integration costs instead. And you would end up running both platforms for decades. Munich council tried it for over a decade, it cost a fortune to only partially migrate and it was hated by the users and they are now desperately trying to reverse course: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2014/08/munich-city-linux-switching-back-windows
Yeah and in 1923, they rallies for Hilter too, a long history of backin wrong horse ...
Read the article, their problems are cause by, NOT doing a Software/Hardware/Network audit b4 rollout, and users refusing to learn a new system or and software, being stuck in their ways .....
But I agree a whole city in europe installing windows, is a miracle, hope it makes up 4 surface sales figures ....
Blimey Gavin, how long did it take you find a negative spin for "FREE AS IN BEER"?
Not a subscription, just free. A giveaway.
What would you have written if it wasn't free? Same story, different headline?
PRICEY UPGRADE TO WIN10 WILL KILL WINDOWS FOREVER - subheading "Please love me, hate brigade".
What next? Will open sourcing .NET be a cancer?
Get a proper job or go work for the Sport or the Mail - they don't have any readers capable of bullshit detection.
Except that's not quite what they said and it's been a common misconception this morning.
Upgrading to Windows 10 is free IN the first 12 months after release, after which presumably such an upgrade will have a cost.
There's no indication of a subscription model for that upgrade, indeed to quote:
"This is more than a one-time upgrade: 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 cost."
@dogged: a free *UPGRADE* for an OS they're likely to abandon after <3 years? They have absolutely no option but to give Win8 users a free upgrade, or face another crippling backlash. For nearly a year there have been questions asked about whether Win9 then Win10, would be charged for or treated as Win8 service packs and the feedback has been pretty clear.
Win7 *UPGRADES* being temporarily free - that's market reality smacking them in the wallet. The $25 upgrade to Win8 didn't work well enough, they have to go cheaper. Or no one is moving off 7 till a few years after it's discontinued. By the end of that free year the market supply of Win7 licences will have dried up and the choice will be Win10 or another OS.
MS are desperate and cannot bully users they way they got used to under monkey boy.
I would have had no problem in paying $25 to upgrade to Windows 8 if it was an improvement on Windows 7, but it is more of a downgrade than an upgrade, so even if it was free, and as I had a Technet subscription at the time, there was no marginal cost anyway.
One of the great things about Windows 2 back in the days was overlapping, resizable Windows. We seem to have somehow lost that in the TIFKAM side of Windows 8.
I think we can assume that this is a preview for the Windows subscription model where ordinary punters are required to pay annually almost as much as Windows used to cost to buy outright.
Contrary to the Reg headline, from the hardware sellers viewpoint, perhaps there is a cost cut possible on PCs.
However, once punters catch on to the plot to bleed them annually, even more will desert to Mac than were driven away by Win8 catastrophe.
"I think we can assume that this is a preview for the Windows subscription model where ordinary punters are required to pay annually almost as much as Windows used to cost to buy outright."
Why can we? How can you possibly assume that? It's a free upgrade if you chose to do so in the first year after release. Once it's done, it's done. It's yours - off you go into the great beyond. That's IT.
If you upgrade AFTER that first year, you will have to pay a small upgrade fee.
What is wrong with everyone? Why is this so hard to understand? This isn't about trickery or smoke and mirrors - this isn't even about "Windows versus Linux". This is just about people being blind and STUPID.
R. T. F****NG M.
"However, once punters catch on to the plot to bleed them annually, even more will desert to Mac than were driven away by Win8 catastrophe."
Right, Apple will just stop supporting your pricey Apple hardware, when it suits them. The OS becomes a moot point then. The Mac-Mini users are already crying the blues, just as the original Apple][ owners did in the 80's. Anyone thinking Apple will reward their loyalty has more money than brains.
Where the hell are you above getting the sbscription / its only free for a year idea from ?
Read the article and others etc and see things like this
"Also on Wednesday, Microsoft’s vice president of operating systems Terry Myerson said once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device “at no cost”.
Lookie, "At No Cost". I have read every article here and several other places and the only time subs are mentioned its in the comments section.
Please stop spreading unfounded rumor unless you can post a quote from a high level Microsoft emplyee stating otherwise.
I suspect "supported lifetime" is pretty clear. M$ support (i.e issue security updates for etc) the last few OSs. So XP support ended in April 2014. I believe Vista support is due to end in early 2017, and Win 7 in 2020. So supported lifetime of Win 10 will go until about 2026 or so. And if you want support after the end-of-support date THEN you will have to pay, as you do for XP support now. They're not daft enough to suggest that they will support Win 10 for the next 50 years.
That's all it means, it's nothing new, it's what M$ have always done. It doesn't mean that when support ends it stops working, just that if you want support after 10 years, you'll have to pay for it.
I'd say "Simples!" but that's a bit naff....
I think what's going on is people are looking at this and saying, "if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is."
Dirt cheap upgrades from vista/7 to 8, free upgrades from 7/8 to 10. The question of where/when is MS making their money makes people really nervous, especially when we know they are keen on the subscription model. If they had said, "W10 will be free to buy for a year and include free support until at least 2025, the expected end of the support for W10." then things would have been rather easier. Don't tell me they haven't got an EOL date for W10.
I think their plan in the consumer space is to make money from their Windows Store. In particular, they would like a slice of that yummy 30% that enables Steam to rake in billions just on the sale of games.
Imagine a store front like Steam built into every PC, offering not just games but a whole range of software, some for purchase, some with a subscription. That is why they want Windows 10 with Windows Store and integrated XBox app on every consumer desktop, and are prepared to give it away to achieve that.
^ This ^
Microsoft may have decided that they need a short term give away to make more money long term.
However, they have such a history of squeezing every last penny out our budgets that it's hard not to ask what the catch is. If people are suspicious of a Microsoft give away, it's only because they have conditioned us to be.
That said, I'm hoping this is as good a deal as it is presented.
