Microsoft issued a clarification regarding the issue that who will get a free upgrade to its Windows 10 after a confusion arise from a blog post that sounds like anyone could use the Insider Program to obtain an activated license for the new operating system.

Windows 10 Microsoft

Microsoft made it clear that it is offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade for users who are already running genuine Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 on their devices.

According to the software giant, users of genuine Windows operating systems will automatically receive the free Windows 10 upgrade starting on July 29, 2015.

In the Windows 10 Q&A page on its website, Microsoft emphasized that the Windows 10 upgrade is free, and it is a full version of the operating system, not a trial or introductory version. The Windows 10 free upgrade is available for a limited time. Users have one year to take advantage of the offer from the time of its availability on July 29.

How do users get a free upgrade of Windows 10?

Microsoft explained that users will be able to get a free upgrade to Windows 10 by doing either of the following:

a) Buy a new Windows 8.1 device and upgrade it to Windows 10 for free
b) Reserve a free upgrade for your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC

Microsoft is reminding users that not every device will run all the features of the Windows 10. They should check with the device manufacturer before making a purchase.

It is important for users to know if the device is compatible with Windows 10. They must also check if they are running a genuine Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1 update. Microsoft made it clear that Windows 10 is designed to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs.

For those who would reserve a free Windows 10 upgrade for their Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices, they can confirm that their devices are compatible with the new operating system.

“Between reservation and when your upgrade is ready, the files you need for the upgrade will be downloaded to your PC to make the final installation go more quickly. Then, when your upgrade is ready after July 29, 2015, you get a notification that lets you get started with your upgrade,” said Microsoft.

Clarification on Windows Insider Program

Microsoft addressed the confusion regarding those who participated in the Windows Insider Program, who downloaded a preview build of the Windows 10 to be the first one to test the features of the operating system and provide a feedback.

Using two simple questions with a yes or no answer, Windows Insiders will understand how they would get the Windows 10 upgrade.

Question 1: Do you want to continue as a Windows Insider and keep getting preview builds after July 29?”

For those whose answer is yes, they can relax because Microsoft would continue the program. Windows Insiders would continue receiving activated builds in according to the terms of the program.

Question 2: 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 July 29 release and stop being an Insider?

For those whose answer is yes, Microsoft explained that the same terms and conditions extended to all genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices applies to them.

“It is our hope that the vast majority of Windows Insiders who have been with us since we announced the program last year will continue forward. It was in that light that we authored the blog post about upcoming changes to the program,” said Gabriel Aul, General Manager OSG Data and Fundamentals team at Microsoft.

He added, “I regret that this caused confusion about who was or was not eligible for the Windows 10 upgrade offer, but hope that this helps to clarify.”