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Microsoft initiated their free Windows 10 upgrade ad campaign in mid-2015. The upgrade was planned to be free from 29 July 2015 to 29 July 2016. Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Operating Systems stated in a blog, “this is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost.”
They also claim that Windows 10 is “The best, most secure Windows ever”, which begs the question: why are they offering it for free? Some suspicions about Microsoft’s intentions are to be expected.
Not that Windows 10 isn’t worth upgrading to; the majority of users are happy and its performance has many pros. Their marketing and upgrading approach (albeit at times quite persistent, and even more recently, slightly misleading) however, have created a negative connotation in the minds of already loyal customers.
Of course you can upgrade for free to Windows 10 if you are an existing Windows 7 or Windows 8 user (which means that you already paid a licencing fee for Windows at some point), but Microsoft’s perceived generosity is unfortunately cemented in the opportunity of future monetary gain.
By upgrading to Windows 10, you go down the proverbial rabbit hole of additional, and probably essential, apps and features which will be charged for. Cortana, Windows 10’s major brainchild (and personal data collector) will result in all your internet searches being intercepted and your personal information fed to Windows, tossing privacy and security out the window – pun intended. That seems like a pretty costly price to pay. The blogosphere is also buzzing about the Windows 10 subscription myth.
That being said, what we have to remember is that Microsoft needs to find ways to survive in today’s competitive software market. Innovation and the ability to evolve will help Windows move away from the once-off-licence-purchasing convention, and more towards a Software-as-a-Service approach. And, as much as you’ve grown accustomed to your Windows 7, you can’t deny that sticking to it will eventually result in a stagnating operating system, and perhaps even user.