Microsoft Isn’t Giving Away Windows 10 Licences To Beta Users After All

Microsoft Isn’t Giving Away Windows 10 Licences To Beta Users After All

Over the weekend, we reported that Microsoft planned to give away free Windows 10 licences to those who were trying out the Preview. As it turns out, Microsoft itself seemed confused. Now, the company says that installing the Preview on an otherwise unauthorised PC will not get you a free licence.

The way it works is a little complex, but if you had a valid licence for Windows 7 or 8 prior to installing the Preview, you will be able to upgrade to the regular, RTM version of Windows 10 for free. If not, you can remain in the Insider program which will continue to receive beta updates. However, being in the Insider program does not guarantee you a valid, active licence.


  • With just about any modern PC being upgradeable to 10, I wonder if we will see applications and games drop support for the older ones quicker? Games certainly, as businesses who are slow to upgrade won’t ever install them.

  • How is it complex? If you have 7 or 8, free upgrade to 10 proper. If you’re an insider, you can keep getting beta builds. If both, you have the option of both. It mainly seems to be the media that’s confused.

    The only point of clarification I’d like: I have Windows 8.1, but I’d like to do a clean install of 10 when it comes out. I don’t think it’s possible, as it’s the upgrade that’s free, but does anyone have confirmation of that?
    Otherwise I suppose I can update then do a refresh.

    • Yep, the update-then-wipe approach will be my route too. My broadband is rubbish so I’ll be downloading the ISO and upgrading/clean-installing from that so as to not have to download it twice.
      You might find that the installer pulls your 8,1 key from the UEFI (if it’s a UEFI machine) and you can boot from an ISO, blitz the disk and do a clean install that way.

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