Enterprise users will not be able to take advantage of free Windows 10 upgrade

Dave W. Shanahan


In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft announced that it wouldn’t be extending the free upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Enterprise users. Microsoft plans to update Windows 10 much more frequently compared to previous Windows versions.

Microsoft announced at its January 21st event that all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 for the first year of its launch. Given that this is the first time that Microsoft has offered a free upgrade to a new version of Windows, it seems appropriate that Microsoft will make it impossible for companies not to upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft gave a statement regarding the Windows 10 free upgrade and how it does not apply to Enterprise users that wish to continue using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1:

“For enterprise customers and partners, we will continue to deliver exclusive value and offer extensive flexibility in how Windows 10 is deployed and managed as Windows evolves to become a service. For companies that require these enterprise-grade capabilities, Windows Software Assurance (SA) will continue to offer the best and most comprehensive benefits. Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise are not included in the terms of free Windows 10 Upgrade offer we announced last week, given active Software Assurance customers will continue to have rights to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer – while also benefiting from the full flexibility to deploy Windows 10 using their existing management infrastructure.”

It looks as if Microsoft is forcing Enterprise users to upgrade to Windows 10, by not providing them with the most up-to-date and secure features that Windows 10 has to offer. For those businesses that wish to use Windows 10 features, but want them tested for security and stability, Microsoft assures them:

“To that end, we are introducing a new approach for business customers, which we are referring to as the Current branch for Business. By putting devices on the Current branch for Business, enterprises will be able to receive feature updates after their quality and application compatibility has been assessed in the consumer market, while continuing to receive security updates on a regular basis. This gives IT departments’ time to start validating updates in their environments the day changes are shipped broadly to consumers, or in some cases earlier, if they have users enrolled in the Windows Insider Program. By the time Current branch for Business machines are updated, the changes will have been validated by millions of Insiders, consumers and customers’ internal test processes for several months, allowing updates to be deployed with this increased assurance of validation. Enterprises will be able to decide if they want to receive updates automatically via Windows Update, or via WSUS to have control through management tools over how the updates are distributed in their environments.”

Microsoft’s new method of updating Windows 10 will save companies time and money, without having to test new Windows 10 features as they are released. Check the links below for more information on the Windows 10 upgrade.