Last week Microsoft announced the Windows 10 editions that will power personal computing and Enterprise systems across the growing wide range of devices available. With this announcement Microsoft also reconfirmed they will offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices for the first year after the launch of Windows 10.
This week, a blog post on Microsoft’s Australia Partner Network offered more detailed information about the specific paths for upgrading to Windows 10. As previously mentioned, but now further spelled out, devices that take advantage of the free upgrade will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for the life of that device and the free upgrade to Windows 10 will be delivered through Windows Update.
The blog post went on to further detail the editions of Windows 10 announced last week and how they will be made available:
- Windows 10 Home for consumers and BYOD scenarios, available under the free upgrade
- Windows 10 Pro for small and lower mid-size businesses, available under the free upgrade
- Windows 10 Enterprise for Mid-size and large enterprises, available under Volume Licensing (VL)
- Windows 10 Education designed to meet the needs of schools – teachers, students, staff, and administrators, available under VL
- Windows 10 Mobile for consumer, small, mid-size and large enterprises and academic institutions, available under OEM
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for mid-size and large enterprises with IoT scenarios, available under OEM (IoT), VL
The post then listed the following specific upgrade paths for current versions of Windows:
- Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.
- Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
- Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
- If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
- Excludes Windows Enterprise and RT devices
- The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.
Microsoft also reiterated that Windows Update for Business, originally announced at the Ignite Conference as a new way for Windows to be kept more up to date with the latest features and protection, will be available for all Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise editions.
While Microsoft is announcing that there will be upgrade paths through Windows Update, the post does not indicate if there will be a free upgrade path that allows for clean installs of Windows 10 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices.