Published at the end of last week, a blog post from Microsoft has caused confusion regarding the free nature of Windows 10 (except for businesses). Main obscure point, the possibility of passing through the Windows Insider program – that of the pre-release testers – to allow free access from Windows XP or Vista, or even obtaining a free copy for hackers.
Since its initial publication, the blog post has been reworked without really being clearer, but a final update now seems more understandable. It allows you to stay on the official line of Microsoft which is that of a free upgrade (for a year from July 29) to Windows 10 only from authentic copies of Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.
For Insiders, two cases are envisaged, namely whether these testers of the Windows Insider program will want to stay or not in this program during the general availability of Windows 10. In these two cases, they will however receive the finalized code of the version Windows 10 (RTM).
If they leave their condition as a tester, the future former Insiders will fall back into the classic scheme of the average user: a free update of Windows 10 from an authentic copy of Windows 7 or 8.1. Otherwise, they will have to revert to the previous version of their operating system or acquire a new license for Windows 10. Otherwise, the license for the last build will have an expiration date.
If they decide to continue testing Windows, they will receive more or less regularly new builds (Fast or Slow ring) which will be pre-releases with each a specific key for activation. Each build will expire after a certain delay even if in the meantime a new build will have taken over from an old one.
Again, what Microsoft wants to make clear is that the Windows Insider program will not be a backdoor way to get an authentic, active Windows 10 license for free from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or for hackers.
Nevertheless, despite such clarifications, the Windows Insider program still seems to us a breach in which those who do not have an authentic license of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 may be engulfed. It will then be necessary to deal with preversions prone to bugs and to cross the fingers so that this program continues.