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Microsoft clarifies who gets Windows 10 for free (again)

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Windows 10

Microsoft has moved to clear up confusion over which PC users will get a lovely, free Windows 10 upgrade when the completed version of the OS lands on July 29.

While it's common knowledge those who’re currently running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will get it free of charge, Microsoft’s most recent correspondence left the rules somewhat open to interpretation for those on older versions who are currently operating as Windows Insider testers.

Microsoft took to its official blog on Monday to explain that free access to Windows 10, for Vista and XP customers will depend on whether or not those users wish to stay within the Insider program.

Those opting-in as Insiders after July 29 will continue to receive preview builds of the Windows 10 OS and continue to test them on behalf of Microsoft. While this means users will contend with plenty of pre-release bugs, they can continue as normal and won’t have to pay to upgrade to Windows 10.

As for those XP and Vista users who don’t wish to continue testing and would like a finished product, well they’ll have to pony up and buy it just like everyone else outside of genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users.

Microsoft says those folks will need to “roll back to your previous OS or acquire a new Windows 10 license,” as the preview build will eventually expire.

Read more: Windows 10 vs Windows 8: Should you upgrade?

Microsoft’s Gabe Abul wrote (via The Verge): “If you decide to opt-out of the program and upgrade to the 7/29 build you will be subject to exactly the same terms and conditions that govern the offer that was extended to all Genuine Windows 7 and 8.1 customers. This is not a path to attain a license for Windows XP or Windows Vista systems.”

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