Microsoft is talking today about the next chapter for Windows 10, revealing new details regarding its upcoming operating system. Those who haven’t downloaded yet the Technical Preview of Windows 10 have been curious to know whether Microsoft will offer Windows 10 for free or not. And here’s the confirmation.

windows 10 free ugrade

Speaking on stage, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems group, confirmed that Windows 10 will be free to Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users:

I’m very excited to announce that for the first year after Windows 10 is a available, we will be making available a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all devices running Windows 8.1

However, there’s a trick – it will be available as a free upgrade only for the first year. Now, we don’t know whether this means that you will be able to keep it for the first year or that you have one year at disposal to make the jump. I hope it’s the second version.

This is a major shift in how Microsoft makes available an upgrade to the newest operating system that they have. It seems that they have learned from the Windows 8 fiasco quite a lot. Probably if Microsoft didn’t make its Office suite of apps free for mobile devices a few months back, we would’ve been more surprised to hear today’s news, but we’re not. And this is a good thing.

Apple has offered the last two versions of its OS X desktop operating systems for free, and it seems that Microsoft is now catching up. Windows 7 is still the most popular version of Windows, with many users sticking with it because Windows 8 and the subsequent 8.1 upgrade removed many of the familiar desktop features. But Windows 10 is here and it is fixing that.

Update: We now have some clarity about how this free upgrade works. According to Microsoft, all qualified devices (new or existing ones) running Windows 7, Windows 8 or 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 that upgrade within the first year of Windows 10 being made available will get Windows 10 for free. Once a device is upgraded, it will be updated and supported for the lifetime of the device for free. This is absolute great news for PC users, and we should probably thank Apple for this!

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was the Managing Editor of Technology Personalized. He now writes about Windows 10 apps and reviews them on WindowsReport. Believes that technology is the main engine of civilization. Send him a tweet or make him your Facebook friend