Those people who have upgraded to Windows 10 Technical Preview WILL NOT be eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10. Those users will be forced to reformat and reinstall a prior version of Windows (Windows 7 or 8.1) before they can get their free version of Windows 10. Not only that but their prior version of Windows 7 or 8.1 MUST BE A GENUINE license or they WILL NOT be eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10.
If you want to upgrade from Windows 10 Technical Preview to Windows 10 RTM, you have to ask yourself these three questions…
* Do you want to continue as a Windows Insider and keep getting preview builds after 7/29?
* Or do you want to upgrade your Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system that has been getting Windows 10 Insider Preview builds to the 7/29 release and stop being an Insider?
I want to continue as a Windows Insider!
If you want to continue as a Windows Insider past 7/29 there is nothing you need to do. You’re already opted in and receiving builds in the Fast or Slow ring depending upon your selection. This is prerelease software and is activated with a prerelease key. Each individual build will expire after a time, but you’ll continue to receive new builds so by the time an older prerelease build expires you’ll have received a new one. Since we’re continuing the Windows Insider Program you’ll be able to continue receiving builds and those builds will continue to be activated under the terms of the Windows Insider Program. We provide ISOs for these builds for recovery from any significant problems, but they are still pre-release software. 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.
I want to opt out of the Windows Insider Program on 7/29.
If you decide to opt-out of the program and upgrade to the 7/29 build you will be subject to exactly the same terms and conditions that govern the offer that was extended to all Genuine Windows 7 and 8.1 customers. This is not a path to attain a license for Windows XP or Windows Vista systems. If your system upgraded from a Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license it will remain activated, but if not, you will be required to roll back to your previous OS version or acquire a new Windows 10 license. If you do not roll back or acquire a new license the build will eventually expire.
The problem with the second scenario is that this only holds true if your machine had a prior version of Windows installed (7 or 8.1) and it was a Genuine License. How will Windows 10 know that you had a Genuine version of Windows 7 or 8.1 installed prior to the installation of Windows 10 Technical Preview? It won’t, therefore you will not have a genuine version of Windows 10 after the RTM upgrade.
Those users will have to go back to a prior version of Windows with a Genuine license of Windows before going to Windows 10 to get a free version of Windows 10.
I don’t know how it’ll work for OEM machines that have a key for a prior version of Windows tattooed on the motherboard in BIOS/UEFI but for those of us who have vanilla home-built machines with no OEM key tattooed on the motherboard, those users will have to go back to a prior version of Windows before going to Windows 10 to get a Genuine version of Windows.