Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices, Microsoft announced this morning, adding about 30 million users since the Build conference in March. However, the free upgrade option is going away July 29, according to the company.
The free upgrade has always been billed as a temporary offer, something to get Windows 10 onto more machines quickly to reunite a once-fractured ecosystem of Windows devices. And the gambit seems to have worked well, but now Microsoft is ready to start charging for upgrades.
The imminent deadline could accelerate the pace of upgrades over the next few months. But after July 29, users looking to upgrade existing devices will have to pay $119 for Windows 10 Home. That price may put a damper on upgrades, and with Microsoft now less than a third of the way to its 1 billion-device goal, getting there in the planned 2-to-3 year timespan won’t be easy.
However, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley said she wasn’t exactly convinced by Microsoft representatives that the company would stick to the July 29 date.
@thurrott they told me i should not interpret today's post as meaning the offer will not be extended. LOL Go figure
— Mary Jo Foley (@maryjofoley) May 5, 2016
That said, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users may not want to take the risk in missing out on the free upgrade. No world-shaking bugs have come up since the launch last summer, and the operating system has generally been well received. Developers are finally starting to build apps for it too, so upgrading means access to the latest features, as well.