> You tell me what "supported lifetime of the device" means and I'll stop ignoring the "at no cost" bit. Undefined words like that don't get added to statements by accident.
Jeebus the retardation level is strong on this topic, so much it hurts the brain.
1. Upgrading to Win10 from launch date to launch date + 1 year is free. If you upgrade during that time period, that is it, you now own Windows 10. The end.
2. For the supported lifetime of the device, you will ALSO get every following versions of windows for free.
True, "supported lifetime of the device" is very blurry but FFS, you are arguing about free upgrades to future versions after Win10, AND transforming this magically in your heads into "Windows 10 will deactivate at some magic date unless you provide a credit card number".
It boggles the mind.
> 2. For the supported lifetime of the device, you will ALSO get every following versions of windows for free.
That was not said at all. What was said was:
"""once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it* current for the supported lifetime of the device** “at no cost”."""
* 'it' refers to _Windows_10_ (normal pronoun rules). They will keep Windows 10 'current' with updates. New versions you will buy.
** 'supported lifetime of the device' means 'until the warranty expires'. After warranty expires you will pay for updates and new versions.
I think this misconception comes from people quoting the statement as "FOR the first year" instead of "IN the first year."
That small change, along with a simmering dislike of Microsoft, is enough to make people jump to a conclusion not supported by direct quotes from the company.
"Where the hell are you above getting the sbscription / its only free for a year idea from?"
As Dr Phil says, a good indicator of future behaivour, is relative past behaivour. It just doesnt' make any sense at all their current business plan goes along the lines of: "screw customers, screw customers, be nice, screw customers".
I don't see it happening.
I wonder how many people will realise - when it's too late that "for the lifetime of the device" was a hook and a whole raft of updates for Windows 10 are planned for AFTER the 1st year thereby rendering the current Win7/8 hardware useless - just like they have done in the past?
Was there any mention of different versions as there has been in the past with Home, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and that choice nightmare?
I wonder if it may turn out that anyone can upgrade to Win10 for free, but if you want the "professional" stuff like support for Domains in XP etc. then you end up paying? We'll have to wait and see but I look forward to seeing if they can truly keep it as simple as the one windows idea.
I'm sure the suits will get involved at some point.
I have a feeling this means devices sanctioned by Microsoft either manufactured itself or in partnership with device manufacturers (think phones and tablets). I suppose it could also mean the supported lifetime of the device by ANY manufacturer... How many of those 10 year old devices are still supported by the manufacturer?
I think that's why many will not jump on the free upgrade. If you have multiple systems where hardware vendors will not have driver support for older but great functioning devices upgrading is expensive. On 4 machines I would have almost every audio device with no driver support unless MS allows W7 drivers.
Surely the free-for-one-year offer is aimed at the consumer and small business markets; larger enterprises tend to decide their own upgrade schedules within which the actual licensing updates are a small part of the total cost.
The people it will affect are those selling Windows software into those markets,since they'll be expected to have their products running on Windows 10 at the launch date. ( *thinks*: must revisit that code flagged as needed for Windows 9x... )
...interpreting this as "for the first twelve months after release, the upgrade to Windows 10 will be free" and assuming that after that date you'd have to pay to upgrade (in the same way as if I wanted to purchase a copy of Windows 8.x now).
On all the articles relating to this that El Reg has published today, almost the entire line taken by commentards suggests that the OS will cease to function (leaving all the usual jokes aside) after this period and some kind of licence/subscription will be required. I'm no M$ schill but that just seems a tad pessimistic, even to my somewhat cynical nature regarding IT firms.
I could be wrong, and there's some suggestion (I don't know on what basis) that OEM installs mighbt be treated differently and of course there's the issue of versions (Pro, Ultimate, Enterprise etc) being upgraded appropriately (and I apologise if I've missed this information somewhere) to be sorted when the detail is made available, but on the face of it this seems a simple offer, and for those so inclined, not a bad one.
No, not the only one, glad to see a few people are capable of reading, the idea as I see it is, get as many people onto Windows 10 on their PC, tablet or phone as quickly as possible so as to encourage app makers to make apps, with crossbuying, you can run the app on whatever device you like.
This is if you upgrade your current Windows 7/8/8.1 PC or tablet or Windows 8 phone to Windows 10 in the first year. If you don't upgrade for whatever reason within 12 months of Windows 10 launching, then you will have to purchase a copy of Windows 10. The "life of your device" comment probably has a catch somewhere, I would guess 10 years, not to bad a life for something that runs Windows 7 right now, to add on another 10 years, that would make my works PC and home pc (Pentium 4, Dual Cores) about 18 years old, which is not to bad. If you were to buy a new PC today with Windows 8.1, upgrade to Windows 10 at launch, (October 2015?) then you'll get 10 years of support, which is not bad I guess, how long was Windows XP support up for?
The exact wording the MS use for the "FREE" part is:
"A free upgrade1 for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, who upgrade in the first year"
So that looks like free to me so long as you already own Windows 7 or 8.1, upgrade within 1 year of Windows 10 being released and keep the device.
Any new devices will need a new (and presumably paid for) license
True. But the sentence before the one you quoted reads "Windows 10 will be delivered as a service to offer a safer, innovative and updated experience for the supported lifetime of the device." This is the one that introduces two doubts.
1. What does "as a service" mean? As long as you keep paying us?
2. What does "supported lifetime" mean?
Until these are clarified people are not going to drop their long-held habit of distrusting Microsoft and all the suits who sail in her.
The exact wording the MS use for the "FREE" part is:
"A free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, who upgrade in the first year"
"Just throw and rope and brand 'em,
Don't try to understand 'em!
