Microsoft won’t snub devices with Windows RT: Windows 10 coming to devices with 7, 8, 8.1, RT

windows 10 now a free service news
Microsoft used to charge a pretty penny for its operating system, but for the first year at least, the new Windows 10 OS will be a free service for most users. However, Microsoft has yet to fully explain how much it will cost afterwards.

“I’m very excited to announce that for the first year after Windows 10 is a available, we will be making available a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all devices running Windows 8.1,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems group, during the announcement.

Updated on 01-22-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Microsoft is working on an update for Windows RT users, too.

Those with Windows 7 and 8, as well as Windows Phone 8.1 installed on their devices will be able to get the latest version for free for one year. If you don’t have Windows 7 and up installed on your device, you’ll have to buy the Windows 7 upgrade, though. Windows 10 is designed to work on all devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and hybrid devices that run an older version of Microsoft’s OS.

Although Microsoft didn’t mention an update to Windows RT devices during the event, the question arose during the Q&A session. Microsoft stated that it’s working on a Windows 10 update for RT devices, but wouldn’t give a release date for the upgrade. Microsoft later told CNet in an emailed statement that it’s working on an update for the Windows RT version of the Surface tablet, “which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10.” It’s unclear which functions will not make it onto RT devices after the upgrade, nor is it known whether all Windows RT devices will get Windows 10, or if it’s just the Surface with RT.

Whether Windows 10 remains free a year after the OS is released is also a mystery, and there’s no word on how much it may cost once the year is up. Earlier reports hinted at an Office 365-like subscription model for the OS, but Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied the rumor. During a Q&A session after the event, the company said it “hasn’t decided” how much to charge, reports Ars Technica. On Microsoft’s blog, Terry Myerson attempted to explain the new idea of “Windows as a service,” but the language surrounding the price of updates and upgrades after the first year was confused.

“This is more than a one-time upgrade,” Myerson wrote. “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 additional charge.”

He did not include an explanation of how long the “supported lifetime of the device” will last for each product, nor did he address future pricing at all. According to ZDnet, Satya Nadella added that Windows as a service doesn’t imply further charges, but he did not comment further on future pricing. As such, the true cost of Windows 10 is still up in the air. We’ll keep you updated as we hear further details.

Microsoft has yet to announce an official consumer release date for Windows 10. A preview will arrive in February for select insiders, but a fall launch for normal folks is expected.

Previous updates:

Updated on 01-21-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added speculation, news, and rumors regarding the price of Windows 10 after the first year of free upgrades ends.

Article first published on 01-21-2015


Windows 10 Mobile is dead: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

Microsoft is getting ready for a coming wave of foldable Windows 10 devices

Windows 10 might soon have a new look. A leaked string for an internal Windows 10 19H1 build shows that Microsoft is getting ready to build Windows 10 for a future wave of foldable devices.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering ergonomic mice alternatives. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.

Want a MacBook that will last all day on a single charge? Check these models out

Battery life is one of the most important factors in buying any laptop, especially MacBooks. Their battery life is typically average, but there are some standouts. Knowing which MacBook has the best battery life can be rather useful.

Want a Dell laptop with an RTX 2060? Cross the new XPS 15 off your list

The next iteration of Dell's XPS 15 laptop won't come with an option for an RTX 2060, according to Alienware's Frank Azor. You could always opt for a new Alienware m15 or m17 instead.

Always have way too many tabs open? Google Chrome might finally help

Google is one step closer to bringing tab groups to its Chrome browser. The feature is now available in Google's Chrome Canady build with an early implementation that can be enabled through its flag system.