Confirmed: Windows 10 free upgrade will end on July 29

On the same day, Microsoft will also take down the controversial Get Windows 10 app

By now you’ve probably read Corporate VP Yusuf Mehdi’s Windows Experience blog, "Windows 10 Now on 300 Million Active Devices – Free Upgrade Offer to End Soon." Long story short, Mehdi says Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices monthly (including the Xbox One and Windows Phone). He also says, “after July 29th, you’ll be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119.”

The precise wording of Mehdi’s announcement leaves much to the imagination. Why, for example, did he only discuss purchase of Win10 Home and leave Win10 Pro out of the conversation?

Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet asked Microsoft about the apparent discontinuance of the free (pushed) upgrade and received this nonreply from a Microsoft spokesperson:

The free upgrade offer has been a big success, leading to the fastest adoption of Windows ever, with Windows 10 on more than 300 million active Windows devices. The free upgrade promotion is currently slated to end on July 29 and we encourage all of our customers to take advantage of it while it is still active.

That wording sent a shock through the blogosphere. Was Microsoft backing off on its promise/threat to end the free upgrade on July 29?

In the last few minutes, Foley has received an, um, clarification from official Microsoft sources:

The free upgrade promotion is ending on July 29 and we encourage all of our customers to take advantage of it while it is still active.

Foley goes on to say:

Although Microsoft told me earlier that the company was not drawing a line in the sand today and stating definitively that the free upgrade offer would end July 29, a spokesperson said the original information conveyed to me was incorrect. The free upgrade deal will end July 29.

I have to admit, I am surprised Microsoft is ending the promotion, given that the vast majority of users get a new version of Windows when they buy new PCs, and not by upgrading their existing OS… But I guess that's that....

Or maybe Microsoft marketing is being coy.

On a related front, Wayne Williams at BetaNews has extracted this fascinating statement, again from official sources:

Details are still being finalized, but on July 29th the Get Windows 10 app that facilitates the easy upgrade to Windows 10 will be disabled and eventually removed from PCs worldwide. Just as it took time to ramp up and roll out the Get Windows 10 app, it will take time to ramp it down.

Perhaps we’re only a couple of months away from conscription rapprochement, where Windows 7 customers can remain Windows 7 customers, at least until the end of extended support on Jan. 14, 2020 -- as long as they aren’t using one of the shunned Skylake processors, anyway.

Then again, we're talking about Microsoft marketing here.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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