Microsoft Uses Carrot-and-Stick Approach With Windows 10

Microsoft LogoMicrosoft has clarified some confusion about who would be entitled to free copies of Windows 10. While some Windows 10 testers had thought they would get the final build at no cost, it turns out that will only be the case if they agree to continue testing future builds of the operating system.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are still going to be eligible for the free upgrade as originally stated. But those testing preview builds of Windows 10 now who aren’t upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1, and who unsubscribe from future preview builds when the official release of Windows 10 drops on July 29th will not be considered legit users. They’ll have to go back to whatever older version of Windows they were using, or else purchase a license for Windows 10.

In other words, Microsoft is maintaining an incentive for Windows 10 testers to keep testing future updates. It’s clear that the company values user testing, and rightly so – the new operating system is introducing a number of new, technologically sophisticated elements, including built-in biometrics capabilities via Windows Hello, a user authentication system. With this kind of FIDO-certified technology also helping to support a diverse technological ecosystem associated with the new operating system, Microsoft is understandably keen to ensure that all bases are covered in terms of product testing and quality assurance.