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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  • freeskier93 - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - link

    What does this mean for those of us on the W10 Preview? I have a valid W7 key, why can't you just let me enter that somewhere then give me the W10 key?
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    We'll have to wait and see, but maybe that's already been done.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    Didn't they make previews a dead end in the past?
  • SonyJim - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    My concern is with Microsoft's poor reputation and track record of changing the terms and conditions at their convenience. This crazy racketeering allows them to change the bargain after its been struck via their End-User License Agreements that accompany updates...

    Can anyone extract a statement from Microsoft that they won't start charging for updates and patches via a monthly fee or something stupid like that? I'm fed up with attempts by monopolies and dominant corporates to milk consumers - but even more; I'm sick of dumb imbeciles amongst us who actually let themselves get milked. Harden up people!
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    There's no fee for patches. If you upgrade to Windows 10, you get Windows 10 for no cost ever. Yes, they have said exactly that.
  • Ancillas - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    The salient point is that patches do not equal upgrades. While I'm not worried about the sky falling, I can't recall reading what the model will be for features updates e.g. Windows 10.1.

    The concern that I'm hearing from people is that a year or two down the road, Microsoft will announce a subscription model like Adobe now does with their products. Security patches might remain free, but new features could be released at a steady pace, and might only be available with an active subscription.

    It's purely hypothetical, but that model would be a significant shift, and has the potential to eliminate the "free" part of the free upgrade.

    I'm not saying this will happen, but that is the concern that some people share.
  • extide - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    They will probably do like apple, and charge a small fee for the upgrade to perhaps 10.1, but keep doing security patches for both versions for some time, just like they always have.
  • mapesdhs - Saturday, June 6, 2015 - link

    In time I think they will move to a subscription model though. The whole way MS has been evolving Windows since V7 seems like this is what they have in mind. I just hate the way they're trying to make it look like one is using a tablet or a phone, looks so unprofessional IMO. One should at least have the choice, but they're ramming the whole app thing down users' throats. The new app store mechanism, etc... subscription model coming soon.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    Bullshit post above. In t he past you simply buy the licence or it arrives with the machine.
  • extide - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    They will never charge for updates and patches. It would be bad for THEM. Think of all the un patched machines out there that there will be and the bad press they would get from all the viruses they would be propagating all over the net. They would never do that, its not at all the philosophy they have taken in the past and there is no business sense to do it anyways.

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