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em out, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
...I'm calling bullshit:
"New versions of Windows and sales of new PCs go hand in hand"
Anecdotally I know of no-one that rushes out to buy a new PC because there is a new version of Windows. Furthermore, nobody I know upgrades Windows purely because there is a new version of Windows. Granted there are some people out there that do - hardcore nerds - but certainly not enough to cause a spike of PC sales in any global significance. Businesses don't follow MS release cycles, so they won't cause a significant increase in new PC purchases upon a new release of Windows, and (most) consumers just by a new PC when theirs dies (or is so laden with crap that it becomes, to them, unusable). I dare say that most consumers couldn't give a monkeys about what version of Windows a new PC has unless they hear that its a lame duck (Vista or 8 for instance) and are savvy enough to downgrade.
What dataset are you using to pronounce that "New versions of Windows and sales of new PCs go hand in hand" and how does that breakdown? Basically, how many people buy a new PC because of a new version of Windows? Where is the proof of EXACTLY that?
If I'm wrong, and you can prove it, I'll gladly put my hands up and say I'm wrong... but until then I am, as I said, calling bullshit.
"New versions of Windows and sales of new PCs go hand in hand"
...because people can't buy a new PC and put their old OS on it, and (almost) never buy a new version of Windows for an old PC.
On the other hand, I bought an OS-free PC last year but might get Windows 10 for it this year.
I don't think I've ever risked actually fully upgrading a Windows OS in situ (installing service packs doesn't count), as the chances of finding out the new OS is either a) a total lemon or b) the 'upgrade' bricks the PC are just too high. I've always waited to change OS until I need a new laptop/PC - which happens every 4-5 years. In this case my Win 7 box is 4.5 years old, and should be good for at least another 18 months (possibly with an upgrade to an SSD). Then I'll (probably) get a nice new machine with Win 10 pre-installed, and take the opportunity to clean out all the crap as I migrate data and essential software.
It's a strategy that works for me - I've never owned a copy of Win 3.0, ME, Vista or Win 8!
Just create an image of the partition where the OS installed with a simple program like Acronis TrueImage for example, or many others or even free Linux tools.
Then do any upgrade. If anything goes wrong you could quickly revert back like nothing happened and no data would be lost.
Actually anyone should create no less than a OS partition recovery image every month if not every week. Or even every day or couple of days.
"Actually anyone should create no less than a OS partition recovery image every month if not every week. Or even every day or couple of days."
You overestimate "anyone", in that "anyone" has more important things to do than backup their computer every day. Or every other day. Or every month for that matter.
Heck, I have enough trouble trying to convince "anyone" to backup AT ALL.
"New versions of Windows and sales of new PCs go hand in hand"
"If I'm wrong, and you can prove it, I'll gladly put my hands up and say I'm wrong... but until then I am, as I said, calling bullshit."
You're right, but I think the original poster meant different, in that, (regardless if you're buying new or upgrading or otherwise) with any purchase of a new computer, it is generally accepted you're going to get some version of windows with it at the same time, that is, the sticker price already includes the price of that windows.
This is certainly not an exclusive rule: By far most people are not computer heads, and are not able or willing to change things once it's out of the box. Corporates and home-geeks are not in the same league though, and ARE able and willing to make forced changes either due to requirements, or pure preference. But I'm not quite sure if I want to call them the majority either.
As far as buying a new version of windows goes, agreed, outside of those few oddballs, or perhaps some that have strict software requirements, this is not Apple, people don't line up overnight to buy a new boxed windows version, nor download and install the newest and greatest version of windows "just because". It just doesn't happen.
If Windows 10 is a flop it will not be a disaster for Microsoft, and they will not have to wait two years to do something about it. Someone will sell a start button, and Microsoft will include one in version 10.1
I always thought a new version of Windows was a disaster for manufacturers and distributors. Customers delay replacing equipment until other people have got the new version working.
Now that's a really good question. There is a lot of noise around "Support ending for xxx", but in reality which of us consumers (as opposed to business staff) gives a rat's ass about support? By the time an O/S reaches end of life we've had 3 new PCs, each with a new flavour of Windows, and I personally have *never* felt the need to ask Microsoft for help or support. Once it reaches the point where it isn't patched any more, maybe it's time to move on, but until then...
"16EiB ought to be enough for anybody."
In terms of RAM, the limit is actually 8EiB. The top half of the address space is kernel space and typically reserved for memory mapping (GPU RAM, for example). In fact, no CPU on the market today is actually capable of 64 actual bits of memory addressing (the limit IIRC is 48 bits right now), but credit AMD for coming up with a way to keep things neat while still allowing room to grow into true 64-bit addressing.
That said, 8EiB is about a couple orders of magnitude or so higher than even today's high-end RAM usage. It may not be overkill in perpetuity, but the amount of time it should suffice should be longer than usual so that by the time it becomes an issue, the whole computing landscape would have changed radically along with it: to the point that bits don't really matter that much anymore.
"Kernels can use RAM too...the limit is 16EiB."
If kernels use motherboard RAM, they call the bottom half of the space: the lower 8EiB. The top half is reserved for, like I said, memory mapping and such. Apart from internal device memory (like GPU RAM), the bulk of the top half is intended to be "virtual" memory and not actually RAM sitting somewhere.
So the limit of motherboard RAM is 8 EiB.
"The top half is reserved for, like I said, memory mapping and such. Apart from internal device memory (like GPU RAM), the bulk of the top half is intended to be "virtual" memory and not actually RAM sitting somewhere."
You are thinking of OS design limits applicable only to 32 bit PC processors. And even then on a 4GB machine I could use over 3GB of RAM. As we are talking about current 64 bit CPUs, then this is completely wrong. (Current x64 CPUs have 48 address lines and can directly address 256TB of RAM). Some small portion of the address space might be used for memory mapping, but there is no requirement to reserve more than is actually needed.
"So the limit of motherboard RAM is 8 EiB"
No it isn't. If you were using a true 64 bit CPU with 64 bits of address space then you would be able to potentially directly address all 16EB of RAM.
>That said, 8EiB is about a couple orders of magnitude or so higher than even today's high-end RAM usage.
And the fart of a flea is also a couple of orders of magnitude quieter than a jumbo jet at take off.
The 64 bit address space is really big .
