When Windows 10 was released to consumers in July of 2015, it was free for all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users -- for one year. This was a new tactic for Microsoft. Instead of having consumers pay for the software, the company decided to offer it for free. This resulted in a huge spike in upgrades by consumers, with Microsoft going as far as proclaiming that over one billion users will activate Windows 10 in the coming years.
Windows 10 has been a huge success for the company, with over 300 million active Windows devices. The software giant feels confident that they will reach their goal of having over a billion Windows 10 users. But there is one problem. The free upgrade promotion ends in a little over a month -- July 29th to be exact.
So what happens past July 29th? Here's what Microsoft had to say to us:
For those who decide not to upgrade for free within the first year beginning on July 29, you can purchase Windows 10 through the Microsoft Store or Microsoft retail partners.
Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current via Windows Update for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost.
The easiest way to get Windows 10 is to upgrade for free. You may also purchase Windows 10 if you decide not to upgrade, or if you need to purchase for other reasons like installing on a PC you built yourself. The suggested retail prices for Windows 10 in the U.S. are the same as Windows 8.1.
In other words, those who do not jump on the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 and are still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you will have to purchase a license from the Microsoft Store or from any other retailer who carries the operating system. Windows 10 Home runs for $119.99 (plus tax) and Windows 10 Pro runs for $199.99 (plus tax).
Microsoft also offers a "Windows 10 Pro Pack" which allows a consumer to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro, and it runs for $99 (plus tax).
Once you upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft will continue to keep it current via Windows Update for the lifetime of the device and it will not cost you a penny.
For those of you who took advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer, congrats. Microsoft will not be charging you a monthly fee after July 29th, nor will you be asked to pay any money for updates. Sit back, relax, and be proud that you took advantage of the free upgrade offer while it lasted.