Microsoft’s year-long free upgrade offer for Windows 10 is coming to an end on July 29, 2016. It’s the beginning of some big changes to Microsoft’s flagship operating system. Today, we’re highlighting 3 of the most important ways those changes are likely to affect you.
3) Windows 10 Gets Expensive
Windows 10 immediately undergoes an enormous price raise after July 29, when it goes from $0 to way more expensive:
-Windows 10 Home: $119
-Windows 10 Professional: $199
These are the prices for the full versions. However, there do not appear to be cheaper, upgrade versions available for Windows 7 or 8.1 systems. These are the ones you need to pay for and install if you’re using Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8/8.1 after July 29.
The lack of a cheap upgrade path must be Microsoft’s way to motivate users into upgrading before July 29.
3) You Can Still Pay $99 to Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Professional
It appears there will only be one upgrade offer still available after July 29, and that’s the $99 upgrade you can buy from the Windows Store to bump from Windows 10 Home to Professional. It looks like that will be the only possible upgrade you can make aside from doing a complete install.
With Windows 10, by the way, you pay $99.99 to get “enhanced features to help you easily connect to company networks, access one PC from another, encrypt your data, and more.” As you can imagine, it’s designed for business users and more advanced PC users.
That $99.99 offer may seem expensive, but it’s still $100 cheaper than buying the clean install version of Windows 10 Pro.
1) Will Microsoft Hit Its Goal of 1 Billion Windows 10 Devices?
When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft announced that their goal was to reach one billion Windows 10 devices by July 2018.
Microsoft, surprisingly, may be on track for that goal, depending on how you look at it. They’re currently on 350 million devices and they have over 2 years to go.
However, it’s unlikely that Windows 10 will continue growing by 350 million devices a year, like it did its first year. Nevertheless, Microsoft hasn’t publically announced that it’s giving up the goal. We’ll see how it turns out.