The Titan supercomputer at oak ridge is the current largest by RAM. If you decided that you needed you needed a million times more RAM to play the latest version of Crysis, you are still an order of magnitude from running out.
No upgrades mean no new Windows license revenue and Windows licenses account for $18bn of annual revenue for Microsoft.
However, from what I can ascertain, this figure is total Windows licence revenues, hence includes volume licencing subscriptions, which MS receives largely regardless of which version of Windows a license holder runs. Likewise, as MS demonstrated in spades with XP, people will buy a new PC either when they actually need one or they feel the need to upgrade, but in both cases people tended to stick with XP rather than switch to another product. However, as we saw with XP, because MS weren't investing in new functionality it became dated and thereby made the competition's offerings more attractive.
So I suggest, MS doesn't actually need to upgrade Windows to maintain revenues, but does need to upgrade Windows to keep it current and prevent customers drifting away. It would seem with the Win10 announcement MS understand this and hence the words being used about how Win10 will be maintained and upgraded.
Given how cash rich MS are, it would not surprise me if they effectively adopt the same (and successful) sales strategy of many other companies, namely give out a free version (why not go back to the Win3 level of anti-theft protection?) then have premium and business versions that both cost - Office Starter doesn't seem to have dented MS's Office revenues...
'"""Windows 7 doesn’t work with Microsoft app-store apps."""
They say it like it's a bad thing.'
Or as if they couldn't provide an app-store for W7 apps.
What is this app-store thing anyway? Is it something like Synaptic which I can run to install most of the stuff I need on Debian?
The one thing I find most irritating about Windows Store, errr... Modern Apps is that they start so damn slowly in comparison to far more feature rich desktop applications often with the Store Apps having a much reduced feature set. Having looked at the code I can see why but so long as this remains the case, you won't see me installing them. Ever. There are far too many F/OSS equivalents which work just fine on the Windows desktop to even put up with it.
"Modern Apps is that they start so damn slowly in comparison to far more feature rich desktop applications "
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2913270 and this http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=42642
Then from an Elevated command prompt, run this:
powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.XML
and your issue should be resolved...
"Windows 7 doesn’t work with Microsoft app-store apps."
This is a good thing.
From the casual browsing I've done, the Microsoft app store looks much like the Apple app store or even Google play. Aside from a few useful programs, it's just pages and pages and pages of string-attached "pseudo free" crap.
It's a sign of the times, and I don't like it.
Then there's absolutely no point offering me Windows 10 for any price, including free. I'm not about to change an operating system that's stable and works well on 20 client machines just because one with a bigger number in it is available.
The cost of upgrading from XP, which had essentially nothing wrong with it is still stinging.
Depends whether the update process can be expertly controlled, like the Win8/8.1 was... Remember with a little care it was possible to download a full ISO (complete with its own licence key) without having it install all over your working system, enabling you to install at a later date or install in a VM.
It will still require testing, it will still require work to deploy, there is still a chance of unforseen problems that didn't occur during the testing. What's the benefit in from this effort? What does have a more recent OS buy me? I can't think of a single thing! Can even Windows fanboys (if there are still any left) come up with a reason why a corporation should want to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?
Given Windows 7's market share, all applications will be compatible with it and supported on it until it goes out of support. An OS is just a launcher for apps, and Windows 7 does that now with a minimum of fuss or bother. PC technology is barely advancing anymore, so the drive for supporting new stuff as was required back in the day with hardware for 3D, USB, and so forth no longer exists.
Corporate users won't upgrade until 2020 gets closer - they'll want to see Windows 11 and make a decision between it and Windows 10. Unless they both suck, in which case there would be considerable pressure on Microsoft to extend Windows 7's support like they did for XP.
I think it does as it assumes the average user/upgrade victim isn't an expert.
I kinda like Win7. Ok, I tolerate it on this box which I play games on. It works for me. It may not work for MS, who may prefer me to 'upgrade' to Win8. Or Win10. (What happened to 9)?
Call me old fashioned but I like stuff to work when I click on it. I don't like the idea of having to reinstall loads of stuff just to get a candycrush interface and touch features on a box who's touch inputs are a good'ol mouse and keyboard. I don't care if the 'upgrade' gives me access to MS's AppStore because I'm puzzled why I couldn't just download an app for that. Every other store seems to let me.
So if I could just click on an Windows 10 upgrade button and it upgraded, and all my stuff still worked, and it worked faster.. I might be tempted. Even if that meant spinning up a Win7 VM in the background, I don't really care. I just want my PC to work much the same as it did before the 'upgrade', and I'm fairly certain most users feel the same way.
Why do you want to click on that Windows 10 "upgrade" button if all your stuff still worked? Suggesting it will somehow work faster is spurious - the OS has very little effect on how quickly applications run.
The job of an OS is to get out of the way, and its resource management efficiency only matters at the margins (i.e. when you have maxed out RAM are are swapping, have more I/Os going to your storage than it can handle and they need to be prioritized, etc.)
Free for the life time of the device?
I've had my PC for over 10 years.
It's had its PSU, CPU, RAM, graphics card, optical drive & hard drive replaced for various reasons.
Added a TV card and internal card reader.
At what point is it no longer the same device?
On a more paranoid angle, M$ have a long history of "interesting" business tactics.
Including, but not limited to:
- Stealing MS-DOS,
- Copying Apples UI,
- Copying Lotus(?) office and giving M$ office away free with their OS,
- Undercutting Netscape by giving IE away free with their OS,
- Locking in customers with propriety standards (eg *.doc *.xlsx & etc),
- Heavy lobbying against open standards being adopted in the UK government,
- Repeated attempts at getting everyone onto a subscription model.
Free OS for everyone from this near monopoly? What could possibly be the harm in that?
Personally I'd like to see the small print.
PS: Anyone know how to adjust the formatting on El reg's comments?
