From August, Windows 10 no longer a free upgrade: here’s what you’ll pay

Alex Kidman 6 May 2016

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Time is running out to score Windows 10 as an upgrade for free, with Microsoft revealing what it will charge for the operating system after 29 July.

When Microsoft launched Windows 10 last year, it did so with the promise that it would be as a full free upgrade for users of Windows 7 or Windows 8 for the first year of launch. Microsoft claims that since launch, Windows 10 has gone live on an impressive 300 million devices, which is a lot of "free" customers.

The company was rather quiet on what would happen after that anniversary date, leaving many wondering if Windows 10 would in fact be "free" as an upgrade forever, or if Microsoft planned to go down the Office 365 route and offer it as a subscription product.

Neither approach has come to pass, with Microsoft instead announcing today that after 29 July if you want to upgrade an existing version of Microsoft Windows to Windows 10 Home, you’ll pay US$119 for the privilege. Microsoft Australia’s web site is still currently running the free upgrade promotion, because it’s not past 29 July yet, but indicates that the USB or download versions are priced at $179, which will presumably also be the "upgrade" price. At current conversion rates, and adding GST, that US price equates to around $175, so that’s pretty close to being the same price. If you're after Windows 10 Pro, that will cost you $299 for an upgrade version past the 29 July cut-off date.

If you’re buying a new pre-built Windows machine the odds are very high that it will come with Windows 10 pre-installed as part of the package, so that pricing is essentially just for those upgrading an existing machine or those building a completely new one from scratch. If you are thinking about upgrading, best do it before August.

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