Ineligible for the Free Windows 10 Upgrade? Become an Insider

The internet has been abuzz about Windows 10 coming on July 29th. It’s set to correct many of the unpopular components of the Windows 8 OS and is hoping to be the new user favorite. If you’re not sure whether you should make the switch or not, feel free to look over some of the pros and cons. To speed up the transition to Windows 10 Microsoft is providing the new update for free to all Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users. But there may be a way for those who are ineligible to get their hands on a free, working version of the OS; however it comes with a catch.

In the past couple of months, Microsoft has flip-flopped over who exactly is eligible to receive the new content as free; you may remember the surprise announcement that even unlicensed users would be eligible. This was later changed and proved to be false. Even now it seems that they’re still squabbling over the fine details. Over the weekend Microsoft announced on their blog that Insider Preview members would also get a free copy of Windows 10. But, after creating a huge buzz over the news Microsoft changed and reworded their statement. From the current wording it seems that people without Windows 7 or 8 can get their hands on a free copy of Windows 10 – sort of.

The Insider Preview program is free to sign up for and allows people to demo Windows updates before they go public; you can check out more details on the program here. Signing up for the program lets you test things out first, making you somewhat of a beta tester. And Microsoft has confirmed that anyone that is signed up for the program, even those ineligible for a free copy of Windows 10, will be ported to Windows 10 on July 29. You’ll get a free copy for simply being a tester; it’s a neat loophole, but here’s that catch I mentioned. Unless you are using a licensed Windows 7/8 PC the copy that you receive will simply be another iteration in the tester program. If you are eligible for the free copy, I’d opt for that; but if you aren’t then this may be an alternative. This is Microsoft’s official statement:

“As part of the program we’ll upgrade Insiders to what is for all intents and purposes the same build as what other customers will get on 7/29, but that will be just another build for Insiders, and those who stay in the program will simply get the next build after as well.”

You’ll be able to use it freely, but it won’t be a licensed copy, and you will only have access to it while you remain a tester in the program. If you remain in the insider preview program you’ll continually be updated with the newest pre-release version, meaning that it may be buggy. So, Microsoft is providing Windows 10 for everyone, provided that you’re okay with remaining a tester on an unlicensed OS version. If you know your way around a computer, this may appeal if you’ve been wanting to get your hands on Windows 10 for free this July.