The State of Windows 10 – Post Microsoft’s Free Upgrade Offer

Yesterday the free upgrade offer for Windows 7 and 8.1 users ended. The infamous Get Windows 10 app will be removed from Windows 7 and 8.1 systems and the steady stream of reminders will fade into our collective history.

The next phase of this process will probably be the uproar from users who will state that they never heard about the free upgrade offer. They will express their dismay about missing the upgrade opportunity and share their frustration at Microsoft for ending the unprecedented offer in the first place.

There is no doubt that this will happen because that is exactly what occurred when Microsoft ended the special $15 and $40 upgrades to Windows 8 a few years ago.

If history repeats itself, those users who were flabbergasted to find out they missed out on a free upgrade will likely stay put with their current operating system and postpone the move to Windows 10 until they buy their next desktop, laptop or tablet.

A few might even choose to invest in a retail license and pay $119 for a Windows Home upgrade or $199 for an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. However, I do wonder about those who knew about the free upgrade and did not take it. I know I recommended this countless time right here – on this fine technology blog. Who says no to free money and a modern, secure operating system at the same time?

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Moving forward to next week, on August 2, 2016, the second major update to Windows 10 gets released – the Anniversary Update.

Let’s take a look at the future of Windows 10.

The first thing to know is that you can fully expect Windows 10 to continue to be supported by Microsoft under the Windows as a Service approach which means a regular flow of monthly updates to address security, performance and bugs in this latest version of the operating system.

In fact, based on a couple of cumulative updates that have been released for Windows 10 Build 14393, we already know there will be an update available right alongside of the Anniversary Update when it is first delivered to users on August 2nd.

Also be aware that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will not be an instantaneous roll out. There are over 350 million devices running Windows 10 according to Microsoft, so that means the roll out will be staggered over time.

For the impatient and advanced users among you, there is an alternative to waiting. Microsoft has confirmed that the Media Creation Tool will be available on August 2, 2016, along with the Anniversary Update release build so users will be able to use that to get an ISO, perform an in-place upgrade or create installation media for a clean install for their systems. I will write more about this feature and how to accomplish it soon.

Windows Insiders – Our Mission Continues

Once everyone is settled into the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the next step that will be on the minds of Windows Insiders is the next stage of the program. That means testing development builds for Redstone 2 – the next major update for Windows 10 which is expected sometime in the Spring of 2017.

So when will that first Fast Ring build for Redstone 2 arrive?

After the initial release of Windows 10 and its first major update last November, it took three and four weeks for Microsoft to prepare and issue the first testing build of the next update. I believe that we will see that first Redstone 2 build in the month of August.

Windows 10 is the last version of Microsoft’s operating system and that means that Windows will be continually developed and built. Think of it as a upgrade constantly in motion. Very exciting. 

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