Windows 10 UPGRADE should always be FREE.


Paul Thurrott does an outstanding job laying out the case of why the Windows 10 Upgrade should always be free.

I think that Microsoft will do the right thing. And today, I’d like to make the case that this is the only correct outcome. It is in fact, “the only outcome.”

That Microsoft gets that the world has moved on is obvious: They’ve evolved Windows into an always-updated modern monstrosity, and Windows 10 is now updated as if it were a simpler mobile OS or a cloud service. Yes, there are some fits and stops along the way, but this first year is all about making that transition.

Given this, it doesn’t make sense to return the Windows 10 upgrade to the paid model from the past. That is, once you’ve paid for Windows—by getting it with a new PC, usually—you’re entitled to free upgrades for the life of that device, just as you are (basically) on Android and iOS. The passage of 12 months of time doesn’t change that at all: If a customer still using (the still supported) Windows 7 in August 2016, or January 2017, or whatever, wants to upgrade to Windows 10, it is still in Microsoft’s best interests that that happen. And it should be as frictionless as possible. It should be free.

I agree. It’s the most logical decision. We’re moving to a subscription based, always on and in the cloud economy. Apple has already somewhat embraced this — it’s the model we’re all using for our smartphones already.

Microsoft in 2016: Xbox Slim? HoloLens? Phone? RedStone?

Brad Sams at has a look at what’s likely on the plate for Microsoft in 2016. Some highlights:

  • HoloLens will likely finally get released to developers this spring (I’ve heard the developer kits will be going for $3000+!) It will be interesting to hear what the capabilities and possibilities are with the release of the kits
  • The non-pro Surface will likely get a refresh
  • Possibly a new “flagship” phone (maybe a “Surface” phone?) but honestly, in the US without the support of carriers the subject is moot. I know AT&T is carrying the current lineup of Win10 phones, but in my area my choices are US Cellular or Verizon. Since Microsoft and Verizon apparently aren’t on speaking terms, that leaves a lot of us out in the cold. Then there’s the App problem. It’s too bad because I *ADORED* my 8.1 Windows phone and the integration it afforded.
  • A possible Xbox Slim? Something to compete with Apple TV. If they do, I’d make sure it can connect to any Xbox360 or Xbox One to extend their capabilities. It would leave Apple TV in the dust.
  • Surface Pro and Surface Book Upgrades. How about you just fix the ones you already shipped? I LOVE my original Surface Pro. I was excited about jumping to a Surface Pro 4. After hearing about the driver and sleep issues, I’m glad I didn’t. Come on Microsoft — premium hardware at premium pricing should come running perfectly out of the box.
  • Win10 should get two “feature packs” (what’s wrong with calling them service packs?!?) this year and the new Windows Server 2016 should be released.
  • The Cloud will continue to be a focus for the company.


Here’s hoping better communication is also part of their plan. Microsoft builds awesome products. They’re just really bad at telling anyone about it.