> Wasn't it selling MS/PCDOS before they'd actually bought it? (QDOS)
Initially MS licenced SCP-DOS as an OEM for 8086 based computers. It was a breach to sell it on 8088 computers (such as IBM-PC). later the purchased all rights for (allegedly) $50,000 and SCP has the right to sell MS-DOS with a computer for free (ie no payment to MS). When the SCP factory burned down they started selling MS-DOS plus a V20 chip (faster 8088 compatible) and MS had to buy them out of the agreement, allegedly for $1million.
Microsoft hasn’t said what PC hardware you’ll need to run Windows 10
Whilst they haven't posted the final platform requirements they have posted the platform requirements for the Technical Preview where they have given a minimum platform specification of a single-core 1GHz, 32-bit CPU and 1GB RAM - namely the same as Windows 8.1, which was the same as Windows 8, which in turn stuck to the Windows 7 specs, which was the same as Windows Vista...
Whilst I suspect you wouldn't actually want to run it on that minimum platform (unless 10 is even more performant than 8), that does serve to indicate that practically any post P4 system hardware will be able to run 10, albeit some features will not be available (just like Win8.1 where Hyper-V isn't installed as standard due to its CPU requirements).
What I find interesting is the continuing support for the 32-bit architecture, I wonder whether this is because of its usage in mobile devices?
"""As we've written here before, offering free products in today’s climate of low-price but fully functioning devices is the way to grow market share."""
Grow market share where?
They control +90% of the Desktop PC market, (which is supposed to be in decline, that's another history), a very lucrative one as they charge companies twice or trice in CALs.
So MS plan is:
Create unified platform called Win10
Somehow sacrifice the cost of the OS license for consumers as a temporary measure, because it will make those adopt Win 10 in droves.
As user adoption of Win10 in the desktop increases the pool of users who can deploy applications from the MS store, that will attract developers, who in turn will have it super easy to convert Win10 apps to multiple devices.
Well good luck MS :-D
Pro and Ultimate versions are enterprise-oriented and are not the target of this upgrade program IIRC (since these are usually done via enterprise license agreements that typically involve a lot of negotiation and planning). I agree this plan is mainly targeting the consumer.
Windows 10 is going to be free – for a while. That’s really bad news for PC makers and channel partners
Not sure if that really follows. If you need a new PC, you'll buy it with the OS you want on it. Some may be happy to buy a system running 7 or 8 with "rights to upgrade to 10", others will simply buy 10 from the outset.
No the big thing that is impacting the market is the change in longevity of systems and hence enterprise refresh cycles. What has been successfully demonstrated is that business don't need to do a 3 year desktop/laptop refresh, they can get away with a 5~6 year refresh, which in the current business climate can make a big difference to a company's cost base. In fact with MS saying that 10 will run on the same platform as Vista, some may even try and extend the life of their desktops even more.
"Microsoft obviously reckons PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.x have already got what they need to make Windows 10 work."
Could it be just the opposite? Hey, look, a free upgrade, let's install it. Oh - there is no roll back possible. Oh - now my computer is sssslllllloooowwww, guess I'll have to buy a new one - with a new paid OEM license...
People don't upgrade/buy a PC for the sake of a new version of windows and especially not because they love windows (rolls eyes). They buy a new PC because X software or hardware requires it. Plain and simple. For software its a simple matter of new platforms or Api's. For hardware it's driver support. Manufacturers have little financial benefit to keep supporting discontinued hardware for new OS's. That's why proprietary drivers on open source OS's tend to get vilified sooner or later.
What's left unspoken is that this cycle of PC sales and software has always been artificial in nature. When both software and hardware industries failed to produce the next big thing and some of the novelty of computing wore off (insofar as the average consumer is concerned) the whole thing started to run out of steam. As evidenced by people's reluctance to let go of XP.
The devil is in the details. And we don't have a lot of details. My fear is the wording they used - "the lifetime of the device". A lot of scenario's come to mind but ultimately I think it means business as usual. They've figured out a way to force hardware upgrades despite no major windows releases. If they're smart they will adopt a point release schedule to both simplify their security updates and actually change the system requirements of Win10 over time.
It may be true that you never have to pay for an upgrade again. But consumers always pay... some way. Ads, services, privacy, app store taxes, etc. Corporations that don't make money fail or quickly change strategy. Which will it be for MS?
Will be interesting how this is done,
will you need existing OS on the machine to do the upgrade, I reinstall My Pc every now and then so this will be a pain and how will it work if i want to reinstall windows 10 on my now "supported for life of the device" after 12 months,
Will you have to give all your personal details (and i mean ALL) and COA details to MS and they will give you a key to "Activate" the new software. In this case i could give them all the OEM COA's for all the machines in the office on week one of the free upgrade availability and then upgrade at my leisure over the next 3 years when it has been found to be stable and secure by everyone else who took up the free upgrade and installed it straight away..... ;-)
What they haven't said is Yes windows 10 will be free for a year BUT it will only work with OFFICE 15 which you will have to Buy. :-(
I have a computer, it's a desktop type thingy. I build it myself quite some time ago. It's a great machine. It sits in the corner and purrs away (bit like the Queen apparently.)
I have changed the processor, oh and the memory, cos that wasn't fast enough for the CPU.
And I gouged a deep mark in the case so I had to change that.
Later, of course I changed the motherboard for something much shinier, that meant a new power supply and new memory (again) and a newer CPU.
The graphics card was replaced next, well the PSU could fit it in its power budget. :) My desktop is a great machine. I've had it for years. I'll probably swap a few more bits and pieces in & out over the next few nears, just to keep my PC up to date of course.
I love my PC, Built it YEARS ago, it's still the same PC though.
Now, tell me again about this "supported life of the device."
"Now, tell me again about this "supported life of the device."
Why does that matter? Here's an idea - why don't you download Windows 10 and install it on that PC:
1. Are you doing so within the first year since Windows 10 has been released?
2. Have they asked you for any payment when you've downloaded or installed Windows 10?
If the answer to question 1 is yes, and the answer to question 2 is no - CONGRATULATIONS! You are now the proud owner of a PC running Windows 10 - it's YOURS! FOREVER! When you trash the computer and send it to the great PC recycling plant in the sky you'll need to buy Windows 10 again - but that's obvious isn't it?
