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Windows 10 free upgrade is a marketing and promotional activity: Microsoft

Windows 10 free upgrade is a marketing and promotional activity: Microsoft

by AshwinApril 27, 2015

In January this year, Microsoft announced at a conference, that its upcoming operating system, Windows 10, will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users.


We all know that Microsoft is doing this in a bid to increase the adoption rate of the OS, and to avoid the fiasco that was Windows 8.

Well, allow me to state that we are wrong. I am being serious, and here’s why.

Microsoft has revealed in a 10-Q filing with the U.S SEC, that “Windows 10 is not a free upgrade, it’s a marketing and promotional activity.”

10-Q is short for Form 10-Q, (or 10Q). It is mandatory for public trade corporations in the US to file a quarterly report. It is mandated by the United States Federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Free is free? How is that marketing?

Things get a little complicated here and involves a whole lot of accounting terms and explanations, so I’m going to write it in layman’s terms. Basically, by announcing Windows 10 as a free upgrade, Microsoft has ensured that it did not have to defer revenue it makes from Windows 8.1 sales. This in turn improves the earnings it has to report for the first two quarters of the year.

If Windows 10 had been a paid upgrade, the company would have had to wait until the OS was released, and by not recording the sales (of Windows) made in the two quarters, its numbers would have taken a serious hit.

By ensuring that Windows 8.1 continues to be sold, Microsoft keeps its profit respectable while actually drawing in more users, who will upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

This isn’t some new tactic, Microsoft did the same in 2013, when it offered Windows 8.1 as a free update for Windows 8 users, Computer World observes.

Microsoft is expected to push for an RTM release of Windows 10, earlier than the anticipated time period, July. This is because the company is planning to release the final version of Windows 10 in late July, as revealed by AMD CEO Lisa Su.

And if you are a Windows 7 or 8.1 user, you may already be on the way to install Windows 10, when it is released. Microsoft pushed a silent Windows 10 downloader, in an optional Windows update a few weeks ago. But fret not, you may still be able to decline the upgrade offer.

The update in question revealed a Windows 10 upgrade roadmap, according to which your OS will begin to show notifications regarding the availability of Windows 10, prompt you to upgrade, and can also trigger the download once you accept it.