The Windows 10 free license roller coaster which Microsoft started over the weekend has seemingly come to an end with Redmond ‘almost’ clarifying the eligibility criterion for obtaining a free license of its latest operating system.
It all started when Microsoft published a post detailing the changes it was bringing to its Windows 10 Insider Preview programme. In the post were highlighted that users will be required to link their Microsoft Account (MSA) to their PC running Windows 10 technical preview builds. Microsoft noted that the changes are applicable to Windows Insider Program only and is specific to how Microsoft will be delivering the Insider Preview builds from now on until the public release.
Along with this changes, were a few statements that trigger the roller coaster ride. The blog post noted that all those Windows Insiders who are running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Home and Pro editions) and have their registered MSA connected to their PC will automatically receive the final release build of Windows 10 starting July 29th. There was no mention of any previous license requirement to get a free license of Windows 10.
If we look at the literal meaning of the statements made at the time, it could safely be anticipated that anyone running Windows 10 Technical Preview builds will be eligible to receive a free license on July 29. Anyone! This means that users not having any previous version of Windows operating system can also avail a free license as long as they register for Windows Insider programme and install one of the builds.
Online media picked the story up like wildfire with almost all major publications covering the story from one angle or the other.
Microsoft quickly realised what it had done. The original blog post was quickly updated with a statement that the free Windows 10 license will only be given to those having a genuine copy of windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
The clarification now means that only Windows users will be given a free license. However, this leaves one point unclear. What about those non-Windows users who have been helping Microsoft out ever since the first technical preview was rolled out. Though they haven’t been using any previous versions of Windows, they have registered for the Windows Insiders programme with the hope that they may be given some goodies at the end of the programme and with Microsoft putting forward the condition of requiring a previous version of Windows, things aren’t looking too great for the lot.
In the post Microsoft had mentioned that July 29 public release doesn’t mean that the preview builds will stop. The company said that those who are a part of the Insiders programme will continue receiving the new builds so that they can test them out and submit bug reports. But if there are no incentives, will Microsoft continue to have so many public testers?
We await another update from Microsoft regarding its stand on Windows Insiders who don’t possess any license for previous versions. What say Microsoft? Some freebies would be good!