The Microsoft Windows 10 launch is a little over a month away. While those using genuine copies of Windows 7/8.1 will get a free upgrade to Windows 10, there was no clarity regarding other users. Microsoft had made it clear that Windows 7/8.1 pirates will not be able to upgrade.
But in a recent blog post, Microsoft has hinted that so long as you are a Windows Insider with the latest Windows 10 Preview (build 10130) and if you use a Microsoft Account (MSA) then you are eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10.
So in effect, if you are on Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can register for an MSA and install the preview to get Windows 10 free when it launches on July 29. Windows 10 will show up like any other Windows 10 build notification via Windows Update.
According to the Windows blog, “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 and remain activated. Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.”
The blog further goes on to talk about activation methods and how Insiders will remain activated. “Windows Insiders will continue to receive future flights as we begin to work on the next release immediately after Windows 10 ships. You’ll get to see the latest Windows fixes, features, and updates and give us feedback,” says the blog.