This is one question that a lot of people have been asking, and Gabe Aul, the head of the Windows Insider program, finally answered it on Twitter today. Credit goes to Brad Sams at Neowin for catching this since it was a reply to another tweet.

Gabe states:

Once you upgrade W10 w/ the free upgrade offer you will able to clean reinstall Windows 10 on same device any time

There’s not a lot else to be said, but he also said they are working on some more information to make this more clear. What it does mean is that in order to get the free upgrade, you need to upgrade from an eligible device, and once done, you can then blow that away and do a clean install. I guess we’re not sure yet if that means you can do a reset using the Windows Recovery tools, or if you can actually start with a new hard drive or ISO in order to do the clean install.

Hopefully we’ll get the final bit of clarification on this soon, but since this is one of the most asked questions that I have seen, I felt it was worth letting everyone know.

Source: Gabe Aul via Neowin

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  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    I'm more concerned about what happens when upgrading my 7 Pro license to 10. Will it invalidate my 7 Pro key if I want to go back? I know that historically this has not been the case, but I guess that all depends upon how desperate Microsoft is to get/keep users on W10.
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    I'm curious about this, too. I have an older backup PC that will probably need to stay on 7, but who's to know until 10 is on it?
  • extide - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    No, they will definitely not invalidate your old windows 7/8 keys. Remember you can always format and reinstall just like you always have in the past to go back if you don't want to stick with windows 10.
  • therightclique - Thursday, June 4, 2015 - link

    Of course it won't invalidate your Windows 7 key.

    Come on.
  • Nexing - Thursday, June 4, 2015 - link

    They could legally, by binding some line that you would be asked to accept in order to upgrade to W10.
    IT is "legally" possible, and this is exactly why it needs to be EXPLICITLY clarified by MS, for many of us to get a positive opinion on this W10 "free upgrade" option.

    I am afraid that is not enough, for us to try to discard this possibility, rather laterally, just because -of course- most of us find it unlogical or oppose it
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - link

  • chizow - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - link

    Wow, great news! Thanks for the confirmation on this.
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - link

    I'm hoping they just issue us new keys. Honestly the process involved going from an original Win8 key to Win8.1 to Win8.1 with Media Center almost always leads to a call to MS support.
  • kspirit - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    Say we use a software to read the license key (after the W10 upgrade). Won't it be possible to use it when reinstalling W10 from an ISO?
  • jabber - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    Well I'm allowed to use my Windows 8 Pro Upgrade keys with a full 8.1 Pro ISO as though they are 8.1 Pro keys. Just download the ISO from MS. Before they allowed that I was having to install the 8RTM, then 8 Pro Upgrade then updating to 8.1 to get up to date.

    Took all day.

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