Windows 10 upgrade offer event was/is (still going on) the largest in the Internet history till date. Because of course, it is Windows and Microsoft is giving away the OS free of cost. So unsurprisingly, it was the largest. Since tens of thousands of people were supposed to be downloading at a time, there was also the danger of “breaking the internet”, literally. Windows 10 upgrade offer and the volume of downloads for the Windows 10 launch was going to break records and the download capacity Microsoft had reserved via some third-party content delivery networks implied things may break as well. Microsoft had reserved up to 40Tb/s per second of capacity from all third-party CDNS combined with Windows 10 upgrade offer.

Then.. launch took place on 29th July and thanks to Microsoft’s smart planning, Windows 10 rolled out smoothly. No Internet was broken, but traffic records were surely established. The official stats for the first month after Windows 10 launch revealed that more than 75 million installs had taken place, which is quite a lot. That could have been much much higher had Microsoft not released the OS in waves. But since the Windows 10 is being released in waves, plenty of people worldwide are still waiting for their computers to receive their copy. You may be among them and if you are, don’t worry you will get it as soon as it is released to your computer.

8 Things You Need to Know About Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer

So with Windows 10 almost on your doorstep, there’s some stuff you should know about.

What ‘Free’ Windows 10 Really Means?

Free

Windows 10 is free, most people know this. But what does this “free” really mean? They also say to avail this free offer, “you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability“. What “one year of availability” means here? Is Windows 10 really free, as in beer? Yes! Windows 10 is completely free, except the Internet charges which may be deducted by your ISP for downloading. Otherwise, Windows 10 is free. No, you’re not being given a 30-trial like the trial or demo version. It will be the full version. For lifetime.

Talking about “one year of availability“, it means that Windows 10 is free for 1 year, from July 29th, 2015 to July 29th, 2016. Alternatively, it means, Windows 10 is free from the date of launch till a year passes. If you try to download Windows 10 on July 30th, 2016, you won’t be able to download it. No, it does not mean a trial period of a year (I wonder if the trial period for something as good as Windows 10 can be 365 days!).

So are you qualified for the free offer?

qualified for the free offer

Yes, you need to be qualified. Your computer hardware must be compatible and system requirements must meet too. Though hardware and system requirements are out of question and to be qualified, you only need to have a genuine Windows 7 SP1 or 8/8.1 installed.

Then as per official sources, even if you’re running a pirated or non-genuine copy of Windows 7 or 8/8.1, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. But it will be a non-genuine version with limited features. This may cause confusion among users as to why would Microsoft give away a free copy of their latest operating system to people who pirated (or didn’t license) Windows 7 or 8/8.1.

But as this official blog post says, Windows 10 is non-equally free for pirates (or non-genuine) copies of Windows 7 or 8.

How to avail free windows 10 upgrade offer?

upgrade offer

If you want to clean install and haven’t upgraded to Windows 10, WAIT! You can’t just clean install Windows 10 without upgrading first because that won’t allow Windows 10 installer to verify that your previous Windows 7 or 8/8.1 was genuine/non-genuine. This is not necessary though if your computer came with Windows 10 installed.

If you move ahead without upgrading first, you will receive a non-genuine version of the new OS. So beware. When upgrading from Windows 7 or 8/8.1 to 10, installer confirms that you have a genuine Windows. You don’t get a product key with new Windows 10 unless you buy it directly from Windows Store for a new PC or for a non-genuine copy. Because the installer activates Windows 10 if it finds a genuine Windows already installed. Your computer hardware is registered and stored with Microsoft servers.

To Windows 10 upgrade offer first is a must because this lets Windows detect the genuine Windows and activate the Windows 10. Once the upgrade is done on an activated OS, you can then clean-install anytime you want because your hardware credentials are stored and will be verified when required.

How does upgrade work?

To upgrade to Windows 10, you must first have the installation files downloaded. Fortunately, Microsoft got us Get Windows 10 upgrade offer app, which makes the whole process easier. With Get Windows 10 app, your hardware compatibility and eligibility is checked. Once checks go well, this app downloads Windows 10, automatically, in the background.

upgrade work

Once installation files are downloaded, you will be notified and be allowed an upgrade.

Which Windows Edition will I get?

You will get like-to-like edition, meaning Windows 7 Professional will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. The table explains all:

Windows Edition

How to check your Windows edition?

Right-click My Computer or This PC, select Properties and under Windows edition section you can find out your OS edition. 

check your Windows edition

Upgrade VS Install?

Upgrading simply takes old files, programs and settings from old OS to the new OS. In the upgrade process, only operating system changes. The rest stays just like before; you will get same installed programs, same settings, programs you pinned to taskbar will still be pinned & desktop icons will still be there. The only the operating system itself changes.

Windows 10 upgrade offer and in contrast, fresh install or clean install delete all programs, resets settings and deletes files, giving you a “fresh” experience. Novice users would find upgrade process tempting because that saves time and the effort to set things up had you clean installed the operating system. But practically speaking, upgrading often causes OS problems and malfunctioning.

With Windows 10 upgrade offer in context, the case is different. Although clean install is mostly recommended. But clean installing Windows 10 without upgrading once does not let the installer verify product key of the last OS and register the computer hardware with Microsoft.

Rule of thumb? If you have not upgraded to Windows 10 before, upgrade first (unless PC came with Windows 10 pre-installed). Then clean install, if you want.

Does Windows 10 license expires? If so, when?

Is there any deadline after which Windows 10 will require “renewing“? Does the new OS expire? NO! Absolutely not. Once the upgrade process is done on an activated Windows device, Windows 10 can be installed over it as many times as you like. It will still be genuine and it will remain genuine and functioning until the lifetime of the device. Unless you change computer motherboard, all should be good.