It’s official: Beginning July 29, Microsoft will offer free Windows 10 upgrades to hundreds of millions of PCs.
Here’s how the Get Windows 10 (GWX) program works:
What was already an open secret has now been confirmed. Microsoft will launch Windows 10 on July 29. (Previously, Microsoft had only committed to “this summer” as a launch date.) That date begins a one-year window during which free upgrades will be available to anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
The first phase of the long, slow rollout begins today, with the appearance of a small icon in the taskbar on eligible systems. Here’s what it looks like on a PC running Windows 8.1:
Clicking that link opens a six-screen advertisement, with a prominent “Reserve your free upgrade now” button. Clicking that button configures your PC to download and install the upgrade bits and adds the current device to the queue for Windows 10.
But what will actually happen when July 29 rolls around? That poses some interesting logistical questions for Microsoft.