What Will Happen When the Free Windows 10 Upgrade Period Ends?

get-windows-10-free-upgradeThe Windows 10 free upgrade period has now passed the half way mark with just over 5 months left until the July 29th, 2016 deadline. But, will Microsoft in fact cut off the free upgrade as per schedule? That, my friends, is the burning question.

It’s abundantly clear that Microsoft wants to rid itself of the older operating systems and create one big happy Windows 10 family, and it seems to me that the free upgrade offer is integral to that end. On January 4th, Microsoft reported that more than 200 million users have upgraded to Windows 10, double the number of users who upgraded to Windows 8 over the same time frame, and that, in my opinion, is largely down to the free upgrade offer. However, the numbers are still a long way off Microsoft’s projected 1 billion devices and they are obviously hungry for more.

So, what will happen after the free upgrade offer expires on July 29th? I see 2 possibilities:

1) Microsoft Sticks to Its Schedule and Users Will Have to Pay for Windows 10

History certainly suggests that this is a distinct possibility. The upgrade to Windows 8 was on offer for a limited time at a heavily discounted price and, true to its word, Microsoft duly ended the offer after the advertised time frame. However, Microsoft’s goals with Windows 8 were an entirely different kettle of fish to what they are hoping for with Windows 10.

In short, because of the aforementioned reasons, I see this as an unlikely scenario.

2) Microsoft Extends the Free Upgrade Offer

This, in my opinion, is the most likely scenario. However, it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft will extend the free upgrade offer indefinitely, that would remove the fear of loss and seriously dilute the “carrot” effect. There are a number of significant events coming up which I believe would fit in nicely with an extended deadline.

*October 31st, 2016: is when OEM sales of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 officially end.

end of oem sales

However, I think this may be a tad too close to the existing deadline. One aspect of this which Microsoft will be keen to sustain is the belief that the free upgrade period will come to an end. So it would be in the company’s best interests to avoid crying wolf too many times.

*31st December, 2016: a new year has traditionally been considered timely for the introduction of new rules/parameters. I see this as a real possibility.

*17th July, 2017: this is the date when Microsoft plans on ending support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on hardware based on the latest generation Intel Skylake CPUs. It makes perfect sense for the end of the free upgrade offer to coincide with this event because it not only includes the carrot but also a bit of the stick.


So, I’m guessing that Microsoft will either a) first extend the free upgrade offer until 31st December 2016 and then extend again until 17th July 2017, or b) simply just extend the once, until 17th July 2017.

Of course this is all pure conjecture on my part. At this stage, I seriously doubt that even Microsoft knows what it will doing in 5 months time. It’s probable that the decision won’t be made until late in the piece and it almost certainly won’t be made public until the very last minute.

What do you think might happen after 29th July?


10 thoughts on “What Will Happen When the Free Windows 10 Upgrade Period Ends?”

  1. Just being a “Home” user I’m not too concerned either way. I’m currently using Windows 8.0 and will continue using it until my laptop dies and I have to buy a new one.

  2. Yes I think that is how I will go too.
    As long as this laptop keeps firing up, I’ll keep using 7.
    Although just today there is an icon on my task bar telling me my battery is no longer charging.
    Now that can not be a good thing!

  3. Don’t know that Microsoft could extend the free upgrade past the deadline for any significant time. If they did, no one would believe them about future deadlines, or anything else for that matter. (I know, I know. some wag is going to chime in and say they aren’t to be believed about anything anyway . . . . But that’s another topic!)

    Instead, maybe they’ll offer the upgrade at a major price reduction. And maybe the price goes up the longer you wait.

  4. I have already upgraded to Windows 10 and really enjoy it. Faster and more reliable. Don’t need to worry about OS deadlines. Just upgrade and all problems solved. Duh….

  5. Richard Boyle

    I’m still not sure whether or not to download Win10. I hear a lot of conflicting reports about it – some positive, some negative. I am currently using Win7 Home Edition which works very well for me. Are there still some glitches in Win10? What would happen if I choose to stick with what’s already working for me? I am some what techno-challenged so I don’t want to do something that will screw thing up. Thank for any advice you have.

    1. Operating systems are subjective Richard, in much the same way that movies, books, and TV shows are subjective – different people like or dislike different things. I happen to like Win10.

      Are there still some glitches in Win10?

      No more or no less than any other fairly new operating system. Certainly nothing to be concerned over.

      What would happen if I choose to stick with what’s already working for me?

      The way things stand at the moment, essentially 2 things: 1) You will end up having to pay for Win 10 as an upgrade on your existing machine. 2) Support for Win 7 will end in January 2020 at which time it will not be receiving any more security patches and will end up going the way of XP. So you have 4 years before Win 7 will need to be replaced.

      I can’t really advise you one way or the other without knowing the age of your machine and its hardware specs. However, if it is a new-ish PC, I would definitely suggest upgrading.

  6. I tried the upgrade from 8.1 to win 10, had half my icon disappear from the desktop, half my programs were gone into windows old folder. Tried a couple of different upgrade methods, same thing. I phoned the Indians at Microsoft and the idiots could not explain what was happening. They could shove windows t10.

  7. My Vista OS pooped out a few months ago. I realize that the free upgrade to Windows 10 does not apply to Vista but considering all the grief I went through how likely do you think it is that I can plead my case to MS to allow me in on the free upgrade?

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