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Here's how to get Windows 10 for free without a valid Windows 7 or 8 license

By Ian Chee & Ng Chong Seng - on 21 Jun 2015, 5:44pm

Here's how to get Windows 10 for free without a valid Windows 7 or 8 license

If you've an eligible and up-to-date Windows 7 or 8.1 machine, you should have seen this notification informing you about the free Windows 10 upgrade. Don't have Windows 7 or 8.x? Don't worry, there's another way to get Windows 10 for free.

We already know that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.x users. We also know that if you missed the limited time upgrade offer, it’s still possible to buy a standalone copy that costs up to US$199 (that’s for Windows 10 Pro).

But what if you’ve just built a new PC, or if you’re a Mac user, who don’t have a valid license and don’t want to pony up the cash at the same time?

Well, according to a recent Microsoft blog post, there’s a way out: join the Windows Insider program.

To quote Microsoft’s Gabe Aul (emphasis ours):

Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Home and Pro editions) with their registered MSA connected to their PC will receive the final release build of Windows 10 starting on July 29th. This will come as just another flight. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Windows Insiders about how this will work if they clean installed from ISO. As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build. Once you have successfully installed this build, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.

In short, sign up for the Windows Insider program, install the preview build (currently, it’s at Build 10130) and sign in using the same Microsoft account you used to register for the Insider program, and you’ll be able to upgrade to the final build come July 29. More importantly, after the upgrade, that copy of Windows 10 will remain genuine and activated. And yes, this works even if you’ve clean installed the preview, either on a PC you’ve just assembled, or for Mac users, on a virtual machine or via Boot Camp.

Sure, things may change, and we can definitely foresee terms in the final licensing agreement that target abuse. And it’s also unclear at this point what other restrictions this route has, and if this is yet another time limited ‘offer’. Still, if you’ve been hoping for another way to get Windows 10 for free because the upgrade offer doesn’t apply to you, you now have one.

Source: Microsoft.