Cloud

Microsoft offers free Windows 10 upgrades to certain customers

Windows customers who have subscriptions through the Cloud Solution Provider program can now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs to Windows 10 for no cost.

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Image: Microsoft

Windows business customers who missed out on their shot at a free Windows 10 upgrade may be getting a second chance. Microsoft announced in a blog post on Thursday that customers with Windows subscriptions through its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program will be able to upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices to Windows 10 for free.

Specifically, according to the blog post, "customers subscribed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 as well as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5, can now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and devices to Windows 10 without the need to purchase separate upgrade licenses."

As noted by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, the Enterprise E3 and E5 subscriptions are plans that are geared toward SMBs, and were originally launched in late summer 2016. The Secure Productive Enterprise bundles add additional mobility and security features.

SEE: Windows 10: The smart person's guide

Despite the SMB target, the post noted that these upgrades are intended to benefit businesses of any size. For the lowest tier of the subscriptions, pricing starts at $7 per user, per month.

As mentioned, the new offer will give users who missed the free Windows 10 upgrade campaign another chance to take part. However, it also gives folks who haven't yet purchased a new Windows 10 machine to jump into the latest OS, the post said.

If your organization fits the guidelines, an admin can simply login to the admin center with his or her Azure Active Directory admin credentials to start the upgrade process on the device they logged in to. From there, they can share a download link with other users, create installation media, or help troubleshoot the installation process, the post said.

These free licenses will be associated with the device and will not expire, nor will they be revoked if customers end their CSP subscription, the post said. Administrators will begin to see the upgrade options over the next 48 hours.

The free upgrades come just a few days after Windows pushed some privacy changes to Windows 10 as well, adding more control over what data is collected and used. However, despite the changes, some have argued that Windows 10 still isn't properly addressing customer complaints regarding privacy.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to certain Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) customers starting sometime over the next 48 hours.
  2. Users who haven't purchased a new Windows 10 device, or missed the initial free upgrade, will benefit from being able to freely upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices.
  3. Despite recent updates, Windows 10 is still dealing with privacy complaints from customers.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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