Isn't it? They're selling everyone a f****ng OEM for FREE, for gods sake. Why is this so hard.
Consumers don't generally buy PCs because a new OS is out. They buy a new computer because they want or need one.
It isn't like the introduction of a new technology (eg. when iPads appeared). It isn't an additional device.
Businesses have a fixed rollout time usually, so new OS vs old OS isn't a discussion that's made for existing kit usually. They usually just replace PCs at the end of their planned lives, and prior to that the new OS is tested etc... The problem they have faced though, is compatibility - existing programs ceasing to work in the new version, so that caused them to hold back on the entire project.
If Windows 10 can run everything that Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 can, then there is less of a hurdle to overcome to encourage an upgrade.
We won't be upgrading to Windows 10 in our school until the next replacement cycle anyway, as there's simply no need to disturb our stable network!
This is just MS changing its business model to exploit the existing range of applications written for Windows and give up charging for the OS. It's not unheard of amongst their competitors. They just needed to work out how to get from where they are know to a more advantageous (to them) position.
Step 1: MS corralls the broad range of applications currently available for desktop Windows into an App Store.
Step 2: Give the OS away to maximise the number of devices compatible with the Windows App Store
Step 3: MS takes a cut from each chargeable download from the App Store (just like other well known companies do).
Result - business model changed. MS Revenue diverted from the OS to a tax on 3rd party developers.
This delay offers a perfect opportunity for Google to get their app stores running seamlessly on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Android's momentum is red hot and if they were to expand its ecosystem so that those apps truly run everywhere, it's a no-brainer that this is where the whole industry goes. I want Android desktops.
I've got Android Desktop. It's available from either BlueStacks or via Andy via VirtualBox. Works in a window. And that's on everything from the Core2 Duo to the dual Xeon. So what are you really asking for? Go get Google Chrome or a Chromebook if neither of the virtualization solutions work for you.
I think we will have to wait to see the extent of the free Windows, will it be limited to certain editions and/or licensing models.
Will you have the ability to register for the update but apply it later? (receiving a key?).
I think their intention is to try and use OneDrive. Office 365, the Store and selling data mined from Cortana (or using it for targeting ads) for at least home users and possibly SME's but I cannot see larger businesses using those services.
For the hardware makers they don't necessarily have to provide working drivers and software for Windows 10 for old kit which generates sales of new printers etc.
It's sitting next to me. Built out of bits and pieces, (actually quite good bits and pieces) and running a legal version of Windows 7 Pro. I'm totally willing to support this device till it dies or becomes obsolete to my work.
The question is "will they support this device, if I upgrade, until the motherboards caps burn and die"? If so can I continue to upgrade to future Windows 'n', (where 'n' is bigger or equal to 'X'), with a different motherboard but same setup, without significant hassle and cost, based on my current setup?
I'm totally prepared to coax this setup to the foreseeable future. (which is a lot shorter as you get older and a lot longer than the young perceive - but they will have the enjoyment of that time dilation experience later)
In summary, from all the comments, this is an empty offer that won't kill anybody. Since the software is all important, nobody ever upgrades an existing machine, since you can be sure all your software and drivers won't run. They are just doing this so that people will have w10 on new machines. In large corporations you always start out-typing your Word after 3 years, because of messier anti-virus bloat. New machines are the order of day, and this might even put Intel back in the black.
A reminder that it is free for the life of a device. How many computers do you know last 10 years? Those with Windows XP or Vista [maybe 30% of the market share] will at one point upgrade their systems which require a new system. Windows 8.x only managed around 15% in it's 2 years of existence. A lot more Win XP users running older systems.
[Plus you will have dumb manufacturers such as Acer which won't support Win 10 on older hardware, so those may also buy a new system.]
And remember that this is just for an expected year.
Microsoft is telling about 65% of the market share that you can upgrade for free. That is huge. When Vista finally dies in 2 years there will be a decent rush to get away from it and grab a Windows 10 new system.
The key phrase, as others have noted, is "the supported lifetime of the device". That clearly means as long as machine is supported by the OEM who shipped it. That's probably longer than the base warranty period. It may not be tied to an extended warranty being in force.
What it probably indicates is that it will be covered as long as replacement parts are available. Keep in mind the current limitations on Windows reactivation where a machine experiences motherboard failure. A strict reading of Microsoft's license would be that the replacement motherboard needs to be a direct OEM replacement (I'm well aware that MS hasn't always enforced this to the letter).
I'm willing to bet this is what MS told the manufacturers in advance of these announcements to cool them out. Dell, HP, Lenovo, et. al. are all in on this, because it's supposed to keep them relevant. All they have to do shut down production of spares and they can reap the windfall. Of course the customers are going to think the manufacturer cheated them -- and MS will attempt to deflect responsibility away from themselves.
Of course those of us who build our own hardware and then get put a system builder copy of Windows on them aren't going to be any better off. It would be nice to think my kids would get the benefit of Windows updates for the life of their dad, but I just don't see MS ever going along with that. More likely they'll be advised to bury the old man and go out and buy a new Windows XX tablet after the funeral.
> That clearly means as long as machine is supported by the OEM who shipped it. That's probably longer than the base warranty period.
It does not say "the supported life of the model", it specifically says 'device', singular. When your warranty expires so does this 'no cost'.
It may well mean that if your Windows 7 machine is older than the warranty then you will begin paying immediately.
> I'm willing to bet this is what MS told the manufacturers in advance of these announcements to cool them out. Dell, HP, Lenovo, et. al. are all in on this, because it's supposed to keep them relevant.
What is more likely is that the OEM version of 10 will expire at the end of the warranty period (the _supported_ life of the device) at which time a charge will be required to keep Windows working. The problem that MS have with XP and 7 is that the users of these are no longer sending money to Microsoft or OEMs, and may never do so again.
