Windows 10 will be a free upgrade

Microsoft just took another big step toward the release of Windows 10 — and revealed it will be free for many current Windows users.

The company unveiled the Windows 10 consumer preview on Wednesday, showcasing many new features in the latest version of the operating system that powers the vast majority of the world’s desktop PCs. It also surprised the tech world with an ambitious take on virtual reality, called Windows Holographic, powered by a new kind of device called the HoloLens.

The developer preview has been available since Microsoft first announced Windows 10 in the fall, but it was buggy, limited in scope and very light on new features.

Windows 10 will be free for existing Windows users running versions of the OS, going back to Windows 7. That includes Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone. Microsoft specified the Windows 10 upgrade would be free for the first year of release, but users would need to pay for it after that. However, Microsoft will support the upgrade for the “lifetime of the device,” according to the announcement.

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