Microsoft will be releasing some versions of Windows 10 on July 29. The company has already announced that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users will be able to upgrade to the upcoming desktop operating system through Windows Update. It also revealedWindows 10 will be made available via USB flash drives in retail channels. Now, the release notes of what is expected to be the RTM build, Windows 10 build 10240, have been leaked, tipped new details about what it means to install the OS via ISO files.
Long-time Microsoft enthusiast WZor has leaked the release notes of Windows 10 build 10240. In the Breaking Changes section, Microsoft details that its partners will be able to install Window 10 via boot-from-media clean installations without being required to enter a product key. It adds that while Windows will not activate, it should not impact functionality for partners’ testing purposes. Though, at this point, it it hasn’t exactly revealed the duration of the free testing period.
Typically, Microsoft lets users install and use its new operating system without a licence key for a trial period of 30 days. The company has been pretty tight-lipped about such things in the past. But considering it hasn’t mentioned the duration of the testing period, the company may have plans to let users try Windows 10 for free for an extended period of time. Just how this sits with Microsoft’s earlier announcement that detailed how Windows 10 Insiders could keep genuine builds for free remains to be seen.
Microsoft had previously noted that Windows 10 Insiders will be able to continue to use Windows 10 for free as long as they have a registered Microsoft account and they don’t stop automatic updates. It seems Microsoft is still contemplating on this matter and hasn’t reached a conclusion.
In the leaked release note, the company also mentions that Windows 7 and Windows 8 users won’t have to type in their old licence key while updating to the new operating system. It says that as long as users are upgrading to the like-to-like (Home to Home, Pro to Pro) Windows version, they will not be prompted to enter the product key. However, if users try a cross-edition upgrade (Windows 10 Home build 10163 to Windows 10 Pro build 10240), they will be prompted for a key. As a corollary, if users update from a Windows 10 Pro test build to the Windows 10 Pro final build, they will not be asked to enter a product key.
For a refresh, computers running on a licensed copy of Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 8.1 Pro are eligible to get a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Similarly, computers powered by a legit copy of Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Starter, and Windows 8.1 are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home edition.