In the 90s and 2000s MS could rely on most users paying for a new version of Windows every few years. Now they have to enforce that or face declining revenues with the majority staying with XP and 7 as being 'good enough'.
A free upgrade is a small price to pay to get a new Microsoft ID customer - extra audience for the Windows 10 App Store, and if you've got a desktop/laptop computer or two already on Windows 10, I suppose the hope is that your next device will be a Surface or Lumia, rather than iOS or Android...
Interesting, but wrong.
The problem is not windows. It's silicon. Up until 8 years ago, you could pretty much count on a PC lasting maybe 3 years. Not because it stopped working, but because it was totally outclassed by newer hardware. About 8 years ago this more or less stopped.
Any of the intel i series chips are more or less the same speed clock for clock. There have been some improvements, but they are incremental. Computers are no longer getting faster. The clock rates have continued to go up, yes, but much of that is artificial.
There is a hard physics limit on silicon on insulator speeds of around 5 ghz or so. The early i series chips could often be overclocked above 4ghz, i.e same speeds as newer chips. They're not changing because they don't like the OS, they're not changing because their hardware still works as well as the new stuff, and there is no reason to upgrade.
The same thing happened to tall ships. There was tremendous advancement in ship building up till about the 17th century. After the design was perfected though, a ship a hundred years old, was as fast and capable as one just out of the yard, and more of a known quantity to boot. Until the invention of steam, shipbuilding was almost entirely static.
Our next quantum jump is likely more like 10 years away than a hundred, but until it happens this is the way it is going to be.
Microsoft knows this, and it's policy is mostly to attempt to remain relevant while it waits out the storm.
it also explains why microsoft is going platform independent. We don't KNOW what new form that leap will take. Microsoft has to survive the drought,k and be ready to capitalize on whatever appears.
"Any of the intel i series chips are more or less the same speed clock for clock. There have been some improvements, but they are incremental. Computers are no longer getting faster. The clock rates have continued to go up, yes, but much of that is artificial."
And the bet is also that multicore computing will hit some kind of limit as well?
...or you would know that desktops barely get OS upgrades - and even if they get a new OS it never happens like this:
"Yet most IT upgrade cycles take about three years, and most have just about completed a round of upgrades to take on Windows 7 and move off of Windows XP."
Err, no, wrong on all account. First, nobody upgrades OS on 3-4 years old machines, they simply get new machines when cycle is up, with new OS. Second there are some exceptions, like IT's or R&D's workstations but those are always far more up-to-date hardware. Third Windows 7 was released almost 5 (FIVE!) years ago, even if they bought a machine right back then, just missing the new OS, it would run Windows 7 rather inefficiently unless you throw in a decent RAM upgrade - and, fourth, just why on Earth would they bother upgrading 5-6 years old machines, spending a truckload of time making sure they get proper drivers, created installers, imaging, etc etc...?
It makes zero sense, at the low-end office desktop market segment it would cost more per machine than simply buying a new one with Windows 7.
Microsucks had better read up on plateaued sales and product saturation. Their days of windfall profits from every horrible O/S version that they released are long gone. If the Linux troops really wanted to grasp huge market share, now would be the time to strike. They won't however be able to gain widespread consumer growth unless they do the job properly and provide a turn-key, secure, comprehensive, efficient consumer distro version with the proper customer support, which Linux purveyors have never done IME. That is a pity because they are losing readily available market share and revenues.
What Linux purveyors need to do is to convince application providers that consumers will gladly pay for quality software that runs reliably on Linux and allows a zero headache migration from Windoze to the latest and greatest Linux distro. Application folks don't believe consumers will pay for quality software if they can get cheap or free Linux apps, but they wrong. Many people and businesses would love to jettison Windoze for a properly functioning O/S to run their programs.
As much as I would like them to get their act together, Gnome 3 is pre-alpha quality - it lacks fundamental things such as a theme chooser, proper power management settings, screen settings dialog ... the control panel needs a hell of a lot of care.
Cinnamon ? Maybe ... not sure
KDE ? Certainly not. It has the settings alright, but Suse lacks backing and Redhat has better things to do (enterprise), besides, RedHat does not have Yast.
Then you have the systemd debacle ...
<wishful_thinking>Maybe FreeBSD will come out as a winner here ... funny, waited 15 years for the year of Linux desktop and FreeBSD takes over</wishful_thinking>
Na, OS X is a nightmare, a real nightmare ... since Mountain Lion when they removed an entire ui framework ... wtf. The API keeps evolving^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hchanging, so software has to be written (iwtf!), with a yearly release cycle, they are committing suicide - hardly any professional sound cards have Mavericks drivers, let alone Yosemite drivers, lots of games no longer work ...
Can we please expell the gnome3/systemd backers ? Then we would have hope ... I doubt it will happen.
"Windows 7 doesn’t work with Microsoft app-store apps." All the more to like Windows 7. I have a W8 craptop. Apps like Zinio Reader are terrible on W8.
Don't care for Office 365 either. Subscription based works for Adobe because they have Photoshop. Outside of Windows 7 nothing great has come out of Microsoft. The Ballmer legacy. Apple will miss hm.
The trouble is Windows 10 doubles down on the horrible Metro UI.
MS is currently working their way through the desktop UI and flattening and ruining all the icons and applications. I've tried the preview version of Win 10, and aside from the start button, that has been put back apparently with a grudge as it doesn't work the way you would expect it to, its even worse than Windows 8.
Its free for a reason, no one in their right mind would pay for it.
I think Microsoft is about to learn another very hard lesson, people don't want to pay for Windows, they're used to getting it free with their new machine. Businesses are used to paying for software, most consumers aren't.
"You mean I buy the computer now but then I have to pay extra for Windows 10 in a year?" I can see that conversation happening in Best Buys everywhere. Nope, for me this is a non-starter, I'm staying with Win 7.
