No free Windows 10 for beta testers

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It’s been a confusing week for anyone monitoring Microsoft and its plans concerning who may or may not be getting a free upgrade to Windows 10.

Last week, the software giant released a blog post stating that registered ‘Insiders’ – or beta testers to you – running a preview copy of the OS, would be receiving a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it came out in July. Then, in what looked like an about face, Microsoft updated its blog making it seem as though only Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users would receive a free upgrade – leaving Insiders bereft of their freebie, as it were.

Perhaps sensing that the reaction to all of this confusion was akin to it yelling “fire!” in a room filled with blind people, Microsoft has updated its blog yet again to clarify its position, and the news may irk some of the Insiders. It turns out that if you didn’t install the Windows 10 preview on a machine already running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you aren’t getting the licensed, final build for free in July.

“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,” Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul explained in a blog post. “If you do not roll back or acquire a new license the build will eventually expire.”

There is one small ray of sunshine for Insiders, however; if you decide not to opt out of the Insider programme you’ll still receive pre-release updates without having to worry about license activation.

“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,” Aul wrote.

So hopefully that clears everything up.