Microsoft today clarified the Windows 10 upgrade process for the next few months. The company plans to begin pushing out the final version of Win10 to Windows Update and pirates won't be upgraded to a legit copy of Windows for free. In an October 29 blog post, Terry Myerson, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices, said that the two-step process - first reserve the new OS and then get the upgrade - is no longer relevant. Microsoft will automatically kick off the upgrade process once you have made a reservation. Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be prompted to choose whether or not to continue. If you choose to upgrade, then you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous Windows version.
Microsoft will soon be publishing Windows 10 as an "Optional Update" in Windows Update for all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers. Early next year, the company will re-categorize Windows 10 as a "Recommended Update". Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device. Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be prompted to choose whether or not to continue.
If you are on a metered connection on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then you have the option of turning off automatic updates. Myerson strongly discourages this because of the constant risk of internet threats. If you choose to do so, Microsoft recommends manually checking Windows Update frequently, perhaps when you are on a non-metered network and consider the installation of all "Recommended" and "Important" updates. Windows 10 will not automatically download updates on a metered connection unless there is a security issue addressed within the update. In addition, Windows 10 contains a number of features for those on metered connections, including monitoring data usage by application and setting data usage quotas.
For people looking to create offline media to upgrade one or more PCs, Microsoft will soon update the Media Creation Tool which is used to create DVD ISOs or USB keys, to create a single image capable of upgrading any 32bit or 64 bit, Home or Pro, device. You can use this media to upgrade any number of Genuine PCs, and even do clean installs wherever you have a Windows license.
Myerson added tha the free upgrade offer is available to only Genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers. The new OS will only install and activate on "genuine" Windows 7 and 8.1 systems with this new process, so pirates won't be upgraded to a legit copy of Windows for free. Instead, Microsoft will soon test a process where non-genuine users can buy Windows 10 right from the Windows Update application before upgrading.