> "You mean I buy the computer now but then I have to pay extra for Windows 10 in a year?"
That has happened before. Some small (8") Intel tablet were being sold a few years ago (2011?). These came as dual boot with Android and Windows 7 but were advertised as 'Windows tablets with Office'. Small print mentioned that Windows and office were _trial_ versions and after some months a full version of both would need to be purchased.
How is MS supposed to know when each of our hardware warranties are expired? What if your HW warranty is already expired when you obtain a free Win 10 upgrade?
The term "supported" in the context given has something to do with MS and Win 10. I think the reference to "up to date" is simply the standard patches and near extinct service packs. I'm not quite sure if SPs have evolved into minor versions and if the minor version will be free.
> How is MS supposed to know when each of our hardware warranties are expired?
By obtaining that from the OEM. In particular it may be that the OEMs will configure the warranty details into new builds, and/or report them to MS to associate with the licence key.
> What if your HW warranty is already expired when you obtain a free Win 10 upgrade?
> The term "supported" in the context given has something to do with MS and Win 10.
MS did not say 'the supported life of the Operating System', they specifically referred to _device_ support life.
What this will do is make developers and software publishers LESS willing to develop for Windows environments. All of a sudden Windows is now competing for the same upgrade dollar that the publishers are competing for. We may see an increased interest in commercial applications for Linux as a result and a lot of Windows only applications being ported to Mac as well.
That would be a neat trick given how fragmented the Linux desktop scene is. And while Apple's strong in the mobile arena, its desktop presence is mostly a niche market. Both would need a way out of the Microsoft ecosystem Catch-22. Not even Valve's making much headway with its Steam on Linux movement (most new games coming to Steam are still Windows-only).
"That would be a neat trick given how fragmented the Linux desktop scene is."
In reality it's not that fragmented as 50% Linux users use Ubuntu alone. And a great percentage of the rest is covered by Ubuntu/Debian-derivatives so the same applications packages will work. No-one forces you to support ALL marginal distributions. It's just an excuse. Furthermore, all X11 applications will work on all desktop environments.
Now it's starting to seem like the Windows land is more fragmented: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows 10...
We're not a large company with only about 15 PC's / laptops, three of which are still running Win XP because they won't run Win 7. One is running Win 8.1 but soon to be backed off to Win 7 because Win 8.1 won't run one of our most used pieces of software. The remainder run Win 7; five 32 bit and the rest 64 bit.
I will be a long time before we move to an unproven Win 10, even if it is free!!!
>Even if a big-time remote exploit appears for XP which, due to its EOL status, will never get fixed?
Even with this!
The type of exploit needed to totally render XP totally insecure I suggest would have to be equivalent to the router one of public ports being open by default and permitting login using admin/admin...
No the exploits that really matter, once you put XP (or any system behind a NAT router and enable a host-based firewall) are those that live in the web browser.
The exploit(s) that will matter will be those that are discovered after the security vendors stop updating the XP versions of their products, because then there will most probably be no workaround.
No one really pays for Windows any more. Well they do, but it's built in to the price of the PC they purchase. Only a tiny percentage of users actually upgrades Windows on the PC they're using because too much can go wrong. Those that do inevitably suffer performance hits and application incompatibility.
It doesn't matter if upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is flawless. Previous experience tells people it will be painful and they just won't do it.
Businesses certainly won't do it unless they're forced to. And in most cases they will also do so via purchasing new PCs.
So being "free" isn't much of a lure, especially as the offer will probably run out before the first service pack hits. Even the most PC-illiterate of users knows that Windows is junk before SP1 is released.
I'll grant you LibreOffice. I use that myself...on Windows since I've found my recent experience on Xubuntu to be rather buggy and incomplete. And no, Steam on Linux still has a ways to go to catch up with the Windows library. Even now, Valve's not insisting that any new entrants have a Mac and Linux version (many are STILL coming out Windows-ONLY, which tells me they lack the pull and the devs still lack the motivation).
Contrary to the constant screeching of the trolls, nearly no one really needs msoffice.
Besides, Microsoft wants you to give up that "local version of office".
...and Linux has a lot of games these days. Some of them are the ones that my Windows gamer friends even get excited over. Not perfect but not totally dire either.
Wow it seems like The Register really has something against Microsoft!
"They're giving a free upgrade, which is bad for PC manufacturers."
Yes, but they're also making it free to include it in new devices (at least for smaller devices), which is good for PC manufacturers (because they can sell cheaper devices).
Of course this is assuming they don't start making people pay monthly to use their own PCs after 1 year, which would be a horrible and very unpopular move.
If they are letting people upgrade in place for free and they don't cripple everyone's machines in the process, that could actually put quite a dent in the PC upgrade cycle. Demand for PCs are already depressed. People are finding that their ancient machines are still perfectly suitable.
Microsoft seems to be ADDING to this perception rather than encouraging hardware upgrades.
Has MS reworked the update system so it works like it did pre-Vista?
Or is it still some weird exponentially-slower-for-each-update POS?
I'm just not very interested any more to see how slow things can get, and that includes the installation/"upgrade" process.
My last installation of an MS OS took about a day to complete.
And if they could fix update for XP would be nice, so at least I could install the last few updates they did before they dumped XP. (Yes, I have a specific machine that CANNOT be upgraded beyond XP due to 3rd party driver issues.) MS just left update broken for a long time before end-of-lifing XP.
Do I have confidence in MS? Don't think so.
I appreciate that I'm comming into this one very late, and that the point may already have been made.
A lot of commentards questions and speculation here, but no real answers. MS's true intentions and plans will only be clear once we can read the Win 10 EULA. A quick search of the UK MS site a few minutes ago for "Windows 10 eula" draws a blank. If they have not yet published an eula, they may still be trying to decide what they really mean by "free", "for the lifetime of the device" etc..
The only thing I'm willing to bet on is that, when we do finally find out, it will not be what anyone was either expecting or hoping for.
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