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Microsoft in a muddle over free Windows 10 for testers

Windows 10 Build 10130

Software giant in a tailspin over Windows 10 giveaway

Windows 10 testers have been left in a state of confusion, after Microsoft promised them a free upgrade to the full version of the operating system, before seemingly changing its mind for some users. 

Microsoft posted a blog on Friday that seemingly promised a free version of the full operating system to anybody who had been part of the Windows 10 Insider programme. “Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Home and Pro editions) with their registered MSA [Microsoft Account] connected to their PC will receive the final release build of Windows 10 starting on July 29th,” read the blog, written by Windows engineering general manager, Gabe Aul. “This will come as just another flight.”

Everything you need to know about Windows 10

The blog went on to explain that the offer will apply to those who have put a clean installation of the Windows 10 Preview on their PCs. “ I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Windows Insiders about how this will work if they clean installed from ISO,” Aul wrote. “As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build. Once you have successfully installed this build, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.”

However, the blog was amended on Saturday (as noted by ZDNet), with the following line added to the paragraph concerning fresh installations. “It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.”

That clause seems to openly contradict the statement that went before it, which suggested those who had been running a clean installation of the Windows 10 Preview would qualify for the free upgrade. Microsoft has switched off comments on the blog, but when challenged over the new terms on Twitter, Aul seemed to suggest the free upgrade was still on the table. 

In response to a tweet from @ZacB_ on Sunday, asking: “OK seriously. Do insiders who installed Win10 preview clean (nuking 7/8.1 install) remain activated on RTM or not?”

Aul replied: “Yes, as long as running a prerelease build connected with registered MSA.”

So, as clear as mud, then. We’ve asked Microsoft to clarify the situation, but hadn’t got a response at the time of publication. 

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