Microsoft Expands Free Windows Upgrade to Everyone

Windows users, rejoice. Over the weekend, Microsoft announced that its latest operating system, Windows 10, will be free for anyone who wants it. Previously, the company said that it would make the new OS available as a free upgrade, but only to certain users who were currently running Windows 7 or 8.

That arrangement would have excluded anyone still running Windows XP, Vista, or even Windows 7 Enterprise Edition. But that would have left a lot of users, especially a lot of enterprises that have avoided upgrading their systems to Windows 8 following mixed reviews, out in the cold.

Getting Users Onboard with Windows 10

Penalizing users running older versions of the operating system or enterprises that had not made the move to Windows 8 would have presented several problems for Microsoft. For one thing, charging companies to upgrade to the latest Windows version might have had the opposite effect.

The company already suffered a disastrous rollout of the Windows 8 platform, as many users elected to continue using older versions rather than upgrade. As a result, Microsoft can ill afford to have yet another operating system land on the market like a lead balloon.

In addition, the company needs to find a way to recuperate some of the goodwill it lost as a result of the marketEUs disappointment with Windows 8. Users were either indifferent or openly hostile to the new design. In particular, many people who did not have touchscreen interfaces found the new system difficult to use with the standard mouse and keyboard.

Furthermore, Microsoft largely stands alone in seeing its operating systems as a source of revenue. Apple makes upgrades to its OS available to all users at no charge. Customers also have a wide variety of free Linux distributions to choose from, making the latest version of...

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