Windows 10 will be a free upgrade - even for Windows 7 users

All free for the first year for laptops, tablets and smartphones - Microsoft wants to kill fragmentation dead
Windows 10 conference

Windows 10 conference

Windows 10 is such a big upgrade to the operating system that Microsoft skipped a whole version number in naming it. And the company will reward anyone that opted to skip out on the last main release.

That’s because Windows 10 will be a totally free upgrade for Windows 7 users, along with those running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft announced the news today during a currently ongoing live conference that’s digging deeper into consumer-oriented features. And yes, that does mean Windows Phone is dead as a separate operating system. Now all devices will simply run Windows 10.

Microsoft says the free upgrade is an effort to end fragmentation between versions. Granted, the free offer will only be around for the first year of Windows 10’s availability, although once you upgrade, your device will be supported for the entirety of its lifespan. No word yet on what pricing for new upgrades will be like after that one-year window.

However, based on what we’ve seen so far, Windows 10 looks like it’ll be worth the upgrade - even (and maybe especially) for those who found Windows 8’s dramatic transformation off-putting.

Stay tuned for more news coming out of the conference this evening. So far, Microsoft has confirmed that the Cortana voice assistant will appear in Windows 10, and plans to show off other features and even new hardware during the two-hour presentation.

READ MORE: 6 things we love about Windows 10 - and 3 we hate